People reading the four words that make up the title of this blog post are wondering: Has Moretti lost it? There’s no way he’s about to come out as a Trumpster, is he?
Relax. I never was a Trumpster and I never will be.
But we need to rethink one aspect of Trump’s fiery rhetoric from his disastrous presidency and, maybe just maybe, admit he was onto something.
America must stop engaging in never-ending wars. It also needs to reconsider the depth of its military commitment inside other nations all over the world. If we allow it to be, the mess that surrounds the evacuation of American diplomatic personnel, their families and the many Afghans who worked for the U.S. over the past 20 years will serve as a powerful reminder that war must be entered into with a clear plan and exited from with as clear a plan as possible under the circumstances. The evidence we have right now suggests four consecutive presidents, including the current one, never fully examined how the U.S. should have removed itself from Afghanistan.
Trump came the closest, admitting that 20 years and likely one trillion dollars was enough. His plan — flawed as it was — at least accepted reality.
The post-World War II environment no longer exists. One American politician after another insisted throughout the back half of the twentieth century that a dangerous world demanded the U.S. establish and maintain military bases across the globe, with an especially robust presence in Europe and Asia. But let’s reflect on now: The Soviet Union is in the history books, and it’s not coming back. Dual world powers aren’t staring at each other through the periscope of mistrust and hatred. There’s no reason to believe a mighty European nation will declare war on its neighbors.
The twenty-first century world is much different. China is (perceived in the West as) America’s economic rival; even if we accept that rivalry as fact, we must admit China has no interest in setting up military bases here, there and everywhere. The European Union, if it falls apart, will do so because more and more of its participating countries will find it harder and harder to sustain it. Multiple places in parts of Asia and Africa are certain to be where population growth explodes in the coming decades.
Which leaves us to wonder: If the United States stops trying to export democracy through the barrel of a gun or by dropping the mother of all bombs, then which country is likely to start the next war?
China? Nope. We’ve already mentioned Beijing has zero interest in stalling its economic machine by starting a war.
Japan? Get serious.
Germany? Hard no.
Brazil? Now you’re losing your marbles.
Iran? Only if you believe the Western rhetoric that says Tehran wants to wipe out Israel, which by the way would see Iran be left in rubble.
India? Pakistan? Maybe against each other, but you can forget that skirmish escalating into a multi-nation squabble that will extend beyond South Asia.
America’s history of engaging in wars — let’s ignore how they have ended — is legion. Yes, some of those wars may be classified as “moral” or “good.” But a whole lot of them can’t be. In my opinion, and you’re absolutely encouraged to disagree with me, the wars in Afghanistan (where we were never wanted) and Iraq (where we never should have gone) will serve as justified blemishes for many years on the international reputation of the United States.
However, if those wars also end the lust to send our troops over there, wherever there is, then they will have served an important purpose. They will have set the United States on a long overdue path to shrink its military commitment around the world while ensuring its partners provide more financial resources to international alliances.
Trump suggested America do it.
He was right.