“Make Peace Not War” Is A Stupid Phrase
As historians have documented, the history of mankind is a lineage of war and conquest punctuated with periods of rest until the next outbreak of conflict. Smart people wisely use the periods of rest to prepare for their upcoming attack on others or defending against an attack on them.
From Max Booth’s column “Are we the Mongols of the Information Age?”:
GREAT POWERS cease to be great for many reasons. In addition to the causes frequently debated — economics, culture, disease, geography — there is an overarching trend. Over the last 500 years, the fate of nations has been increasingly tied to their success, or lack thereof, in harnessing revolutions in military affairs.
These are periods of momentous change when new technologies combine with enw doctrines and new forms of organization to transform not only the face of battle but also the nature of the state and of the international system. Because we are in the middle of the fourth major revolution since 1500 — the Information Revolution — it is important to grasp the nature and consequences of these upheavals.
But if history teaches any lesson, it is that no military lead is ever safe. Challengers will always find a way to copy or buy the best weapons systems or develop tactics that will offset their effect. Our most formidable enemies, Al Qaeda and its ilk, have done both. They are using relatively simple information technology — the Internet, satellite television, cellphones — to organize a global insurgency. By using such weapons as hijacked airliners and bombs detonated by garage-door openers, they are finding cracks in our defenses.
The most threatening weapon of all harks back to an earlier military revolution. Nuclear bombs haven't been used since 1945, but given their proliferation around the world, it will only be a matter of time. Our scientific sophistication gives us a reasonable chance of shooting down a nuclear-tipped missile, but a nuclear suitcase smuggled into the U.S. would be much harder to detect.
It may sound melodramatic, but the future of U.S. power rests on our ability to remake a government still structured for Industrial Age warfare to do battle with decentralized adversaries in the Information Age. After all, aren't we the mightiest, richest nation in history? How could our hegemony possibly be endangered? That's what previous superpowers thought too. But their dominance lasted only until they missed a revolutionary turn in military technology and tactics.
No matter how much you may wish for it, peace will never occur because you want it. That’s because peace is determined upon someone else deciding not to attack you. And, you have very little ability to influence that decision unless you so terrify them that they are afraid to attack you. To survive you must carry a big stick and not be afraid to use it when threatened. That goes for the individual negotiating the mean streets and for nations as well.
Each time I see a bumper sticker or see a placard advocating “Make Peace Not War” I know that I’ve once again seen the words of a defeatist; someone well meaning perhaps, but not someone who is sheepdog material. In case you did not know, sheepdogs are the protectors of the people.
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