As one can tell from the demands of and by people who should know better that wars can be won by spying on ourselves, and by all other GOP candidates to increase defense spending, Rand has not come close to convincing the GOP candidates and voters that increasing our military spending is not useful. All the others want to build a bigger DoD and send our men to kill their men – but not to win.
A question in two parts. But context is needed, context ignored by those who support the standard GOP response to anything military: Build a bigger military and send it to fight.
- America – the American taxpayer – defends ALL of the West. Not ONE Western country pays for its defense – you do. This is why our Defense budget is so high.
- America is the ONLY Western nation with above-replacement fertility.
With context, the question:
What is the point?
What is the point in defending a nation – any nation – that doesn’t believe in its own future enough to populate it? We are spending trillions of dollars we don’t have, per decade, keeping free nations who won’t even exist other than geographically in two generations.
Why does this make sense?
Ukraine. Ukraine’s fertility is bad. Russia’s fertility is worse. If Russia re-absorbs Ukraine, no one there, nor their non-existent kids & grandkids will be around to appreciate or object in 40 years. Sending American troops and dollars, spending American lives and treasure, won’t change this fact. Ukraine decided on below-replacement fertility, and chose to give up their own defenses on their own. No one forced these down their throats.
Are you – REALLY – willing to sacrifice your son or daughter, of which you may only have one – for the defense of the borders or people of Ukraine? A nation whose voters already have given-up on their future?
THAT is the context in which must be answered the short-term question of arming Ukraine, or sending American military formations to “show resolve” in the face of an aggressive Russia.
But it also is the context in which must be answered the question: Why are we defending the entire West? For the demographics are the same.
ALL of Europe is in demographic decline, as are Japan, Australia, New Zealand… There are NO nations on earth that vote Left and are not also disappearing demographically. None. (American Blue States are the same; only Red states have above-replacement fertility.)
Although Americans have spent 70 years basking in the glow of a complete victory over two evil ideologies (Imperial Japan, NAZI Germany), the days in which nation-states go to war over ideology may, in fact, be over. The West won, and no one can afford nation-state combat. We lack the bodies.
The context for discussion of the size and scope of the American military has changed. Demanding the same old policies, and expecting the same obeisance to them by other nations of the world – ally or opponent – is ignorant.
When we finally decide to go to war against an ideology at least as evil, radical islam, it will be foolish to send men we cannot replace rather than technologically advanced weapons we can, weapons that are far less expensive and make a far more important political statement while simultaneously annihilating our enemies – which is the entire point of war.
How many future Mozarts, Einsteins, Faulkners and Hemingways are we willing to sacrifice, unknowingly by leaving dead on some sand dune their never-to-be parents, to the ego of politicians who demand we fight but refuse to be serious, or even try to win?
If you decide that there is some “point” to defending nations refusing to defend themselves or raise the necessary children to make doing so worthwhile, the second part of the question:
“For how long?”
Is there an endpoint here?
Does there exist a time at which we can expect other nations to shoulder their own responsibility?
Can we say that there will be a point in the future when the American taxpayer can work for his own nation and family rather than be taxed to pay for the defense of nations that neither need defense (no future) nor want it (if they won’t pay for it, one cannot say they “want” it)?
How will we judge the arrival of that time? How will the international situation differ from now?
What will cause us to make then a decision we refuse to make now?
People need to grasp history. America is the only nation of its kind ever created. Other democracies are just that – democracies. We are a republic, protected by a written Constitution that puts us first – and government as our servant. We have allowed a ruling class to usurp much of this power (and the current hatred by bases of Left and Right of their establishment politicians is beginning to reflect this), but we are in charge around here.
America is a historical anomaly. History shows that dictatorship is the norm. If we keep spending ourselves into fiscal oblivion we, too, one day will awake to a dictatorship demanded by the voters because the bread & circuses both parties have for too long provided – will have run out. And dictatorships follow.
All major empires, reluctant or otherwise, free (Britain) or not (USSR), spent themselves into oblivion. The demand of the GOP defense voter and candidate is that we follow this course.
America has guaranteed the freedom of a Europe wealthy enough to take care of itself since the 1960s, when they had finally recovered from yet another European war. If they haven’t learned to value freedom yet, they never will, so why both continuing their defense?
America has guaranteed the freedom of third-world nations, too, like the Kuwait who immediately began executing apostates as soon as we freed them from Iraq and left town. We paid – and died – for that? If they don’t understand freedom and liberty, what is the point in our paying for it?
At root, the single important issue that GOP voters must face and ask, is this:
What is the point of the American taxpayer sending the results of their labor, and their children, to defend nations refusing even to have a future in which to be free, and for how long must we do this?
And if you think it makes no sense to defend everyone forever – the only candidate out there supporting your view is Rand Paul.