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William Lind (note: this link is to an archive of writings all on a single web page, search for #239. The entire archive is worth reading if you want to understand 4th generation conflict) points out in “On War #239” that long wars cause a society to decay. Here are a few points he makes. Much of this is not politically correct so it is likely actually correct.

  • Sun Tzu said it succinctly: “There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.” Acceptance by any Presidential candidate of a “long war” or “persistent conflict” is an admission of grand strategic imbecility. Which, just possibly, ought not be the highest qualification for public office, all appearances notwithstanding.
  • The “Long War” is a term for the conflict that began in 1914 with the First World War and concluded in 1990 with the end of the Cold War. The Long War embraces the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the War in Vietnam and the Cold War.
  • In 1914, America was a republic with a small federal government, a self-reliant citizenry, growing industry, an expanding middle class, an uplifting culture and exemplary morals. By 1990 and the end of that long war, we had become a tawdry and increasingly resented world empire with a vast, endlessly intrusive federal government, a population of willingly manipulated consumers, shrinking industry, a vanishing middle class, a debauched culture and morals that would shame a self-respecting stoat.
  • Where will another long war leave us? We need not speculate at random. The Newspeak “Patriot Act,” a plunging dollar, $2 trillion for one lost war and the devil knows how much for a second, a flood of Third World immigrants and cultural Marxism rampant in the highest places all point to the answer. What’s left of America won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit, or however you say that in Spanish.
  • A long war, or “persistent conflict,” is not inevitable. It is ours only if we choose it. There are alternatives. A defensive, rather than an offensive, grand strategy is one. Closing our borders and minding our own goddam business is another. Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan, wherever can stew in their own heathen juice.