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Why Washington Can’t Stop
Posted on Oct 24, 2013
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch
It’s clear we’re entering a new period in terms of American war making. Call it the era of tiny wars, or micro-conflicts, especially in the tribal backlands of the planet.
So something is indeed changing in response to military failure, but what’s not changing is Washington’s preference for war as the option of choice, often of first resort. What’s not changing is the thought that, if you can just get your strategy and tactics readjusted correctly, force will work. (Recently, Washington was only saved from plunging into another predictable military disaster in Syria by an offhand comment of Secretary of State John Kerry and the timely intervention of Russian President Vladimir Putin.)
What our leaders don’t get is the most basic, practical fact of our moment: war simply doesn’t work, not big, not micro—not for Washington. A superpower at war in the distant reaches of this planet is no longer a superpower ascendant but one with problems.
The U.S. military may be a destabilization machine. It may be a blowback machine. What it’s not is a policymaking or enforcement machine.
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[Note: A deep bow of thanks to Nick Turse for his continuing help and, above all, inspiration.]
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Copyright 2013 Tom Engelhardt
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