Ed Driscoll

These Colors Never Run—Because They're Trapped in a Mobius Loop

Mark Steyn writes, “it’s easy to mock the smartest, most articulate man ever to occupy the Oval Office. Instead, in a nonpartisan spirit, let us consider why it is that the United States no longer wins wars:”

The United States is responsible for 43 percent of the planet’s military spending. So how come it doesn’t feel like that? It’s not merely that “our military is being volunteered by others,” but that Washington has been happy to volunteer it as the de facto expeditionary force for the “international community.” Sometimes U.S. troops sail under U.N. colors, sometimes NATO’s and, now in Libya, even the Arab League’s. Either way, it makes little difference: America provides most of the money, men and materiel. All that changes is the transnational fig leaf.

But lost along the way is hard-headed, strategic calculation of the national interest. “They won’t come back till it’s over/Over there!” sang George M. Cohan as the doughboys marched off in 1917. It was all over 20 minutes later, and then they came back. Now it’s never over over there – not in Korea, not in Kuwait, not in Kosovo, not in Kandahar. Next stop Kufra? America has swapped The Art Of War for the Hotel California: We psychologically check out, but we never leave.

You know what to do next.