I found this Spiegel interview of war historian Gabriel Kolko pretty interesting, clear-headed, and real. I suppose it’s partly due to my activities in business and trading, but I am always on the lookout for situations that are beyond any reasonable hope of break even. It’s a very important distinction — to entertain the notion that something is a loser: no matter what you do. We aren’t built like that. We’re built to fight to good fight — to carry on — and even when down, to take actions that marginally improve our situation. We must realize that reality has limitations and that sometimes no effort in the Universe can deliver the results we seek.
Wars are more determined by socio-economic and political factors than
any other, and this was true long before the US attempted to regulate
the world’s affairs. Political conflicts are not solved by military
interventions, and that they are often incapable of being resolved by
political or peaceful means does not alter the fact that force is
dysfunctional. This is truer today than ever with the spread of weapons
technology. Washington refuses to heed this lesson of modern history.
"Force is dysfunctional." I believe that’s 100% true, and it’s even true when you’re right. I’m taking his use of the concept "function" to mean: the achievement of political ends that are short of virtual annihilation and complete and utter submission, such as was achieved in WWII. And so, I believe it is just another reminder of what a sound war doctrine out to be: you mind your own business until a real no-shit threat emerges, and then you wipe it off the map as fast as you can, no holding back.