Trump’s dangerous America First path: This is how empires crumble
Who lost Vietnam?
This question consumed American policymakers and scholars in the last quarter of the 20th century. Their focus was military: How could the mightiest fighting force in history lose to a third-rate army and some ill-trained guerilla fighters?
But today, with Vietnam a friendly nation and a vibrant economy, the question is worth asking again. Because Vietnam is being lost anew, in both practical and metaphorical terms. We are, unthinkably, losing a different type of battle: President Trump is hollowing out our global economic power.
The measure of global strength in the last century — and in every century prior — was martial. Who had the greatest force of arms: the biggest arsenal, the best ships, tanks, and planes, and the best-trained and equipped troops? This, along with better strategic decision-making (DO NOT, for example, invade Russia during winter) would decide the global order.
But today, the central importance of military strength is fading. Even the United States, the sole global hyperpower, has been unable to decisively defeat insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our military alliances are fraying at the edges — Turkey is an allyonly in the loosest sense — and we have no real military answers to threats like North Korea’s nuclear program or bad behavior like the Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine. Read More
Related news: President Trump to Outline ‘America First’ National Security Strategy. Read More