VDH on ‘Lead from Behind’

“This bipartisan activist policy is coming to a close with the new “lead from behind” policy of the Obama administration. Perhaps America now believes that the United Nations has a better record of preventing or stopping wars — or that the history of the United States suggests we have more often caused rather than solved problems, or that with pressing social needs at home we can no longer afford an activist profile abroad at a time of near financial insolvency.

Yet the reasons for our new isolationism, analogous to early 1914 or 1939, do not matter; all that matters is the reality that lots of bad actors now believe that the United States cannot or will not impede their agendas — and that no one else will in our absence. Americans are rightly tired of the Afghan and Iraq wars. Yet we left no monitoring force in Iraq and are winding down precipitately in Afghanistan, and thus have no guarantees that our decade-long struggle for postwar consensual government will survive in either place.”

Professor Hanson says War Is Like Rust: “War seems to come out of nowhere, like rust that suddenly pops up on iron after a storm.

There are some who deny human nature or have a strong belief that history is no predictor. The denial is often flavored with rationalizations such as the idea that the source of all evil is Western Culture — that gets into an interesting exploration about personal feelings of guilt and how they are expressed.

VDH says “there is no evidence in either human nature or our recorded past to believe such a rosy prognosis.”. The biggest problem seems to be that evidence makes no difference to all too many.

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