In my misspent youth, I believed the US had learned its lesson from Korea and Vietnam. Anti-war protesters, too young to vote then, would come into power and never want to initiate another war. They might even resist the temptation to retaliate if provoked by some madman.
No such luck. Looking over the past 40 years, the US has entered country after country, often to “teach them a lesson” or to attempt some ill-defined or ill-advised goal (find WMDs, change governments, capture Bin Laden, etc.). Some of these excursions have been disasters and we are still mired in others (Afghanistan).
To paraphrase George Carlin, for such a peace-loving country, we sure like war a lot. We must have one available or be ready to start one. So what country will we invade to “save” next? And any predictions as to the outcome?
Just for kicks, I’ll wager Somalia. It’s weak, likely home for some trrrrsts, and would probably be another quagmire clusterfuck. We love those. Then again, being resource-poor and in Africa are points against.
I’m also tempted to think we *must *have learned some kind of lesson in these last 8 years, but I know that it is absolutely inevitable that we’ll do it again. It might be decades, but we will. It’s getting harder to find countries we haven’t already messed around in to some degree though… Even Somalia might be disqualified as a choice, since it is sorta part of our current slate…
That is a pretty good question. The U.S. isn’t truly imperialistic. We tend to just respond very strongly to hot spots in the world which works well for a time and then we get bogged down and can’t find a good way to get out. The most likely scenario in my opinion is that some country or group will threaten Israel much more than it already is and the U.S. will have to get even more involved in the Middle East. That is especially dangerous if Iran is involved and could lead to anything whatsoever. The U.S. has some fairly strong allies in the Middle East these days including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait among several others so a complete melt-down in the region would be interesting but no so surprise because it has always been completely unstable.
Minor countries in South America are a dark horse but the U.S. always used the CIA and covert operations for that type of thing rather than the official military.
I was thinking that, too. That fence was a bad idea because it will make defense too easy for the narco-traffikers, though. Our boys will be channeled into killing fields just over the border in Tijuana, Nogales, and Juarez, with their progress impeded by carloads of tourists loaded with piñatas, sombreros, and switchblade combs.
OK, seriously? My impression is that until a significant withdrawal from Iraq takes place, the US simply does not have the ground troops available to carry out a full-scale invasion of another country larger or more powerful than, say, Haiti. Likewise, I’m not sure there are any particular small islands or banana republics that have both pissed us off enough and are of sufficient strategic significance to justify an invasion, not to mention that the current administration doesn’t seem like the invadin’ kind, unless some really egregious outrage that could be clearly tied to one country or another were to take place.
Hottest chicks? If you are into cosmetic surgery that leaves Venezuela, which I understand (no cite) has a number of modified females considerably higher than the actual number of women. They’re hot, but ask for a genetic test before dating one.
England would be good. It is a rather small island after all and should be pretty easy to isolate plus the inhabitants are drunk all the time so that is a big advantage on its own. Most of Western Europe would be ripe for the picking for that matter. The U.S. already has lots of military bases there already. We could set up huge concentration camps for the people that resist. By concentration camps, I just mean nice campgrounds where people would be forced to sit and “concentrate” about why they are so left-wing and socialist leaning and answer questions about why they hate America. That could work.
I would have replied sooner but I was rolling around on the ground for a while.
Bush tried and almost succeeded in overthrowing (the democratically elected) Chavez in April 2002*. The corporations like the military’s targets to be directly beneficial so I guess Venezuelean oil would still be very near the top of the list.
I say “the sad truth” because I firmly believe that military intervention has a critical role to play in the world, even if many mistakes have been made.
A few posters have jokingly mentioned Somalia.
Of course, the US already invaded Somalia in 1992. It was an operation intended to ensure humanitarian aid got through and to stabilise the country.
There’s every indication that it was succeeding in these aims, but it wasn’t a painless exercise for the US. 18 soldiers died, which at the time was an unimaginably high number of casualties. The US pulled out.
And now, if ever there were a country that were a “failed state”, it’s Somalia.
It’s impossible to calculate the financial and humanitarian cost to Somalia, the region and the world. But it’s a lot more than a few ships getting jacked…
Having said all that, military intervention does need to be carefully timed. We may have missed our opportunity with Somalia, even if we had the resources and will to return.