Not long before his untimely death the historian Tony Judt observed that “For many American commentators and policymakers the message of the twentieth century is that war works.” Judt might have gone even further. Well beyond the circle of experts and insiders, many ordinary Americans at least tacitly share that view.
This reading of the twentieth century has had profound implications for U. S. policy in the twenty-first century. With the possible exception of Israel, the United States today is the only developed nation in which belief in war’s efficacy continues to enjoy widespread acceptance.
Others – the citizens of Great Britain and France, of Germany and Japan – took from the twentieth century a different lesson: War devastates. It impoverishes. It coarsens. Even when seemingly necessary or justified, it entails brutality, barbarism, and the killing of innocents. To choose war is to leap into the dark, entrusting the nation’s fate to forces beyond human control.
Americans persist in believing otherwise. That belief manifests itself in a number of ways, not least in a pronounced willingness to invest in, maintain, and employ military power.
I'm not sure I would group the British with the continentals on this, at least not their national level politicians.
Other than that I think this quote is fine. It offers an explanation for very much - military spending, foreign policy, tolerance of warmongers' commentary in the mass media and the general tone in public discourse about military and foreign affairs.
The lessons were already fading away in Europe, with the German governments applying a salami tactic towards a more militarised foreign policy (the Greens criticised this a lot, but once they were in power, they supported the Kosovo Air War participation, assuming fitness to govern would require being pro-war!).