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Monday, September 27, 2021

A New Cold War

Silverfiddle Rant!
 The withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Biden administration’s apparent determination to end America’s open-ended wars constitute the final acknowledgment that the post-Cold War era is over. 

We are yet again in a world where for the foreseeable future great power competition and power-balancing will determine winners and losers.
(Andrew Michta - A Bitter Lesson)

Tom McTague, in The Atlantic, states the obvious:
The decision to invite Beijing into the world economic system in 2001 has not led to anything like the more liberal or democratic China that world leaders had envisaged, only a more powerful and more draconian adversary that has grown and grown while the U.S. and its allies (including Britain and Australia) were distracted in the Middle East and Afghanistan. (Atlantic - Joe Biden’s New World Order)
Can we not call it a 'War' this time?
In effect, the U.S. is having to adapt to the new world of Chinese power in order to protect the old “free and open” world of global trade and American supremacy that Washington built after the Second World War.  (Atlantic - Joe Biden’s New World Order)
Economic alliances and quiet, non-bellicose military strength is what this new era calls for. Small-bore military and humanitarian assistance where feasible, while avoiding grand projects.

I support President Biden strengthening our strategic alliances with partners old and new, including the new US-UK-AUS Alliance, which is really just an upgrade of an enduring partnership.  I also think "The Quad" is a good idea:  An informal alliance of the US, Japan, India and Australia. If we can leverage these renewed friendships to build manufacturing and supply chains among friendly nations, to include smaller, poorer nations like Mexico and Central American countries, Vietnam, Indonesian, the Philippines, etc, we will have gone a long way towards limiting China's influence, and doing it in a non-belligerent way that does not risk World War III. 

We Won the Cold War...

...and smashed up alot of the third-world in the process, alienating billions of people who otherwise yearn for the freedoms and economic prosperity we were supposed to be championing.

Can We Learn?

Can we learn from our strategic successes of that era, and update and apply those lessons for this new era?  More importantly, can we learn from our many abuses, failures, human rights violations and destruction of human life?

Can we conduct a quieter fight against terrorists?  

Our special operators know how to do that with a light footprint.  They also know how to partner with friendly governments and help them help themselves.  Can we understand that a 'War on Terror' is folly and can never be won?  It's eternal whack-a-mole, but doing it quietly and smartly can keep the bad guys on their heels, erode their support among the people, and gain us friendship and respect around the world.

Can we be a friend to people everywhere?  

Can we beef up our Peace Corps?  Can we open more consulates and culture centers to put on a friendly and respectful face to nations around the world?  This sounds like hippie-dippie stuff, but it works, especially when good-hearted, culturally-curious and sincere Americans are out in front.

What say you?

See Also:


  1. "Can we beef up our Peace Corps? Can we open more consulates and culture centers to put on a friendly and respectful face to nations around the world? "
    Sure. And we can emphasize being inclusive and affirmative of people who are confused about biology.

    1. Ed... This is an issue missions ppl have been struggling with for years. Do we go to confront culture, or to enter in, understand, learn and then earn the right to be heard on, in the case of the church, the critical issue of Jesus. In the political realm, it might be on support for US geopolitical positions.

      That doesn't mean we affirm what they may be doing that we don't feel we can support, but when we arrive at that point, we work to find a way to stay united, in spite of those differences. We look for ways to differ respectfully with people whose views are different than ours.

      Because that is the only way, whether we are the Peace Corps, or a group of missionaries, to continue to be able to continue our work.

      Because at the end of the day, we are guests in someone else's home.

      This "soft power" works. It may not always sway a corrupt government official, but it does change minds on the street.

      As it relates to both politics, and in my case, Christianity.

    2. Ed, I hear what you're saying, and I think Dave gave an excellent answer

  2. Can we conduct a quieter fight against terrorists?

    We can. In fact, we do it now....it just doesn't get publicized. I'm in favor of a more robust 'lilypad' strategy - positioning quick reaction CT forces on naval ships [ours and allied], in a similar but smaller fashion as the current Marine Expeditionary Units [MEUs].

    Can we beef up our Peace Corps?

    Indeed we should. As Mattis once said [you may remember him, he was once sainted before becoming 'politically incorrect']:

    “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately....So I think it’s a cost-benefit ratio. The more that we put into the State Department’s diplomacy, hopefully the less we have to put into a military budget as we deal with the outcome of an apparent American withdrawal from the international scene"

    The 'war on terror' concept, was a deeply flawed, emotional reaction to being attacked on our home soil.....but the net result of that strategy was far more Americans dead and maimed, far more terrorists intent on harming the U.S. and it's interests....culminating in a series of overseas entanglements that was the desired goal of the terrorists all along.


  3. I think that you missed the big picture entirely. China's acceptance into the Western Neo-Liberal economic world order has not made IT more DEMOCRATIC. It has made our economies more CENTRALIZED, AUTHORITARIAN and likely to be COMMANDED by political leaders so that they can compete with the CCP run Chinese economy. Laissaz-faire is DEAD. Small business is DEAD. And soon we'll all be either corporate/government salaried employee, or wards of the State.

  4. sounds like hippie-dippie stuff, but it works...

    Where? When?

    1. Threaten a neutral person with a punch in the face.

      Invite a neutral person for a cup of coffee.

      Tell us which works better.

    2. So your long blame America tirade was directed at who?

      Back on the planet I live on, we've sent the Navy to help Indonesians after a tsunami. We've sent aid to Iran (of Death to America chanting infamy) after every earthquake they've had since the Islamic Revolution.

      What the devil are you on about?

    3. Preach it to somebody else. I spent a career in the military. I saw the good the bad and the ugly. Of course, we have done an enormous good for the world, including things like keeping shipping lanes open, which no one even thinks about.

      I saw the good, but I also saw the bad and the ugly, much of it I can't talk about. The CIA should be disbanded, for starters.

    4. The CIA should be disbanded because... you say so. You can't rat out / bring scrutiny to anything bad you think you know about because you're the conscientious accomplice lol.

      It would have been more honest for you to admit you're full of shit. Seriously.

    5. Have you read Truman's comments on the CIA? JFK's?

      Have you read the book Legacy of Ashes?

      Most importantly, can you pull your head out and breath some fresh air?

    6. Read this. "Elite" should be in humor quotes


    7. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/15/botched-cia-communications-system-helped-blow-cover-chinese-agents-intelligence/


      If you think Abu Ghraib was just some ding dong soldiers having fun, you need help.

    8. So some captured Fedayeen Saddam rapists and murderers at Abu Ghraib got their tiny peepees laughed at by a girl. Yawn. They should see what Uday and Qusay Hussein looked like after they were dug out the rubble. Not only did Osama bin Laden's body have over a hundred bullet holes in it by the time it got to the USS Carl Vinson from Pakistan, everybody on that carrier that had to urinate at the time did so on his bodybag before it was pitched into the Indian Ocean. So?

      Bomb them, incinerate them, chop and maim them... but by God don't hurt their feelings.


    9. My uncle was in combat against the 48th Vietcong Battalion and hitting their minefields, booby traps, and supply caches around the My Lai villages about a week before they were erased by the US 23rd Infantry. According to him, no innocents were killed there. I have no reason to disbelieve him. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    10. My great uncle Hank was in the battle of the bulge. What's your point?

      I'm not saying don't spy and don't use the military. I'm saying maybe our government could get smart and use them smartly for a change.

    11. The villages of My Lai aren't planting landmines and storing weapons for the Vietcong anymore...

    12. Our military isn't there anymore either. We pulled out in defeat. We lost.

  5. Silver... 2 additional thoughts... your reference to Carlin's Hal Sleet, the hippie dippie weatherman, brought a smile to my face this morning.

    And, regarding our partnership with Australia and the UK, a guy on NPR this weekend noted that the partnership is being labeled AUKUS for Australia, the UK and the US. That is why he said France could not be part of it.

    Because that would make it FAUKUS...

  6. "...especially when good-hearted, culturally-curious and sincere Americans are out in front."
    Who would these people be? Name names.

    1. What a stupid and belligerent comment...

      Everyday people. Have you ever met any Peace Corps people or worker bee level state department workers who staff overseas embassies?

      You may want to pull your head out. Ideological indoctrination is a poor substitute for critical thinking.

    2. I don't see how you evaluate my post as 'ideological'. It may be a pessimistic statement on human nature, but ideological?

      Sure good people exist, but are they now or are they likely to be in a position to improve things?
      Peace Corps people? What can/will they do? How?
      And who coordinates and makes the decisions? Like I said, name names.

    3. That fuzzy unknown is lint in the belly button of the navel gazer.

      Do the Chinese keep ~250k troops in Tibet because they can or because they have to?

      Does America keep ~170k troops around the world because we can or because we have to?

      He has no names, or places.

    4. Ignorant fools who keep on doing what they've always done will continue getting what they've always gotten.

  7. "Can we beef up our Peace Corps? Can we open more consulates and culture centers to put on a friendly and respectful face to nations around the world? "
    And do another replay of the '70s when the CIA infiltrated and caused mischief under the guise of being a peace corps volunteer. The same they did with Anthropology, and they played one and we got kicked out of country after country.Been there, saw that.

    1. Yeah sure. The CIA should leave a mint on the pillow the savages

    2. I don't know what you're trying to accomplish, but your desperate competition with Ducky for keyboard tough guy just comes off as pathetic.

    3. I'm sorry I've risked your life under threat from CIA Black Ops teams prowling the internets for Chair Force pilots who know too much

    4. There you go again...

      BTW, I wasn't a pilot