I just read Tom Engelhardt's latest most enlightening TomDispatch article, "Disaster on Autopilot" where he outlines the various militaristic responses by the U.S. and the concomitant calamity these actions have wrought.
As he says, "the more dominant the U.S. military becomes in its ability to destroy and the more its forces are spread across the globe, the more defeats and semi-defeats pile up, the more missteps and mistakes grow, the more the strains show, the more the suicides rise, the more the nations treasure disappears down a black hole." With the demise of the Soviet Union, the U.S. is "A great power without a significant enemy".
Yet" in response to all this, the more moves the Pentagon makes with all the bases, elite forces, private armies, drones, aircraft carriers, wars, conflicts, strikes, interventions and clandestine operations, despite the labyrinth of intelligence bureaucracy"nothing seems to work out in an imperially satisfying way." Instead of the "glorious dream" it's an ever expanding imperial nightmare."
To "explain it as you will, humanity had been inoculated against the imposition of imperial power and rejected it whenever and wherever applied."
Even "after the last decades of military failures, standoffs and frustrations, you might think that this would be apparent to Washington"that the limits of its power increasingly evident"with military power proven a bust again and again, yet our policymakers have come to rely ever more completely on a military-first response to global problems."
Washington, it seems, now has only one mode of thought and action, no matter who is at the helm"directly or indirectly, openly or clandestinely, it's the application of military force operating on some kind of autopilot".
The questions arising in this readers mind were, "Where are the adults, those world wise men and women whose experience and intelligence comes to the fore, able to clearly see what is happening and with the ability to act forthrightly to bring us back from the precipice?" And "has the military/industrial/political complex become so inexorable, so entrenched as to be beyond our control to rein in"?
Engelhardt described it as "the equivalent of Tourette's Syndrome", like involuntary tics "that happen because they can't help but happen and can evidently no longer be altered. In other words they can't help themselves."
He concludes, It is "the only logical conclusion in a world where it has become ever less imaginable to do the obvious, which is far less or nothing at all. What remains is, of course, a self evident formula for disaster on autopilot. But don't tell Washington. It won't matter. Its denizens can't take it in".