"For the next week, not only will there be no U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Middle East, but there will be no American aircraft carriers deployed at sea anywhere else in the world, despite a host of worldwide threats facing the United States."
This quote is from a large (though not exactly well-reputed) media source that I won't link to.
The quote is remarkable as a demonstration of a particular school of thought. It shows the utter confusion about what constitutes defence and about what provides security.
A U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf or around Taiwan doesn't reduce ANY threats to the United States. To have a battlefleet thousands of nautical miles away from your mainland is not about defence, ever. It's not necessarily helping to win a war that could not be deterred, either.
"Influence" ( a nicer word for bullying) has become the new meaning of "defense", for these days hardly any "defense expenditures" are about actual defence. The U.S. and the former colonial powers France, UK and even to some degree Belgium have paid much attention and devoted many resources to meddling in distant continents' internal affairs for decades. Much of this was excused as the global part of the confrontation between "communism" and "the free world".
This meddling has become self-evident, even institutionalised and the bureaucracies tasked with it have even spawned new branches.
German politicians have given to the seduction of playing such great power games as well, and through NATO and U.S.-led coalitions even small countries such as Lithuania have joined these games.
I am convinced that the warping of terminology and the associated warping of the idea of normalcy are misleading people (especially) in the Western World to tolerate spending of much of their purchasing power on actions that don't serve them, and may actually endanger them.
Politicians get away with playing pointless yet costly games and deceiving voters in part because they are good at deception, but even more so because great many people not only fall for the deception, but actually side with the playign team.
It's like football; a spectator-fan doesn't gain money from "his" team's success like the players do with their boni. Instead, the spectator-fan does even pay for the entertainment. The fans adopt the cause and make it their own, though they cannot possibly benefit materially even from successes.
Gret power games are no doubt entertainment, with few being in control, a couple more people benefitting economically, great many mildly suffering economically but enjoying teh entertainment and great many others suffering economically without enjoying the spectacle.
And then there are the people in the countries hosting those 'games' ... they suffer terribly, and may even die in droves.
I suppose an ethical person would reject such a form of entertainment and demand that the own government stops playing such games and focuses on actual deterrence for peace, and as plan B a quick white peace (status quo ante) in the event of war.
Hat tip to War News Update for pointing this out (though the WNU editor has a very different interpretation).