The Pax Romana - the Roman Peace - lasted for hundreds of years because few were willing to challenge the vastly superior military might of ancient Rome. The Pax Americana has lasted in Europe since 1945 and, other than Vietnam (which was not a war against the U.S. at its onset, it was against the French, but then U.S. later substituted in the ongoing conflict), in most parts of the Far East since 1952 for similar reasons. But show weakness and the predators will always come. In the wake of Vietnam, we had Gulf War 1, and in wake of Vietnam, Mogadishu, and the Cole, we had 9-11. And today, as many on the left advocate radical pacifism, as Obama cuts military spending, as he cuts missile defense and accedes to Russian demands, as Obama plays nice with Iran, we have the mad mullahs of Iran making a mockery of Obama as they speed towards a nuclear weapon and we have this:
China should build the world's strongest military and move swiftly to topple the United States as the global "champion," a senior Chinese PLA officer says in a new book reflecting swelling nationalist ambitions. . . .
If history teaches us anything, it is that a perception of superior power and a perceived willingness to use it are the only assurances of peace. Let that perception around the world falter, and the predators will come. That lesson of history is one Obama and our left wholly ignore at our peril.
Update: Speak of the devil - having composed this just a bit ago, I now see a NYT article on how Obama is further reducing, tactically and strategically, our nuclear arsenal. This from the NYT:
As President Obama begins making final decisions on a broad new nuclear strategy for the United States, senior aides say he will permanently reduce America’s arsenal by thousands of weapons. . . .
Mr. Obama’s new strategy — which would annul or reverse several initiatives by the Bush administration — will be contained in a nearly completed document called the Nuclear Posture Review, which all presidents undertake. . . .
Many elements of the new strategy have already been completed, according to senior administration and military officials who have been involved in more than a half-dozen Situation Room debates about it, and outside strategists consulted by the White House.
As described by those officials, the new strategy commits the United States to developing no new nuclear weapons, including the nuclear bunker-busters advocated by the Bush administration. . . .
This is particularly critical. A big part of our ability for effective deterrence, particularly with Iran and North Korea, lies with the ability to hit underground facilities that conventional weapons cannot touch. Yet another self-imposed weakness for no reason other than to allow Obama to pose as the supreme moral being. To continue with the NYT article:
“It will be clear in the document that there will be very dramatic reductions — in the thousands — as relates to the stockpile,” according to one senior administration official whom the White House authorized to discuss the issue this weekend. Much of that would come from the retirement of large numbers of weapons now kept in storage.
Other officials, not officially allowed to speak on the issue, say that in back-channel discussions with allies, the administration has also been quietly broaching the question of whether to withdraw American tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, where they provide more political reassurance than actual defense. Those weapons are now believed to be in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Turkey and the Netherlands.
At the same time, the new document will steer the United States toward more non-nuclear defenses. It relies more heavily on missile defense, much of it arrayed within striking distance of the Persian Gulf, focused on the emerging threat from Iran. . . .
Better check with Russia on that one. And indeed, how did the NYT miss reporting the fact that if we are going to be relying on Missile Defense, how is it that that is one of the very few places our world record holding profligate spender in chief chose to cut by 20% in his budget. Insanity indeed.
While Mr. Obama ended financing last year for a new nuclear warhead sought by the Bush administration, the new strategy goes further. It commits Mr. Obama to developing no new nuclear weapons, including a low-yield, deeply-burrowing nuclear warhead that the Pentagon sought to strike buried targets, like the nuclear facilities in North Korea and Iran. Mr. Obama, officials said, has determined he could not stop other countries from seeking new weapons if the United States was doing the same. . . .
This is utterly suicidal - and grossly superficial - moral relativism. If Obama is unable to distinguish between why we should have nuclear weapons and why it is dangerous to allow Iran to develop the same capacity, this man is an ideologue who refuses to see any fundamental differences between the two countries. And this guy is the leader of the free world? We are in trouble indeed. In an effort to promote peace, Obama may well lead us backwards into war.