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All Butter, Aging Guns


David Goldman of First Things spells out what the near future looks like if a superpower disinvests in military technology, as we are now doing. He notes that, without a superpower to keep a lid on internecine tribal, ethnic, and small-state powers, small wars erupt. They start with events such as this past weekend’s dispatch by suicide bombing of a bunch of Iranian Revolutionary Guard generals. “Without America to mediate, scold and restrain, each of the small powers in the region has no choice but to test its strength against the others,” writes Goldman. “That is why the major players in the region resemble a troupe of manic Morris dancers in a minefield.” He suggests an interesting alternative to Israel’s acting alone to deal with Iran’s nukes (if, as seems likely, America punts on the issue). Goldman also pulls together a lot of interesting loose ends, including the great mystery of why Obama is running all policy out of his pocket, through White House “czars,” instead of through normal channels. After all, he appointed the cabinet secretaries.


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