democracy and war

i was just perusing an article on the base closings proposed by Rumsfeld and the Dept of Defense. so I began to think about the ramifications of all these base closings. sure locals lose jobs and sometimes their entire livelihoods. but those who voted for the Republican party voted for less government.

with all the money being spent on the two occupations, the upgrading of homeland security, and all the technology and R & D costs, cuts have to be made somewhere. sure social programs and other regulatory agencies are being hit, but the defense administration can make serious cuts and is pursuing a policy of a leaner meaner military.

but back to the idea, the ramifications of this whole thing…it occurs to me that in history wars were fought with men, actual physical beings on the field, infantry. This system resulted in two things: first, wars would all be costly to the actual peoples of democracy and therefore would result in hesitation on their part; second, since mass numbers were needed, the military ended up disbursed all over the state, creating a connection with local populations. the need for mass numbers resulted, in part, in a military that was not strictly composed of far flung politicians and bureaucrats.

the base closings then, represent a shift in this pattern. technological advancement is leading war farther and farther away from traditional infantry. unmanned drones are but one example. the less people needed for war coupled with the USA ability to spend huge amounts of money on whatever has broken the connection between cost and war. government money is tax money, its over there, out of the way. as long as taxes dont dramatically go up, no one really thinks about how much money is being spent and on what. so, as long as war can be waged with low casualty rates, cost is essentially negligible.

as to the second point regarding mass participation…the base closings mean that more and more of the power, influence and control is moving to less and less areas. that means less people in control over more power.

’til next time

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