America’s Empire and Endless Wars Are Destroying the World, and Ruining Our Great Country
“The credo asserts a claim, and out of that claim comes a demand that the United States be able to exercise certain prerogatives. The second piece of the Washington Rules I label the sacred trinity, core principles that define the way we conceive of and use our military power. The elements of the sacred trinity are the following: first of all, a demand that the United States exclusively maintain a global military presence; second, the practice of configuring US forces not to defend the country, but so that they can serve as instruments of power projection; and then finally, to combine that global presence with those global power projection capabilities to support a policy of global interventionism.
This sacred trinity is really what distinguishes the United States’ military power. The Brits at one time had a dominant battle fleet; France in the time of Napoleon had a people in arms; what we have is the sacred trinity. And, to emphasize what I think is the key point, it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.”
“I think the short version goes like this. When the national security consensus was forged in the wake of WWII and the Washington Rules came into existence, they were not entirely irrational. I think you can make a strong case that American leadership and American military power were necessary in order to try to deal with the wreckage left behind by the war, to help to rebuild the liberal democratic world in order to resist the ambitions of Joseph Stalin. But the world that existed at the end of the 1940s no longer exists today, yet people in Washington tend to act as if the world has not changed at all.
So where did things go wrong? Things went wrong when the institutions — the Pentagon, the CIA, components of the military industrial complex — came to value the Washington Rules because they were good for the institutions, and gradually lost sight of the extent to which adhering to this national security consensus was good or not good for the nation itself.
Let’s get specific here. In the wake of WWII, our global military presence first took shape in Western Europe and Japan, and it was probably necessary in the near term. That presence abroad contributed to our safety and our wellbeing. But fast-forward to the post-Cold War period and our increasing military presence in places like the greater Middle East. You’d have to be crazy to think that the American military presence in Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War, in Iraq after 2003, or in Afghanistan ever since 9/11, contributes to stability and security. That presence abroad actually enhances anti-Americanism and creates greater instability, but the Pentagon, committed to the proposition that we need to maintain this global military presence, is blind to the down side.”
I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.