Aborting World Wars: A Timely Art.

World War Three is growing, but can still be aborted with decisive, that is, military, action.

Ian Miller asks: So the strategy for avoiding a big war is to ramp up a small war?”

Absolutely! Same idea as cutting off a limb before generalized gangrene, or same idea as vaccination, or same idea as drenching a fire when it gets started. The point is that moods propagate. When tyrants see other tyrants thrive, they do the same, and make alliances with them. That’s how the Roman civilization collapsed within a few years, bringing demographic collapse of up to 90%, and extremely lowered standards of living for survivors. 

Generally big wars start as a more tyrannical or plutocratic regime invading versus a more democratic or benevolent regime defending. Or vultures or scavenging nomads against settled civilization. Examples of this are legions in the last 5,000 years. 

The model applies even to inter-European wars of the last millennium: if one digs, one can always find bad guys or bad acts fomenting the pits. A refined example was the Pitts Prime Ministers of the UK who absolutely wanted a war with France in the Eighteenth Century. Gross examples are the Huns, Avars and Mongols invading Europe. The latter were all stopped by force (including in China, see the Ming rebellion).

If a morally-worse regime is crushed early on, it will stop. Had the US joined France in 1914, or 1939, the world wars would have probably stopped in 1915 and 1940, respectively. The Kaiser would have run out of ammunition, and Hitler out of generals.

The strategy to prevent a world war is to crush decisively attempts of tyrants to get a cascading advantage. This argument was made by Themistocles regarding Persia. Athens followed him, and Persia got crushed at Marathon, and later on during the second invasion attempt, thanks to Themistocles’ trireme fleet.

The argument that one should crush the tyrant early was repeated ad nauseam by philosopher and statesman Demosthenenes regarding Philipp of Macedonia. And it failed, by a hair… resulting in a 23 centurie eclipse of democracy. Had the Spartans been at the decisive battle, Macedonia would barely be mentioned in history books: Philipp and Alexander nearly got defeated, a few thousands Spartans would have won the battle.

Notice that in the case of Putin, “ramping up” was his work, devastating Chechnya (1999); then invading Georgia (2008)… where it was stopped by US soldiers’ presence… more than a thousand of them, advisers; then Ukraine (2014) 


Patrice Ayme

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