Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, May 20, 2007

On the Cold Warrior Mindset

Allow me to quote myself:

Whether you buy into the whole package or, as the author invites, take a dish or two from the "buffet" John Robb presents yet another cogent and imperative plea to the US political and military establishment: Think outside the strategic confines of the cold war.

I wrote that in my "review" of John Robb's "Brave New War." No doubt the need for a change of strategy regarding the political and military establishments is needed post haste. But what of the mainstream media? As Mark writes at Zenpundit the mainstream media is catching on to the ideas bounced around in both the literary and online world. Further evidence can be found here where David Brooks reflects on John Robb's BNW. Good news no doubt.

But what of the "Average Joe?"

In establishing the position "War Czar" the Bush administration has broken rank with the conventional post WWII ideology of "defense." In effect President Bush has effectively brought back the ideology of the Secretary of War in which the massive martial power of the US is, in a most Clauswitzian fashion, an paramount instrument of foreign policy. Should the US not entertain an isolationist approach beyond G. W. Bush it will likely entertain a Barnettesian approach of flattening offending regimes and rebuilding. This strategy will require something of a reverse negative of traditional warfare in that the US forces are so capable that the initial offensive will require mere weeks. The residual effort will require a long term commitment which entails years as rebuilding takes place. That's the long story short. My concern is:

How can a mentally hyperactive populace such as America be convinced to support a long term rebuilding effort beyond their borders? Is the American citizen prepared for the prospect of the long term approach of both counter-insurgency and societal rebuilding? Can the average American accept a few weeks of Shock and Awe and a few years (perhaps a decade) of both counter insurgent efforts and rebuilding efforts?

The effects of the Iraq war suggest no. The American public is very comfortable with the short term kinetic approach but not at all willing to accept the long term prospect of both COIN and rebuilding. If America is to forge beyond the Cold War ideological confines an effort must be made to transform the conventional "now, now" approach that most American's entertain to a much more patient and long range thought process.


Purpleslog said...

Any thoughts on how to go about doing this?

Jay@Soob said...

Excellent question. I have many thoughts on how to realize what is, in my opinion, paramount to the grand strategy of the US for the next century. They range from the completely ridiculous and half-joking (ban reality television) to the theoretical (wage a 5GW campaign on our own populace) to the more mundane and realistic (start with the currently out of control educational system.) Give me a few days and I'll put together a post. Thanks for swinging by!

Purpleslog said...

I look forward to it. The 5GW thing and ed system reform is what I have been thinking of.