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August 06, 2007



I read recently, but don't have at hand, a rather detailed description of the armed-force disparities between the US and other western democracies, which show that the other countries (UK, France, Germany, et.al.) really don't have forces in place to be much of a factor militarily. The inability of NATO to adequately provide troops in Afghanistan is a good starting place.

Given this, the discussion of broadly interventionist policies is really moot. Post cold war the US was the only country capable of intervention on a large scale, and now even that is impossible - we are tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bottom Line: collective military action of the conventional variety is a nice discussion topic, but a paper tiger in practice when it comes to boots-on-the-ground military activities. The 'western democracies' has becomes a intellectual fabrication that no longer reflects the real situation. What is left is air power (and its naval variant), and economic power.

Rhetoric and reality are seriously discongruent.

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