Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Caskey Doctrine

In case you missed it, Obama said the Obama Doctrine was too long to explain...whatever the heck that means. I think it means he doesn't really have a plan.

Anyway, I put in my two cents over at Brad's Bar and Grille on what I thought isolationism is a bad idea. Since not everyone looks at everything on the internet, I'm re-posting it again here.

China is looking at two American allies (the Philippines and Japan) that are essentially defended by America and America’s nuclear umbrella. And now, whether or not we defend them from Chinese aggression is an open question. That’s bad – and I’ll tell you why.

Once American allies believe that our defense guarantees are a hollow gesture, they will begin to develop and secure their own defenses, and we have been taking that for granted for a long time. For instance, Europe has no defense capabilities to speak of. That’s not going to happen in perpetuity.

If the US ends up abdicating its role as the guarantor of the NATO alliance and our allies such as Japan and the Philippines, then we will be leaving space for these individual nations to develop their own forces out of necessity.

Essentially, the different nations will begin to balance against each other. That balancing will be self-perpetuating. As each nation grows its military, another nation will be forced to do the same. Japan will have to balance against China. The Baltic States will have to balance against Russia. Rinse, lather, repeat. It will grow and grow. Then we will have what will essentially be a multi-polar world in terms of military power – like in the 1920s and 1930s.

That’s bad. All of these balancing forces act in relation to each other in ways that are unpredictable. And that ultimately leads to a military confrontation, which can then catch fire.

And even if America abdicates its leadership role as the guarantor, we will still be the hegemon (lead country). We’ll be the hegemon for at least the next 50-80 years or so regardless of what we do or don't do. So, we’ll be drawn into one (or more) of these conflicts.

Accordingly, it’s in the interest of the USA to ensure that there is no conflict between two nations. Because we’ll be almost assuredly drawn in to any conflict between any European nations, Japan, China, or otherwise.

Aside from the military aspect, we want to maintain a world economic and trade system that is maintained and secured by military force if need be. But it’s much harder to secure the world’s trade if you have many, different, competing poles of power, seeking to create little places of their protection for trade. China just did this recently.

Eventually, transit such as shipping lanes and air corridors could be closed. And that leads to miscalculation by other nations…which leads to war…which we want to avoid.

That’s why we want to “get out in front” of this sort of thing. We don’t want to allow bigger, broader conflicts to come up.

The problem with isolationists who advocate “staying out of it” in certain areas of the world is that they don’t realize that “staying out of it” isn’t a permanent decision. Sooner or later, the US will be involved.

The only question is do we want to be involved up front, with minimal conflict, or do we want to wait to get dragged into a shooting war between nation states later?

That’s the Caskey Doctrine, anyway. (For whatever it’s worth.)

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