Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

US Militarism Should Have Died With the Soviet Union

By Daniel Larison, Antiwar.Com

The Soviet Union ceased to exist 30 years ago, and with its disappearance the United States embraced a triumphalist interpretation of the end of the Cold War that has served to fuel its militarism for another generation. The loss of its major rival could have freed the US from the costly militarized foreign policy that it had pursued since the end of WWII, but instead it freed the US to act however it liked in the world without regard for the consequences for itself or other countries. Desperate to find new causes to champion and new monsters to slay, the US appointed itself as the world’s armed enforcer and then professed bewilderment when the countries that it threatened resisted its “benevolent” leadership. US militarism should have died with the Soviet Union, but instead its supporters just went looking for new enemies.

Rather than recognizing that it was the peoples of eastern Europe and the Soviet Union that were responsible for the epochal political changes that brought down their communist governments, US leaders and policymakers congratulated themselves for having “won” the standoff. Some went further and credited the Reagan administration itself for having supposedly delivered the fatal blow. This was a dangerous error. It was just as wrong as the self-centered belief that the US had been responsible for “losing” China in 1949. While the panic over “losing” China had caused Americans to become excessively afraid of communist power, the excitement over “winning” the Cold War caused far too many to become excessively confident in American power.


1 reply »

  1. The Cold War was already fake. The USSR was a basket case, a joke, a shithole, it never recovered from the Second World War, with a demoralized army and 5% of the US economy. Everything they had, from machinery to grain, basically depended on American welfare. The ridiculous estimates of the USSR’s power were based on Communist propaganda and the desire of the CIA/MIC to justify their continued subsidy by tax payers. Not only should the collapse of the USSR ended the American national security state it should have led to corruption charges and gitmo sentences for all the liars and buffoons who covered up what a weak and pathetic enemy was being used. The fact that conservatives still believe this Boomer nonsense of the Red Menace shows that they don’t understand basic economics and the right will be better off if Republicans kill themselves.

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