Monday, 2 October 2017

War And Modern Countries

As far as I can tell, war and the use of weapons are becoming increasingly irrelevant, in the interactions among "1st tier" governments.

In a world where even a borderline failed state like North Korea can manage to build nuclear weapons, and their necessary delivery systems, it becomes evident that every developed country worth the name can develop its own, if somehow pressed to do so.

So, one nation "flexing muscles" to impress an opponent is either meaningless, as this opponent already has a treaty with a nuclear power, or risks bring the "weaker opponent" to chase its own nuclear deterrent.

It is likely what it is going to happen, if ever the Washington had to falter in its support to Seoul or Tokyo because of Pyongyang  developing ICBM.

It should not happen - after all, it is not like the citizen of the U.S. existence has never been imperilled by their country standing against the ambitions of another nuclear power bur, it is also true that DJT is not - by a far cry - the average US president.

In an ideal world, the situation would prompt someone to recognize that the era of the nation-states must come to its end, before it is too late.

Unfortunately, rationality has never been humanity's forte, so we won't see the U.N. become the kind of global, democratically elected world government - with an independent army and police force, able to tackle successfully any unruly "big player" - that would be needed.

On the other side of the spectrum, wars is becoming increasingly useless when it comes to bridle "underdog" countries.

Afghanistan may be a particular case, as "The Graveyard of Empires" has managed to swallow, chew and spit everything three different superpowers have tried to send there to "pacificate" the rebels over the last couple of centuries.

But Iraq seems evolving in a not much different way, for the U.S.

And while Russia may be enjoying the annexation of Crimea without getting too much fuss, it is not completely impossible that - in twenty years - Putin's successors will have to count it as a source of terrorists and troublemakers, a shit-hole that "Vlad the Great" ought to have let out of the great Russia.

God knows how many British prime ministers have not thought the same of North Ireland.

Also, we must remember that in modern days, war has gotten extremely democratic.

Two thousand years ago, the Romans controlled their empire with something like twenty thousand men... then again, in an era when no layman had access to weapons, or the training to use them profitably, the Roman soldier was a professional that spent most of his waking hours preparing to disembowel someone else.

Before you dismiss this, now imagine yourself going against - armed only with hands and maybe some agricultural tool - your city's best karate practitioner, who happen to also hold a well balanced, double edge sword that is just quite good at point throws as it is slashing flesh in forward and backhands, and is also flanked on either of his sides by the 2nd and third ranked karateka.

All similarly armed, and all that have spent the better part of their formative years learning how to fight as a combat group. Personally, I can imagine myself running away fast by such a group.

Until the advent of firearms, professionals of war were on an  entirely different level than the one on whom civilians turned rioters could operate.

The latter could hardly prove to be little more than a nuisance to the firsts.

But that was the past, before the age of practically usable guns .

Today a ten year old toddler, hidden in a hole with a Kalashnikov and minimum training, can kill the average soldier all the same, even when this latter is a well trained and well equipped member of the most advanced army on the planet.

If you happen to be someone that has spent some time in a place where this kind of asymmetric war is going on - glad that you made it back, [wo]man - you probably can tell it better than me.

Even worse, in most cases the ones sending the child to his - or her - death have less to worry about losing political support, due to the loss of lives, than the four-stars general commanding the advanced country's army.

So, when I hear a politician speaking about using the army as a tool to solve problems, I always think that I am hearing a stupid talking.

Armies are unfortunately necessary, because time and again history has proved that there are no limits to the god-awful stupid choices that politicians make, often just as diversion from actual, pressing home issues and problems that they do not have any idea how to solve (the Argentine Junta invading the Falklands to distract the country from a failing economic policy in the eighties, Clinton bombing a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory to distract from Lewinsky in the nineties, Italy building its "Empire" to "solve" its overpopulation problem in the '10-20s, that whole horrible mess of WWII).

Nobody knows what a lunatic of an ass-hole may reach power in a neighbour, and try to attack them.

So, armies are needed - as a precaution.

But, to use them actively?
To obtain diplomatic results?

That time is coming to an end, if it has not already passed. 

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