For Thinkers Thinking a Different Way is Possible:
For our thinker topic this coming Monday July 16 we are going to focus on the why’s and where’s of what appears to be a cycle since World War II where this country is almost always engaged in some kind of military something at all times and from the discourse in this national election cycle there appears to be little chance this trend has any hope of ending and if certain people win the battle in November, we may be in several more wars/skirmishes/police actions/humanitarian conflicts, etc. within months of a new administration.
Can we not think or dream of a time where these actions will not be as necessary or maybe not necessary at all. I am glad to see that at least two people have signed up who will bring a neoconservative bent into the room because they would advocate for how ending modern war as we know it is not possible and to think so is pathetic and naive.
If you would like to join the discussion, follow the path below:
To focus the discussion, I would like us to center on six questions (maybe we will get through three of them):
1. There is a great divide in our Thinkers where those with Humanist bents think we can avoid most of these wars and those with a more aggressive pro-American take feel most of these wars are necessary. In the middle are the Libertarians who are at time aggressive and at others isolationist. Is there a happy median between these positions?
2. Looking at the foreign policy attitudes that have pushed us into one problem after the other, do the Humanists think that any of these post-WWII efforts were necessary and do the neoconservatives think any of them were not?
3. Does the argument that we can no longer afford these wars and adventures have any validity and can the cost of an incursion become a major argument against getting involved? One of the great victories for those advocating for actions is that we never consider what something is going to cost or simply hide the costs and borrow everything as we did in Afghanistan and Iraq and frankly anything since the first Gulf War.
4. Since we are past the Cold War and have no obvious huge wars of necessity on the horizon, is it possible that we might consider re-entering an isolationist period where we simply stop policing the world and end our being the military for so many other countries?
5. Since we have entered a post-Cold War era where our great new ‘enemies’ are terrorists mostly of a Muslim bent, can we now start thinking of making our foreign policy centered on keeping an eye on things and only acting when the country is truly threatened? Must we continue to prepare massively for defending ourselves against an enemy that is mostly theoretical and can be monitored?
6. Is there a way to reduce the distance that 98 percent of Americans have with the military and related actions we take on so that a greater portion of the public will have skin in the game and would increase potential advocacy against incursions where the risk is truly limited? Would this best be applied by reintroducing mandatory service that would include a draft or some other strategy?
Please put these notions in your minds and think about them before Monday. I really hope that some who come will have the belief that most of the things asked here are dangerous and naïve because I know most of those coming are like me and really wonder whether a better way is possible. And if you are more enticed by this potential discussion, consider joining us at the link below.