Originally Posted by D-Rose
It's obvious that preventing foreign attacks on American soil is not dependent on how large our military is, but on how strong our intelligence and leadership is.
Do you understand foreign policy at all? Have you any idea beyond military use what makes one successful in negotiating with other nations? I know that many entitlements we give to countries are not justified, but many are far more powerful than any military assault. These are the threads by which our diplomacy is held together. There are two sides to the negotiation, you must give up something to gain allies. Can you imagine where we would be if we didn't give aid to Pakistan after 9/11? Can you imagine a volatile and militarily powerful Pakistan allied with the insurgents right now? Probably not, because our leaders aren't so rash after all.
We are spending about $750 billion a year on our military. The next country? China at $143 billion. Do you want to know why China is rising so fast in the global spectrum without spending even half what we do on defense? Their economy and their power as a lender. International policy is not entirely about diplomacy or military power. These are merely cherries to a much larger cake. The means by which we can have other nations give us what we want and what they wish not to give up is the greatest indication of power. Soft power and Hard power are both flawed in this regard, don't let party ideology define views on this.
The era of mass ground warfare between large and powerful nations is over. We are in the era of nuclear weapons, wake up! It's not like we're going to deploy all of our troops onto a ground assault against Russia or China. These sorts of assertions are ridiculous. These nations for the most part are not even players in the international community in terms of making alliances and entering into the affairs of other countries (for the most part at least). They're more concerned with their internal affairs, such as economics. If there ever was a legitimate war against either of them, it'd involve nuclear weapons. I fully believe that the amount of obstacles and stupidity that exist before that point are so overwhelming, that it won't happen.
But just in case it does...our military spending is already far more than the next greatest nations, our technology is far superior, and our alliances further reaching and more powerful. We're still the indispensable nation in this world, yet we now have to be mindful of the nations that have risen and must use effective policy to work and deal with them.
The post-WWII and Cold War era has taught us that conventional military interventions without substance or direction are the demise of our international power. Vietnam, Iraq II, Afghanistan are prime examples. Some "good" wars have been Iraq I and Korea. Military muscle is proving to be less effective as the years go on. How is it that the most powerful country in the world with the most advanced military technology can not defeat insurgents with limited resources and weaponry? Welcome to the 21st century.
nice, decent and enjoyable read. Though contrary to what I said earlier I would like counter this argument:
In a world of uncertainty that we live in the only currency is power. What is power? is it economics? - yes in part, is it diplomacy? - yes in part or the notion of history and prestige? - yes again. However the real truth is that power lies in violence, the true concept of a nation state relies on the ability to act violently to legitimise power. Thusly, in a world of uncertainty surely increasing the monopoly, of the ability to assert, power through its one true identity:violence is the only way to truly defend yourself.