Unpayable Military Obligations of the U.S.

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The U.S. government has debt-like obligations of a military nature that can trigger American wars overseas via treaties that obligate Americans to fight in the defense of many foreign states. These are listed by the U.S. Department of State.

The Foreign Minister of Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, is quoted from a secret tape as saying this: “You know that the Polish-US alliance isn’t worth anything. It is downright harmful, because it creates a false sense of security … Complete bullshit. We’ll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we’ll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers.”

Whether true or not, the concern expressed is that the U.S. can’t or won’t fulfill its treaty obligations if called upon to do so. This concern is reasonable because the U.S. has entered into so many military obligations. If several of these were triggered at the same time, would Americans be willing to tender their blood and wealth to defend a whole bunch of foreign states and peoples? Could they? The conditions are not the same as in World War II. Now insurgencies are common.

In the same way that the U.S. government has debt obligations that it can’t pay off and social welfare promises that it cannot meet, it has contingent military obligations that, if triggered, it cannot meet. Sikorski is correct, whether he said those words or not.

The U.S. military is capable of taking down governments like those of Saddam Hussein and the Afghanistan Taliban. It can occupy some territory in and around a capital city. However, insurgencies arise throughout the country and unconventional wars occur after these occupations. The Iraqi insurgency began almost immediately after the shock and awe ceased, and it’s still going on today in a new form. So is the insurgency in Afghanistan. The U.S. forces cannot defeat these insurgencies.

2:14 pm on June 23, 2014