So let’s look beyond the crisis of the moment, and beyond US military involvement in one part of the world over the last 10 or so years. Let’s go back to the end of World War II, when the US emerged as the most powerful nation on earth. The Soviet Union stood a somewhat distant second, shackled to the restive Eastern Bloc with its leadership resented or hated even within its own borders.
The US did something smart. Instead of imposing harsh measures on Germany and Japan, as had been done to Germany at the end of World War I, it pursued economic engagement and recovery. Its two main foes became two main trading partners. Continue reading