American History is really starting get to me, and not in very good way. For just over 236 years, our Nation has had its hand in almost as many armed conflicts of one size, or another. Our Military might and capacity to wage War grew quickly throughout those years. It seems we are at the top of our game, and way out in front of any other Nation on the Planet. In general, you can make an argument that the speedy growth of our capabilities in this area is all for the good, and is designed to foster World Peace. You can also make an argument that we have been one of the most bellicose Nations in history. Whichever side of this argument you may find yourself, think for a minute how nice it would be if the United States of America took a short “time-out” from all this saber rattling. How would things look if we just simply backed off for a while; mended our own fences; and held up on trying to shove our social, economic, and political beliefs down everyone else’s throats?
It is no longer a question of who is going to blink first. It has become a large impediment to our own social, economical, and political growth. In a sense, we are doing to ourselves exactly what we did to the Soviet Bloc, as we simply forced them into bankruptcy trying to keep up with us. Do any of us want to see this Nation slide down that slope? I would venture a guess that the answer is, “NO”. Yet, no one seems ready to stand up to this issue in any substantive way. There is a mechanism, just around the corner, that will force our politicians to act on our Defense spending. There is a mandatory, and draconian, cut in Defense spending spelled out in the last “can’t we all get along” Allan Simpson blue ribbon panel; staffed by a lot of folks who sit on the hands most of the time. (I don’t even want to know how much we, the Tax Payers, got bilked for that little adventure.) The truth is we can’t afford blowing stuff up, and shooting people, any more. I doubt very seriously if the cost of OIF and OEF will ever be fully disclosed. My “guess-timate” a few years ago was $3.4 Trillion, and I don’t think I’m too far off. (I haven’t considered the cost of taking care of our Veterans in this figure.)
So, how about it, folks, could we try for a five year moratorium on entering any more expansionistic armed conflicts? Of course, we will pursue anyone who takes it upon themselves to attack us directly, or chooses to attack our Citizens outside our borders. But, as for policing the World, and forcing our values on people who don’t understand them and don’t want them, let’s stay away from that, and see how things go. My money is on the probability that things will go reasonably smoothly, and our types of intervention won’t be called for. To this effort, the phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” may be just what the doctor ordered. It’s time to give Peace a chance.