On the eve of Tax Day, this is an ironic — or appropriate? — article. Empire costs money, big money. Americans have to pay higher taxes - less money to feed, clothe and school our children — to fund our political establishment’s imperial ambitions.
The whole damned Balkans doesn't mean as much to me as one veteran homeless and needing help, or one kid, born here, who can't get all the education needed to realize his potential
It is always a precarious balance. When do we step in to put out the brush fire that could rage into a wildfire, costing thousands of lives and billions of dollars? Is it the Ukraine? It is troubling indeed. The thing that makes me angriest is that our NATO partners have fallen down on their NATO committments and yet most of them are the ones that are threatened by Putin’s Russia.
We have treaty obligations here, NATO treaty obligations. Obviously not to Ukraine, but certainly to NATO member Poland who would be directly threatened by a Russian takeover of the Ukraine. Poland incidentally is one of the few NATO members who does live up to it’s committments. They are a staunch allay to the U.S.
Pretty good, balanced article.
It should be noted that the benefits of empire have been enjoyed mainly by the groups you never hear about in history, the peasants who aren’t slaughtered by invaders. The losers in empire are often the local elites displaced by the imperialists. They lost their freedom. The peasants never had any.
With occasional possible exceptions, modern empire has not been a paying enterprise. All the taxes and products extracted from Africa did not pay the imperialists a fraction of the money they spent conquering and administering it. South Africa probably excepted.
Yet the modern world we take for granted exists largely because the USA fills the imperial role. And is roundly denounced for it.
I find the "cost barrier" argument much less compelling -- we could make all of our global power projection obligations debt neutral if we really wanted to.