Should the US military conduct regular parades as a show of strength?

Should the US military conduct regular parades as a show of strength? by Tony Garcia

Answer by Tony Garcia:

Ah, yes, a return to those halcyon early days of the Cold War when the then-Soviet Union’s May Day parade would feature its alleged military might, including mock-ups of ICBM’s as there weren’t enough actual functioning missiles as claimed.

Let’s ignore the bilateral conferences of SALT and START that brought the world back from the brink of nuclear annihilation and restored sanity to geopolitics. Let us disengage from propitiousness and delve into absurdity, such as overspending on the defense budget—approaching $600 billion vs. $71 billion for education and $9 billion for the environment in 2015. And of course, let’s return to the aggressive posturing that resulted in the quagmires of the 1950’s and 1960’s: Iran, Iraq, Goa, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Congo.

And speaking of the military, the reality of their role today, that is, the war against terrorism, makes large conventional military operations the exception rather than the rule. Going forward, engagement will mainly involve special operations forces in discrete missions against specific targets, not conventional warfare aimed at overthrowing entire regimes.

The United States is relatively secure from conventional military attack, and has a strong nuclear deterrent force. So, what does an ostentatious show of military hardware demonstrate, other than Donald Trump’s aversion to impecunity?

No one is cowed by America’s military might, as the political landscape has changed radically in the past 65 years. The enemy is no longer a nation-state but extremists who have proved adaptable to even the most remote and desolate sovereignties. So whom, then, are the likely targets of our own weapons of mass destruction? Unwitting civilians.

Mr. Trump has expressed his affinity for war and oligarchs. What neither he nor his coterie of advisors realize is that his administration is steadily losing the most important battle: America’s hegemony.

Should the US military conduct regular parades as a show of strength?


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