As the world’s Great Powers re-orient themselves following the major geopolitical occurrences of the post-Soviet world – the rise of Islamists and the utter and complete failure of America and the West to deal with this rise — it is interesting to watch the strategies of the once-and future Great Powers. What Powers will be willing to take what measures appropriate to the threats they perceive to a world order that benefits themselves? Which Powers will not – and so fade from the stage as no longer important to the functioning of the planet and its peoples?
Who are the Great Powers of the coming Century? Easy: Russia, China, India.
Who are no longer Great Powers due to their unwillingness to understand and deal with the world as it is? What former Great Powers are not acting as adults policing their domestic responsibilities – through sane budgets and stable and valuable currencies, or their international responsibilities – by remaining stable and reliable senior partners in world conflict?
America, Europe (the EU generally, but any of the formerly powerful European countries: France, Germany, Britain).
The world is not Western. Multiculturalists demand that we recognize it is not – and at the same time demand that we treat others with Western conceits.
The world does not believe in equal rights, in turning the other cheek, giving the other guy the benefit of the doubt, supporting the underdog, hoping against history that the other guy will grow up and reach a common understanding of “universal” human rights and values in a timeframe that magically fits a Westerner’s preconceptions. Only the West believes this – and it is the reason the West is in decline and the reason the West will die unless adults begin to govern.
Not a single Western country of moment currently has adults in-charge. The most powerful Western country, the most powerful country in history, the country truly indispensable to the West, also is the country most governed by childish fantasies: America.
Those aggressive countries which never have been nor will ever be Great Powers (North Korea, Iran, Venezuela), are rattling sabers, making noises and moving – or not – toward confrontation with the Great Powers who will dominate the globe. These countries will be dealt with by the reigning Great Powers as soon as their actions bother those Powers and their interests enough to warrant the time and money necessary to deal with them. The confrontations will be brief and brutal – but leave the people of the rest of the world – billions of people, by the way – better off more quickly than the weak and failed ways in which America and Europe have insisted on dealing with problems for the past several decades… basically since the union- (mal-)educated Baby Boomers took the stage.
Bad actors – those countries and failed states providing no positive value to the economic or trade structure of the world, or to their own citizens, but able to disrupt citizens across the world, ensuring a lack of progress for some large portion of the planet’s population for some time – include Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the MidEast generally (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen), likely also will be dealt with by the Great Powers at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner. Any conflict between the reigning Great Powers and these bad actors will be just as Hobbes described life in the natural world: nasty, brutish and short… just as Russia has just announced.
Israel will likely be forced to act as a Great Power in her own defense – by brutally attacking Iran, a bad actor wishing Israel’s destruction and quickly building (with Western acquiescence) the means to accomplish it. How the Great Powers will respond to this coming Israeli attack is an unknown. It is this unknown, more than anything else, which has kept Israeli nukes in their bunkers this long – but not much longer.
The shorter the conflict, the fewer people die and the more quickly life gets back to normal and moves forward. The incessant and appallingly childish Western view that a long, drawn-out counterinsurgency is a good thing in any way shape or form is so utterly ahistorical that it beggars belief.
Patton – the most aggressive commander in the largest war in history – moved more men farther, faster and with fewer losses – to BOTH SIDES – than any commander in history. The result? Peace in Europe. Truman nuked Hiroshima and Japan. The result? Far fewer lives lost in two instants than would otherwise have been lost in what was being planned as a war that would continue until at least 1949 – four YEARS longer than it ultimately took. And a Japan at peace and a stable ally of America.
There will be a cost to create a more peaceful, stable world in which civilians can move about in peace with no thought of suicide bombers or rocket attacks intent on indiscriminate killing to regress civilization 1400 years. This cost may be – likely will be – a hundred thousand or more killed in nuclear strikes on Al Qaeda and the Taliban, perhaps on Iran’s nuclear facilities, as well.
An America unwilling to accept that cost, willing, instead to let Russia, India, or even China accept what likely is a necessary cost, cannot expect to sit at the table following these necessary actions. An America unwilling to accept that with Great Power status comes great responsibility has no reason to expect to be listened to by five billion people on the planet who desire peace and a modern future.
Russia has just defined her way of dealing with bad actors when necessary, doing so as the American Secretary of State was departing Russia, unable to secure a meeting with the Russian President even following the craven surrender by Obama of the futures of Poland and the Czech Republic to the designs of Russia. By so doing, Putin made it crystal clear that the Great Power view of America is as a has-been, declining power, not someone to be reckoned with as the world re-structures.
Ten years hence an America deeply in debt, whose currency no one will buy or hold, enfeebled by the coming decade of worship of the failed policies of socialism (which has always failed and always left poverty in its wake), could be a broken country, a failure of historic proportions to its citizens, and to the people of the world who counted on good decisions, historical and global awareness, sound economic, tax and foreign policies, but who instead were disappointed by the mal-educated, utterly spoiled Baby Boomers with NO grasp whatsoever of the world beyond the crib they refused to outgrow.
Too bad. The world has been generally at peace for the 70 years of American hegemony ushered in by Truman, Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur, Nimitz. And now billions will pay the price of the infantile Boomers and those they have elected to enfeeble an America whose success somehow embarrassed those Boomers at the same time they demanded everyone else in the world treat its citizens, children, women, environment, the same way that only a country of enormous wealth, privilege and uniquely Western philosophical underpinnings – America – actually could.
America consciously chose to squander her wealth of Western philosophy, capitalism, liberty and freedom of which they were so ashamed.
It is not too late to turn this around. It is not too late to grow-up and deal with the world as it is. But we need adults in charge. We need Democrats and Republicans thrown out of office. We need as President an independent, historically-aware adult.