Escalatory danger in the Levant and at sea – Sic Semper Tyrannis
TTG and I have decided to divide up the task of writing of the dangers present in the possibility of escalation in the Syria/Mediterranean area and/or in the NATO/Russian confrontation over Ukraine and the ultimate borders of Russia.
Syria and the Mediterranean – To my surprise I find that many people do not understand that military escalation is not a coldly rational process of war gaming action/reaction in a Hegelian way. The “Wizards of Armageddon” of fifty years ago may have imagined that this was the case but few of them had ever fought anyone nor had they borne the weight of seeking to exercise or advise restraint when group think, imagined proofs of masculinity and fantasies of national destiny were in the air. To some extent the Marxist notion of war as a conspiracy to seize and exploit resources plays into the idea that an escalatory process can be halted whenever the game looks unprofitable. All of history provides evidence that this is not the case. An example would be the deliberations of the Japanese war council before Pearl Harbor. In those discussions the emperor’s advisors believed that US determination to stop their drive to power in Asia required them to go to war. It was understood by the members of the council that the US was potentially much the stronger power but in the end the council told Hirohito that if Japan did not fight the US they (the Japanese) would not be the men their ancestors had been.
It may be that the danger of an escalatory incident leading to war may be greater in eastern Europe but my personal focus is on the Levant and Mediterranean. In that area I deeply fear an incident at sea or in the air against Russian forces that could lead us to mutual destruction.
Those challenged in self-esteem may seek to prove themselves by goading The Bear but I learned not to do such stupid things. pl