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Wed May 16, 2012, 10:24 AM

 

Why America is Doomed to One Disaster After Another [View all]

The Steering Wheel is Stuck

by GABRIEL KOLKO

The United States has been on the wrong track in terms of what it can attain. It still regards itself as having abilities which the events of the past century–wars, political crisis, and the like— have shown are beyond its or any country’s– power to control. America is having a very hard time being a “normal” nation that recognizes the limits and nature of its power. It is spending immense sums of money to be able to attain goals beyond its capacity.

Those in power have as much reason to be pessimistic, and many of them have been for a long time. The U.S.. fights wars–almost compulsively. Grandiose visions of American power in the world leads them to intervene in places all over the globe, but so far it has lost many of its adventures, including full-scale wars, like Vietnam, and has virtually bankrupted the United States in the process. There is no correlation between expenditures, firepower or numerical superiority of manpower or materiel. The result is that growing numbers in the Defense establishment are increasingly frustrated with a very expensive system that fails to deliver the results promised.

People on the Left are not the only ones who are disappointed or believe the future looks dismal. The system is not working as it’s supposed to. It simply doesn’t function as those in power hoped it would, and they have infinitely more resources at their command than Leftists. Their failure is more interesting; they have power but cannot attain their goals, and there are many reasons for it. Moreover, they are increasingly acknowledging this. Most believers in the status quo are still blind to their failure, and I am discussing a small minority. But there are many reasons the existing system is not attaining its goals, and they should be recognized even if this system is not likely to fall soon.

The problem is that no nation—the U. S. included– is able to rule the entire world, which is simply too big, and there are limits to any nation’s power. Poorer, underdeveloped countries, where militarily important resources are decentralized and where enemies take advantage of this fact, are very difficult to defeat. Americas rulers, whether Republicans or Democrats, much less the Pentagon, simply refuse to acknowledge this fact. Only unquestioning, gung-ho types are promoted in the American military leadership, and so they repeat past errors and ask no fundamental questions.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/14/why-america-is-doomed-to-one-disaster-after-another/


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