Totally off subject, but first, I woke up at 2:30 AM this morning and, being awake, took the opportunity to go out on the back porch and gaze at the Super Moon for a few moments. Yep. Pretty big. But too cold out to linger.
The subject: When we were attacked by the Japanese, who were allied with the Germans, we had no choce but to enter a war that nobody here wanted any part of. We lost an awful lot of people and a lot more came home missing arms, legs and sanity. We never wanted to find ourselves in such a weak, vulnerable position again. We wanted to be so strong, such a global military force, that no nation would ever attack us again.
And so it’s been. The downside of that is that to maintain public support of the constant huge financial outlay to support between 700 and 1100 US military bases around the world (there is no official listing, it’s a secret), with over 2,500,000 troops, we have to have enemies to be at war with.
So we made war against the North Koreans, then the Vietnamese, then the War On Drugs, throw in little Grenada since the opportunity was there, then Iraq and Afghanistan and the War On Terror. We will keep making wars as long as we want to keep maintaining that global military presence. That’s just how it is. No war, no funding.
The cost of the NATO missile defense shield that we’re trying to install in Eastern Europe over Russia’s strenuous objections and outright threats of attack, must be around $1 trillion, since our half of it is projected to be $500 billion. Our claim is that we need it to protect our European allies and ourselves from an Iranian missile attack. The Russians don’t buy this malarky for a second and neither does anyone else with one eye open. The cost of utterly wiping out Iran’s entire military, economic and industrial infrastructures shouldn’t run over $50 billion at the most and probably far less. That missile shield is designed to stop Russian missiles. It’s purpose is to weaken Russia’s military position and everyone who’s paying any attention to this knows it.
The horrible reign of Dictator Josep Stalin, followed by the constant threats of Nikita Kruschev and the murderous expansion of the Soviet Union, gave us no reason whatever to trust Russia. So of course we want to weaken their ability to nuke us. At the same time, we scare Hell out of the Russians with our massive presence around the globe. We constantly work at increasing that presence, too, and the Missile Shield is only one current example of that effort. We are presently deploying and re-deploying troops to both existing and new bases to maintain and expand our global military presence.
This can easily be seen as preparations for war by any nation that might feel threatened, as Russia does, and they’d be right to see it that way. It is preparations for war. How to you keep people from attacking you? You make sure they see that you’re prepared to fight them, not by letting them see that you’re not ready yet. We’ve been busily preparing for war for the past 67 years, ever since the Big One ended.
Now, if we could just stop having new enemies to fight, and stay out of any war for a good long time, maybe our enemies might relax. But we can’t and stay prepared. It’s a bit of a paradox.
I suspect that we’re going to get into a localized skirmish with the Chinese in the South China Sea next. It would suit the Chinese well too, since that would fuel support for their own military buildup. We fought the Chinese before in Korea, we’re old war buddies, sort of, and besides, all the fighting has been going to the ground crews and this would give our Navy something new to do.
Just something to keep an eye on.