I do play videogames for recreation, and in this well-defined environment one strain of character became more obvious than anywhere else: Self-restraint. Often times I make use of less than I could to keep a videogame that became easy more interesting. I assume that I tend towards self-restraint, and apply it in much of my life and thinking.
Examples are plentiful even on this blog. There's the "elegance in warfare" thing, the railing against extremist war goals.
Then there's the intense interest in 'economy of force' and the railing about power fantasies that drive demands for more military spending well beyond what's evidently enough to deter aggression against us.
I'm also frequently outspoken about a distrust in problem solving approaches that mostly involve throwing additional resources at a problem. Finally, there's my aversion against excess safety, such as airspace deconfliction that goes so far that it accepts poorly linked casualties and failures in order to eliminate a tiny quantity of directly linked accidents.
Unlike some others, my kind of self-restraint hasn't led me to a fanatic preference for 'small & lightweight' as the answer to everything, maybe seeing a repelling example of such a bias early on warded me against it.
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Naturally I am convinced that a good dosage of additional self-restraint would greatly benefit our nations, particularly if applied to foreign policy of great powers and to military affairs/spending.
It would be interesting to learn what psychologists would uncover if they were to profile the personalities and groups that coin actual policies or public opinion on military affairs.
Would they find that rather basic motives like greed, playfulness and fear drive the outcomes? What educational and professional background correlates with which preferences and approaches?
In the end, people should understand a very, very important and very, very fundamental truth:
Military power is an expensive means to an end (security). Once that end is achieved any more military power would be a waste of resources, since military power does not yield profit.
We're not fighting wars for arable land in a subsistence economy any more. You cannot really conquer natural resources any more in Europe (or Northern America), that concept has died in its last stand in 1945. The sole exception - Israel's attempt to hold on to occupied territories since 1967 in spite of repeated UN resolutions demanding its withdrawal - is in my opinion bound to fail, and it has already proved to be excessively expensive.
Self-restraint is necessary to stop at the point where peace is maintained or the nation defended. Those who lack this self-restraint will favour more extreme military power and more applications thereof - and may cause more economic damage to their own country and lead to more deaths than all of their country's criminals combined. The most important virtue in regard to military policy is thus self-restraint.