Monday, April 18, 2016

In preventing violence and war between nations, what is skillful? Below is an excerpt from interesting article which, if the conclusions are accurate, portends potentially more wars and dangers of war due to inactions by the US and by Europe. The author argues that US and Europe could have prevented the danger had they acted, and can still take steps to mitigate and counter the war potential and the threats such as those we have recently seen in Georgia, Ukaraine, Syria and elsewhere. Is there any response which we as individuals can take now?

"Though politics, culture and law are the arch of the nation, the keystone without which they cannot hold is defense. For war transforms whole peoples and threatens their sovereignty and national existence more decisively than any other force.

You would hardly know this from the current presidential campaign. Most candidates seem unaware that the prospects of catastrophic war in the not-so-distant future are burgeoning because of a fundamental change in the international system, driven by accelerating adjustments in relative military power.

Russia, China and Iran have been racing ahead, stimulated by a disintegrating Europe that neither spends sufficiently on its defense nor defends its borders; and by an America, strategically blind in the Middle East, that failed to replenish and keep current its military under President George W. Bush, and now surrenders, apologizes, bluffs, “leads from behind,” and denigrates its military capacities and morale as President Obama either embraces enemies or opposes them only with exquisite delicacy.

As the U.S. allows its nuclear forces to stagnate and decay into de facto unilateral disarmament, Russia has been modernizing its own. The Kremlin has added systems, such as road-mobile, intercontinental ballistic missiles with independently targetable re-entry warheads, that we neither have nor envision. In the absence of “soft-power” parity with the U.S., Russia dangerously relies on a permissive nuclear doctrine and promiscuously rattles its atomic sabers. Its nuclear adventurism, naval and land force modernization, unopposed reintroduction into the Middle East, invasion and annexation in Ukraine, and the ability to recapture the Baltic states in an afternoon, are yet another impeachment of “the end of history.”

With little resistance, China incrementally annexes the South China Sea while embarked on a naval buildup inversely proportional to the smallest U.S. fleet since 1916, and further aggravated by China’s ability, once its naval technology matures, to surge production in its 106 major shipyards as opposed to America’s six. More importantly, China is expanding its nuclear forces to what extent we do not know, because the Chinese program’s infrastructure is hidden within 3,000 miles of tunnels largely opaque to U.S. intelligence. As if China were not a major rival, the Obama administration, ever infatuated with accords, has made no effort to include Beijing in a nuclear arms-control regime. Why not?"

From "The Candidates Ignore Rising Military Dangers" by Mark Helprin. For the rest of this article see: