Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The value of concurrent war
May 1 2003 began the U.S. Led invasion of Iraq.
We're still there. That's 6 years of current war in the 21 st century. Add to that the time we've been in Afghanistan, since 2001.
That's concurrent war. Why have one when we can have 2 for twice the price?
Should we be pauperized by wars, our business and prerogatives become everybody else's business as it will be they and not us calling the shots going forward from such an event.
Is there any way Canada or The United Kingdom would spend down hard won assets that have accrued the last quarter century in such a manner as we have done since the end of our last big war's wind down in Viet Nam? How about Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, pick a likely country, please? We're told there exists a "Just war theory" which is interesting and can be found on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. For the benefit of those who've never heard of it depending on who you talk to Just war theory consists of two to three parts.
Is the war cause the defense of greater human values? (War would become the virtue here.)
Can it be waged without the cost of greater losses than gains in these regards?
Can it be ended with a restoration of the values imperiled which caused the war in the first place? Notice how in the opening, mid game and end game the values and virtues change criteria. There's no denying this. This realization leads to an all important question.
If the values and virtues in a just war keep changing, how do we know by the end of the war if the war accomplished what we set out to do in the first place? In other words how is war different from any other task which comes to the awareness of the human being? For instance, suppose next weekend we all decide to have a barbecue. The goal is a cook out with friends and family. That's the value. The virtue to accomplish the desired thing, would be the tasks leading up to the cook out. If in the middle of the week we find that the weekend is going to be raining, it's decided that we'd all rather spend the weekend in Las Vegas. This new value brings with it a different means or virtue to make it so involving air travel due to the time window we have chosen to get out of town, party and arrive back for business by Monday morning. (Presidential administrations also have a 2 term limitation to fight a Just... let us say well defined or definitive war. Beyond that they will be viewed historically as having promulgated at best an ill conceived war, at worst an unjust war.) Back to our little trip- We'll end up spending much more money for the Las Vegas trip (potentially ill conceived) than the cook out, due both to the change of venue as well as the virtue or means to realize the value, our trip- unless one of us can get some cheap air line tickets.
Well, it could be similarly argued Mr. Richard Cheney got the Bush Administration some expedited no bid Haliburton contracts ("time is money" after all) to rebuild infrastructure in the Persian Gulf theater of war.
The problem with this barbecue / Las Vegas trip vs. war analogy would be that while having a barbecue or a Las Vegas trip or both would depend on private funds, war spends public funds out of future earnings which pretty much ends any rational aspirations towards a peace dividend for Americans now, and in the foreseeable future . The hole we have dug operating-... that is to say- the virtue of fighting 2 concurrent war venues with multiple fronts has created it's own economic itinerary which entails the value or goal; pauperization of the United States!