Friday, February 08, 2019

When the United States finally Gives Up

This week's post appears here.

2 comments:

Bozon said...

Professor

Great comparative analysis. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

In looking back, not just to Vietnam and Afghanistan, crusades against somewhat different so called communists or islamist religious radicals, it is striking the contrast with the first half of the 20th Century, when America had been emphatically on the side of global communism, especially first backing the Bolsheviki, and then staying sympathetic to the Soviets all the way until 1945, not merely to partner to defeat the Axis, but for underlying ideological reasons as well.

The suddenness with which this positive attitude, toward the left in general, turned, and morphed into the totally adversarial ideology toward all communism, of the second half of the 20th Century, even given the leftism of the 60s, is one of the staggering features of American political history.

The other staggering feature is the simultaneous total turning away, already after WWI, from any loyalty to the notion of a nation state, even though Americans, from Wilson on down, had praised, encouraged, and promoted, the disintegration of European Empires into their component nation state and colonial parts.

There is nothing particularly consistent about this American history.

Vietnam and Afghanistan represent the further decline of any coherent semblance of an American ideology regarding foreign policy.

But this kind of incoherence had been apparent throughout the 20th Century. It had been built into our system from the beginning really.

All the best,

Ed Boyle said...

I guess no comments yet as we all agree. After 18 years, trillions spent, 3rd empire or 4th, counting Alexander, going down due to overexpansion into this area, should be lesson enough for us but I suppose we never learn. Afghanistan is to the middle east, what russian steppe is to Europe, a tempting outer space conquest. USA conquered all of West to pacific and this made arrogant. Germany and Japan were lkkely extreme limits of power even with most modern technologies. Culture is main problem in conquest. Their culture fits ours well enough. Southeast Asia, Middle East is not a fit. Rome, Brits had limits too.