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View Diary: Stephen Walt in FP--"Addicted to War" (29 comments)

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  •  There is another way to engage (1+ / 0-)
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    the rest of the world, which is through multilateral institutions, particularly the UN.  That's hardly isolationism, and accords better with how Americans and non-Americans alike prefer to approach international problems.

    Most of the people of the world, having seen the US recently invade another country due to an overactive imagination (to use a charitable interpretation), do NOT want the US as a "guardian".    The larger our pretenses to that role, the more resistance we will encounter and the less successful we will be.  Just look at how the popularity  of the US hit rock bottom during the last administration, which championed that view.  

    Finally, if you can't identify a threat, and you haven't, it's impossible to build a defense against it.  

    •  You mean (0+ / 0-)

      the UN that just authorized our military incursion in Libya? That UN? How is that supposed to be an argument for disarmament? Are you aware that, for the first time in history, the Arab League requested our military assistance? I know it isn't glitter-farts, but, still...

      Basing your assessment of foreign policy solely on the Iraq war is stupid, regardless of your feelings about the Iraq war.

      Being prepared is impossible because perfect knowledge of the future is unavailable, is that what you just said? I disagree.

      •  In general the UN has been a brake on militarism. (1+ / 0-)
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        I'm not sure why you brought up Libya, but that's an exception rather than the rule.  

        I certainly don't base my assessment of foreign policy solely on Iraq. Iraq simply showed that the US can't necessarily be trusted to make wise decisions on its own when it comes to using military force.   That's why neither Americans nor rest of the world accepts the US as "world guardian".  

        You have tacitly conceded that there's no specific significant military threat to the US that justifies current military spending.  (If this is incorrect, please state what you consider that threat to be).   It's impossible to allocate resources properly to defend ourselves against an unknown (to be more blunt, imaginary) threat.

        Our current military is a liability.  Because it is so big, and because we spend such an incredible amount of money on it, we are tempted to use it to solve problems.  The notion that we're the "guardian" causes us to use coercion rather than real diplomacy far too often.

        I'm not a pacifist, BTW.   I consider the military to be necessary.  Necessary for defense, not to run the world.

        •  That's not an exception; that's a unicorn (0+ / 0-)

          which unfortunately but predictably has failed to fart the glitter you are looking for.  We didn't need Iraq to know that the US can't necessarily be trusted to make wise decisions on its own, did we? So why did you bring it up again? As the sole example upon which to criticize in general our foreign policy?

          I haven't "tacitly conceded" our military is too expensive: I specifically stated our military is too expensive. But this isn't a discussion about the size, cost, or composition of our military; this is a discussion of whether we are "addicted to war". What you (laughably) call running the world, some people call defending our national interests. And vice-versa. We don't need a military to defend against invasion; we have the 2nd Amendment for that.

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