My Cardboard Box

The Perfect War

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The Cold War was perhaps the Perfect War.

What was there not to like? It spawned new jobs and whole new industries. There was plenty of cash available for the universities, for the think tanks, the ‘correct’ government agencies and departments, and industry. There was a nice Golden Square, where one could roll from a job in one area to a ‘vital’ job in another, to yet another job, and so on.

For the Beltway, it didn’t hurt that the money made it through the economy via the political system. There was plenty of political power to distribute, too.

It was a managed-war, where there were semi-implicit ground rules about trading spies and limitations on what level of armed force could be used. It was a time of démarche and detente; negotiated cease fires and withdrawals, diplomatic jousts and tete a tete. There was a sort-of political stability, at least the kind preferred by politicians, diplomats and journalists.

It was also a war of “acceptable losses”; where the dead, although numerous, weren’t American or. if they were, were relatively few in number. There was an ‘understanding’. The dead were generally the spy, the occasional soldier or minor State Department employer. No one of consequence and certainly no one who was or might be useful. Attacks and revolutions could be blamed on culturally and politically marginalized groups (leaving out who was providing the support). With a few exceptions, much of the violence was within real and metaphorical back-alleys.

The Cold War was a popular war: it lasted nearly fifty years.

I think there’s a push to bring back a Cold War, this time with radical Islam. The fatal mistake is assuming that the enemy will be as ‘rational’ as the Soviets were.


Written by PappyBro

July 19, 2010 at 16:20

Posted in National, Politix, WoT

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