From the department of “we’re too warlike for some and not nearly warlike enough for others”, Robert Kagan, unsurprisingly, takes the latter view:
The wise men and women of our own time insist that this history is irrelevant. They tell us, when they are not announcing America’s irrevocable decline, that our adversaries are too weak to pose a real threat, even as they pile victory upon victory. Russia is a declining power, they argue. But then, Russia has been declining for 400 years. Can declining powers not wreak havoc? Does it help us to know that, in retrospect, Japan lacked the wealth and power to win the war it started in 1941?
Let us hope that those who urge calm are right, but it is hard to avoid the impression that we have already had our 1931. As we head deeper into our version of the 1930s, we may be quite shocked, just as our forebears were, at how quickly things fall apart.
I would not be surprised at all at “how quickly things fall apart”. What would surprise me is if they were our things.
I think a good portion of the world is in grave danger of falling apart. As I persist in reminding people there is a swathe of territory in the Middle East 3,000 miles wide that comes pre-fallen, another similar swathe in Africa, and others in South America. Or must you have fallen together in order to fall apart?
Whatever the case, if Germany doesn’t find the situation in Ukraine sufficiently urgent to trim its oil and gas trade with Russia and Turkey doesn’t worry enough about the situation in Iraq and Syria to take action, it’s unclear why we should see the situations in those places as much more urgent. I can, however, see why Germany, Turkey, France, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few, not to mention many in the U. S. might want us to see those situations as in extreme need of intervention.