Thursday, January 05, 2012

The End of the Two-War Strategy


Thank God. I've puzzled over the wisdom of the two-war strategy since I was in high school. I've always favored a strong commitment to national defense...and thought that, perhaps, in the days when the USSR and China might plausibly both be (independent) antagonists, such a strategy might make sense. But since the Bush/Cheney economic catastrophe, I've been inclined to think that the strategy should go. We simply can't afford it anymore; it simply doesn't make sense in our current, economically crippled state. (And in case you're tempted to make an employment argument here: defense jobs are low job-per-dollar jobs...that is, they tend to employ fewer, more highly-skilled people. You want jobs, build highways.)

1%ers might get frothy over this--of course they'll do so over anything Obama does--but such folk are not reliable indicators of reasonableness. As with most other such policies, we've got to make decisions on the basis of cost-benefit analyses. In our current economic predicament, the cost of being ready to fight two major wars is simply too high.

And incidentally, it's preposterous to prepare to do so when there aren't two major plausible enemies to fight. Even if none of our allies pitched in, exactly which two powers are going to take us out. China and Russia? It is to laugh.

A sane, big-d Democratic policy of having a strong but non-ostentatious military, engaging with our enemies and strengthening our allies is clearly the way to go.


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