Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Iranians are right

This guy makes a very important (though I thought obvious?) point: The US can't get involved in anything militarily anywhere in the world for a long while.

Maybe I'm enough of a dork to have played enough sim civilization games for this to be obvious, but one's economy can only produce military potential at a given rate. And one can make short term moves to translate economic power into military power, but, over the long run, that'll only destroy an economy.

And staying out of wars, but stockpiling war-making potential makes one a big threat. No one wants to be the first one you target. But once you get involved with one fight, once the stockpile of war making potential (public will, material, human resources, morale) has been drained, one is no longer formidable.

Would Russia be poking NATO defenses with its bombers if the US weren't totally mired in Iraq and Afghanistan? I doubt it. I have three little brothers. I can tell you the time to raid the cookie jar is when mom's changing a little one's diaper. Distract, divide attention. Some of us may get caught, but not all of us, if we all act up at once.

The US gets to be world cop not by fighting wars, but by being capable of fighting wars, but not actually fighting any. It's that last bit, the not actually fighting any, which is key. You're scary with millions of bullets to fire. Fire them all, and no longer so scary.

If anything, I'd rather see us intervene in Burma. I'd love to let our Marines really fight for democracy, like I think they really want to. Help some folks who need help. But when we're stuck in Iraq, we lose our military capacity to do genuine good.