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War Is Like Rust

LynRobison Wrote: Jan 31, 2013 1:23 PM
The sad truth is that with $16 trillion in sovereign debt and another $200 trillion in unfunded financial obligations, we can not afford our superpower status. Do you realize how much a trillion is? It is a million million. And the federal government is in the hole for 216 of those, and still digging. The only way for the US government to get hundreds of trillions of dollars it needs is to print them. And that won't work for very long, because it will destroy the value of the US dollar. So, what makes you think we can maintain our superpower status?
Troglodite Wrote: Jan 31, 2013 5:13 PM

There is no question that Russia is making a comeback, that Chinese power is growing, and that Iran is likely to be very significant regional power (if not more) within a generation. Short of pre-emptive war against at least two major nuclear powers, we cannot even try to ensure that we will be the ONLY superpower. On the other hand, our sovereign debt need not, in theory, prevent from being ONE of the superpowers. It is well to recall that, in 1789, France was broke; fifteen years later, it bestrode Europe like a colossus. While I do NOT recommend that we imitate Napoleon's France, the point is worth remembering.
LynRobison Wrote: Jan 31, 2013 4:54 PM
Do you think we don't get to decide that?

We don't get to "choose" whether or not to maintain our superpower status. That choice will be forced upon us. Our massive sovereign debts will prevent us from continuing to be the world's only superpower.
Troglodite Wrote: Jan 31, 2013 3:57 PM
Between 1919 and 1945, Britain could afford to give us its superpower status because the U.S. was there to take over. For us now, there is no more or less friendly successor waiting in the wings. If we decide to give up our superpower status, we may find that the results, in money and blood,are more expensive than keeping it would have been.

War seems to come out of nowhere, like rust that suddenly pops up on iron after a storm.

Throughout history, we have seen that war can sometimes be avoided or postponed, or its effects mitigated -- usually through a balance of power, alliances and deterrence rather than supranational collective agencies. But it never seems to go away entirely.

Just as otherwise lawful suburbanites might slug it out over silly driveway boundaries, or trivial road rage can escalate into shooting violence, so nations and factions can whip themselves up to go to war -- consider 1861, 1914 or 1939. Often, the pretexts...

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