An Investment Grade Republic or a Bankrupt Empire?

No State has ever benefited from protracted warfare – Waging War, The Art of War: Sun Tzu

In less than a month, America will be mourning the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 attacks.

So far, an estimated $4 Trillion in war on terror have been subsumed. Even more tragic are the deaths of 6000+ American soldiers, and over half-million casualties including veterans with amputations, toxic-dust poisoning, and life-long brain, eye, and ear injuries.

Americans have lost an enormous amount in blood and treasure.

The outcome of these draining wars will likely be a total failure. The greatest fighting force in human history is now building schools, hospitals, roads and bridges thousands of miles away for peoples who remain deeply hostile to America and Americans.

At home, 45.8 Million Americans are subsisting on food stamps and $16-Trillion has been taken from American tax-payers to stabilise the financial markets. The infrastructure is in terrible decline.

S&P just downgraded America’s credit rating. If interest rates on debt rise and price inflation accelerates, a cataclysmic social and financial crisis will soon haunt America.

Europe has already been wrecked by riots and arson.

Washington DC continues to accumulate trillions more in debt, while expanding the unsustainable war-theatre to Yemen, Somalia and Libya.

Where did we go wrong? What fatal blunders are we making? Can Washington-DC come back to its senses?

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, punitive air-campaigns were conducted on Afghanistan. But after the air-strikes, Washington-DC sent huge land armies instead of letting special-forces liquidate the terrorists.

For last 10 years, American military is bleeding in the neo-conservative morass of land-wars and nation-building.

The more effective, low cost, low casualty strategy of air campaigns, followed by surgical anti-terror operations would have saved hundreds of thousands of American casualties and trillions in treasure.

Neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan had fired missiles on America. They sent no army, no navy, and no air-force to commit aggression. Instead, from 1970s-2001, millions from Muslim-World/Diaspora migrated to America, and the 9/11 terrorists were among this migrant inflow.

The problem leading up to 9/11 was not some remote cave in Af-Pak, but a rapidly growing demographic environment at home in which malevolent plots could be hatched, concealed and executed.

After 9/11 no proper mechanisms to filter the milk from the poison were put in place on migration from hostile parts of the Muslim-World/Diaspora.  Recent revelations of another terror plot by refugees in Kentucky are a frightening reminder.

By 2009, the total Muslim population was 7 million.

The dilemma Americans are facing is that the vast majority of Muslims are well-meaning people who have made substantial contributions to American society.

The puzzle is how to sift a few dozen or a few thousand hostile individuals from this vast pool. 

There is no prophetic device which can reveal how many and who will be the future instigator/participant in terror plots.

One plausible explanation is that US foreign policy is part of these blowback terrorism attempts. 

Meanwhile, 300-Million Americans are going through TSA screenings and radiations. What’s more, hundreds of billions are being spent on Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy.

This means war is the health of the State.

The demographic conditions in Af-Pak are explosive. Annual births in Pakistan alone are a staggering 4.8 Million, almost equal to the annual births in entire European-Union combined.

Pakistan is giving birth to one Canada every 7 years.

The median age for Pakistanis and Afghans is 20 years and 17 years, respectively. Compare this to US (37 years) and Europeans (42 years).

How does NATO plan to win the “long war” when the demographic odds are so sharply stacked against it?

Unless Washington DC speedily dissolves all its overseas commitments and withdraws from Eurasia and Africa, the costs of overseas commitments will continue to bleed the society and economy heavily.

These overseas wars and financial crisis at home will mortally wound an ageing North-America and Europe.

Washington DC can maintain and reinforce two non-intrusive island bases on Cyprus and Bahrain to monitor and secure the shipping lanes in Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, and assure key allies like Israel.

In addition, US can strive to remain the military leader on land, sea, air, space and technology, with uncontested power projection capabilities across Eurasia and Africa.

These measures will help save trillions of dollars over next decade, and allow veterans and their families to rejuvenate their shattered lives.

Non-governmental organisations and charities should be allowed to lead the effort to help Afghan and Pakistani society improve their human development indices, not the US military.

Empathy is best served in a non-hostile environment.

Overpopulated Af-Pak (and Indian Subcontinent) needs prosperous Taiwan like low infant mortality and low birth rates of 1.1-children/woman along with basic education and health infrastructure to sustain a stable society.

America needs to salvage its own burning house and rebuild it, before it does nation building abroad.

Investment grade status and business confidence cannot be maintained if physical, financial and psychological security is constantly imperiled.