What Will “Strategic” Mean in Our Children’s Lifetime?

“High-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles pre-pared and stored
by the 2d Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Brigade, stand ready at
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.” (Photo by Galen Putnam, 402d AFSB Public Affairs)
(From “Commanding an Army Field Support Battalion” by Lieutenant Colonel
Michael T. Wright, Army Sustainment, March-April 2012)

We are likely to wake up some day and realize that we have succeeded in evolving our economy away from fossil fuels — toward a zero carbon economy — and that means our “interests” in the Middle East will no longer be so strategic any more.

What will be strategic then?

Despite the temptation to name some other part of the world — to pivot to the idea that now China is where we need to be in control — perhaps the answer is: “strategic” will no longer have to do with how much stuff we can get, but with how successful we can be at spending less.

This leads me to wonder: will the next revolution lie in reining in the out-of-control network of U.S. military bases around the world?

U.S. Military Bases
Posted 24th October 2012 by Toni Nicolle

Just like a family that has extra rooms in its house which inevitably become filled with stuff, the U.S. has thousands of bases — here, there, and everywhere — that inevitably create the “need” to spend.

It’s a very Zen idea — that perhaps the most impactful thing we, as a nation, could “do” is to “do” less.

But perhaps it’s necessary to explore. Perhaps we have gotten caught up in the wrong argument, i.e. whether this or that military action is right or wrong, justified or misguided.  Perhaps we’re fiddling while Rome burns. Perhaps we have to simply cut the discussion off at the knees and say, “What would be good would be a massive paradigm shift in what constitutes desirable activity — economic and otherwise.”

How could we possibly make this happen in our lifetime?


This entry was posted in American Military Culture, End of the Empire and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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