16 October 2016

The Costs and Dangers of Militarism

There is an ongoing debate in ruling class circles over the question of conscription. In recent years the Neo-Conservative wing led by figures like Donald Rumsfeld wanted a light and flexible volunteer force highly reliant on technology and sophisticated weaponry.

Sadly (for them) this was also combined with a commitment to unilateralist thinking leading to an over-taxing of US military resources. By the end of the Bush administration the US military was almost broken.

Obama though criticised for being 'weak' has sought to employ national and paramilitary proxies and has increased the usage of drone technology. Ostensibly a 'peace' president when elected, his administration has been marked by militarism, warmongering and ironically has more or less perpetuated the same geopolitical agenda envisioned by the Neo-conservatives... albeit in slightly different form.

It is all too clear the US Establishment is pushing toward further confrontation with both China and Russia. The inclusion of India as a frontline state in America's 'Pivot to Asia' policy directed against China is already being played out in the tense brinkmanship taking place in Kashmir. The conflict could easily explode into a regional if not a global conflagration.

The US is aggressively seeking to increase its military footprint in Asia and even now is conducting military exercises with the nations of the region. Preparations are being made for war and confrontation with both China and Russia.

While American politicians decry the so-called decimation of the US military it is still far and away the most powerful in the history of the world and (all things considered) outspends the rest of the world combined.

But if the United States is going to continue pursuing the policy of global hegemony more troops will be required and military spending will likely increase. It seems all but inevitable that at some point conscription will be reintroduced.

The fact that it is being discussed at institutions such as The Atlantic Council is indicative that it's becoming a viable option.

This is something to seriously consider as registering with Selective Service is virtually a requirement for any male seeking to attend university in the US. Soon it may include women as well.

It is of course the law of the land and yet realistically if one isn't seeking government-backed loans and/or a civil service job, one can get by without registering.

So first there's the ethics regarding the legal issue and whether or not a Christian should obey. Secondly there's the issue of what to do if conscripted.

If New Testament Christians take a stand and refuse to participate the social costs may prove high.

It's very much on my mind as I am a father to several teenagers.

Like Rome, the US will ultimately crumble from within. The US is on a course to bankrupt itself and faces a likely implosion. And yet the path to that point is likely to be an ugly one. If I had the means I would certainly leave this country. I would have left many years ago. I have no desire to live in this culture and frankly I would rather be part of the Church outside the American context. I fear there are dark days ahead for the United States and I think the darkness has already descended on the Church, though few see it.

Eventually the media's defense of the Establishment will fail and the divisions created by identity politics and warmongering spin will cease to be effective. It is at that point that the Establishment will be in danger from domestic forces. This is known and thus imperialism is being utilised both for geostrategic and economic reasons, but it also serves to suppress the forces of domestic dissent. The generation that resisted Vietnam has reached old age and many of them have capitulated to the US system and abandoned the values they once held.

The Clintons are perhaps the epitome of their generation's concession and compromise with the corrupting influences of the Capitalist (and thus Imperialist) culture they once resisted. So many 60's activists started bourgeois and in the end like dogs they returned to their vomit. Of course in the case of the Clintons they abandoned even their middle-class values and joined the elite.

** For anyone interested I must once more recommend Chalmers Johnson's Empire Trilogy. In this case, the final volume 'Nemesis' in particular deals with US militarism and its role in bringing about the empire's collapse.

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