A global threat for the new year (as in 1914): Complacency

  • Article by: From the Economist
  • Updated: December 27, 2013 - 6:19 PM

The world order right now is not unlike the one that broke down into war in 1914.

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pumiceDec. 27, 13 8:25 PM

From the commentary: "[W]itness [Obama's] unwillingness to use force in Syria." Revisionism from The Economist? What is the world coming to?!?!?!

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goldengoph3rDec. 27, 1311:14 PM

"The second precaution that would make the world safer is a more active American foreign policy."---------Is this a joke. With troops in over 70 countries, drones on the warpath in many, and two recent middle-eastern wars on the resume, I'm unsure how we could be more "active" in the world. And that activity hasn't been all that successful. Reading between the lines, it's clear the Economist wants America to continue being the world's SWAT team for corporate interests, but why should we continue that role when said corporations avoid American workers and taxes. China isn't fascist Germany, Economist, but hey, nice try.

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comment229Dec. 28, 13 5:03 AM

The United States is Britain, the superpower on the wane, unable to guarantee global security. .... Where is "to guarantee global security" written in the Constitution of the United States of America?

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comment229Dec. 28, 13 5:09 AM

PS... I know too many chicken hawks in this country, that justify the OBSCENE amount of money we spend on the military that are willing to enter civil wars around the world to feed the grinder..... I am NOT against having a strong, modern military, but what we have right now, is just wrong. I applaud the latest government and even congress, for taking a pass on two/three conflicts that the USA could have easily found a reason to enter... but chose not to.... and that idea of tempering our involvement, was uttered by JFK years ago. And to the crowd, that says that JFK got us into Vietnam, I would only ask why do you think he didn't get us out? And further, as far as politicians and conflicts... bad mouth Nixon all you want, but I thank him, for saving my life, by getting us out of Vietnam. Now, do you want to start in about how Iraq has turned out? and how Afghanistan is doomed to turn out as well? Global conflicts today, are NOT the same as 1914 or 1939.... Because you have by far, the most dominant military/industrial complex in the history of the world, doesn't mean you have to use it or perpetuate it....

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comment229Dec. 28, 13 5:13 AM

PS. you don't have to fear foreign entities for a global conflict; you can start right here at home and look around for those that thrive on entering civil wars. Beware of the military industrial complex.... Japan found out the hard way.... While we devote a debated amount of our national budget to maintaining a severely bloated military, the rest of the world is sitting back and watching, and spending their money on their people and infrastructure, because they know the great America will protect them. Don't believe me? Israel? Take a look, the next time you see a clip of the Israeli military in action, and note their weapons systems... who made those? Just an example.... enough

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rolflindyDec. 28, 13 6:47 AM

Golden: It has to be a joke. Whoever wrote this nonsense doesn't realize how stupid we were to invade Iraq and get in the middle of intransigent religious hatreds like the Shia Sunni mess. Fortunately Obama is not as ignorant as the Economist.

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monkeyplanetDec. 28, 13 7:43 AM

Note to The Economist: Here's one American citizen who doesn't want to live in a nation that's "a guarantor of global order." I'd prefer what our founders intended - a constitutional republic.

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edcommentDec. 28, 13 8:34 AM

Probably not too many on the staff of the Economist, or even in its readership, who would be in those trenches or their modern-day equivalent. Easy to call for a more robust response to conflict around the world if you know, in advance, you and your kind will never serve. Or, if you do serve, it will be well out of the way of flying shrapnel. Now, should these regional conflicts begin to pull several powerful nations into a larger conflict or, begin to destabilize the financial markets, well then; perhaps all classes of society would be called upon to make sacrifices; even the readership of the Economist; Mon Dieu!

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RankenFyleDec. 28, 13 9:31 AM

Complacency, yes, but I'm disappointed that the Economist doesn't recognize how the next war will be fought. The threat is not so much the bombs and bullets as it will be the ability of one country or group to bring another to its knees by wreaking havoc with its economy. When daily business transactions, from the corner store merchant to the traders of Wall Street, are totally dependent upon digital record keeping, we expose the entire economy to ruin. The greatest battles are being fought right now against data breaches, Target being just the tip of the iceberg. Its not just China, Russia and the US fighting this war, there are numerous smaller groups capable of the same, if not more, nefarious strategies. The nuclear option for many of these groups would be one electromagnetic pulse bomb on Wall Street or Fleet Street; the immediate loss of life would be smaller than standard warfare, but the long term disruption to the economy would have far reaching effects on the lives of everyone. While its easy to be affronted by the Snowden revelation of NSA collection of data on private citizens, perhaps the NSA should spend more effort on the big picture threats to the country.

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56stanDec. 28, 1311:36 AM

goldengoph3r Germany in 1914 was not fascist. That came later. In 1914 Germany was a kind of constitutional monarchy, what Gordon Craig called a pseudo constitutional monarchy, whose rulers thought they were surrounded by a potentially hostile international coalition as well as facing domestic unrest protesting in the name of democratic reform.

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