Monday, January 21, 2008

Self-serving, short-sighted, dangerous, and stupid
The five commanders argue that the west's values and way of life are under threat, but the west is struggling to summon the will to defend them.
The west does not have a history of defending the expression of what it considers western values when those expressions are made by people who live beyond its borders. Some would say that the west has defended authoritarianism on the perimeter only to defend democracy at home, but those arguments refer only to the post-war era and the record itself shows otherwise.

Democracy is expanding but those who fight for it are not often happy with the west -they have no reason to be- and China is as much a danger to itself as to any other country -we all breathe the same air. But Chinese expansionism is economic and not military and our famous western values would proclaim that there's a difference between the two.
I worry about Pakistan and Russia for very specific reasons, but the generals are vague. I'm sure they believe every word they say as I'm sure they did 30 years ago, but that wasn't enough then either.
Rationalism is formal logic overlaying sensibility; sensibilities -Modalities- are foundational to human action. Soldiers in some countries have been trained to defend defend democracy but military rationalism is anti-democratic. Never trust a soldier to defend democracy out of anything more than a sense of duty to his government.
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From Michael Froomkin:
"The United States of America spends 56% of total government military spending on Planet Earth."

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