Societies' ingrained commemoration of war

Different societies have different histories, and different lessons learned from history.
Germany is a very special case of this, as its present state and society were created to prevent a repetition of past mistakes, especially war of aggression and fascism.

Europe has been ravaged by war for millennia, and especially the war-torn countries of continental Europe have learned many lessons about the terrible effects of war.
Germany, for example, has been depopulated by the thirty years war in the 17th century and had its cities destroyed by World War II.
Germany became a major power quite late due to late unification and difficult geo-strategic position in the center of Europe. The following attempts to gain advantages concerning territory and natural resources by war were complete failures and ended as defeats in two devastating world wars. The attempts to gain prosperity by own economic activity before and after the two world wars (1871-1914, 1949-today) were great successes. Germany had learned the lesson that you don't need much territory and you don't need to have rich natural resources to be successful and influential.
High efficiency agriculture can substitute for territory and trading is a much more efficient means to raw material supply security than wars are.

But this seems to be less the case for the late colonial powers UK and France and for those states who never really tried the wrong recipes themselves like Poland, for example.
The USA had only one devastating war at home, and only in a small part of itself. The expenses and losses of the World Wars were either small (World War I) or remembered as heroic history of a "Golden Generation" (World War II).
It has - and this is not easily understandable - a quite aggressive stance to raw material security, using a military power to exert influence and even to wage war for raw materials in the Middle East.

This and the fading memories of the past create a - let's call it "Zeitgeist" in Europe - it misguides people.
The old lessons learned are pushed aside by the promises of smaller military actions than conventional war to give economic advantages, comfort and prestige at low costs.

Well, the costs are not low. Even if you invade a country with less than 100 KIA (killed in action) soldiers, you still end up paying billions of US-$ or € for the adventure.
A comparison of the economic advantages and disadvantages of the U.S. adventures in the Middle East would be devastating.
It would have been cheaper to get away from the oil addiction, probably even without the costs of the extremely expensive Iraq occupation.

Others are much smarter than Europeans and Americans.
The Chinese buy plantations in the Third World to secure their renewable resources supply. They become friends of dictatorships world wide with a strict business-only approach to investments and contracts for mineral an hydrocarbon resources.
The Chinese secure their raw material supply by being smart and applying the lessons learned with European blood instead of alienating resources-rich countries and wasting their own nations' energies and financial power in military expeditions.

Our approach to address our future global needs is wrong.

We should strengthen our relationships with weak nations instead of playing Great Power games and wasting our attention and resources on military adventures.


No comments:

Post a Comment