Quote of the Day: War and Peace

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war). – Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, Epitoma rei militaris 4th Century AD

The United States has been at peace for the last 70-odd years. Yes, it has been involved in foreign conflicts since the end of World War II from the Korea War through the ill-named War on Terror. Yet during that time actual US soil has not been touched by war, except possibly by the terrorism of 9-11. The last year there was a real existential threat to US soil was in 1942, including a brief occupation of minor bits of what later became Alaska.

Through the first fifty years of that peace, the US was prepared for war, with the most powerful military in the world. Even prior to our entry into World War II we were preparing for war, with the largest peacetime buildup of the military in US history. We simply maintained that force after the war.

It worked, too. Despite domestic fears of a nuclear holocaust during that period, the very strength of the US arsenal kept our foes at bay. They did not wish to take the risk associated with attacking the US. Ultimately our biggest strategic foe, the Soviet Union collapsed under the economic weight imposed by challenging the US. It is gone.

Yet over the last 20 years we are not so prepared for war, despite the War on Terror. The US military has lost focus on its main objective: maintaining a powerful war-winning deterrent.  Instead it is focused on environmental initiatives and identity politics. Where once the only color in the US Army was green, today it differentiates between different shades of black and brown, and gender, gender identity and gender fluidity, too. We have neglected the industrial base that supports our military. Even as our weapons grow more powerful those wielding them grow less ready.

Vis pacem, para bellum is one of the most famous Roman sayings. Most assume it dates to the expansionary period of Roman history, the late Republic or early Empire. It does not. It was first written down at the sunset of the Western Roman Empire in the Fourth Century. It was intended as a warning. The Romans disregarded that warning.  Will we?

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  1. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Seawriter: The United States has been at peace for the last 70-odd years.

    That’s not how I remember it.  I am still waiting for my peace dividend.    That said, weakness is provocative, when you are the world’s policeman.

     

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Seawriter:

    The Romans disregarded that warning.  Will we?

    Probably.

    • #2
  3. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Seawriter: The United States has been at peace for the last 70-odd years.

    That’s not how I remember it.  I am still waiting for my peace dividend.

    List the US cities occupied by enemy armies. Or the ones bombed to rubble (or even hit by missiles). Give examples of how many times we have gone through wartime deprivations such as rationing or travel restrictions within the US due to the wars we have been involved in since 1945. By historic standards of what war and peace has been through history we have been at peace domestically. We don’t appreciate how unusual that is or how lucky we have been because we assume peace is normal. It is not.

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Like WWII, war is coming because we will be seen as weak.

    • #4
  5. QuietPI Member
    QuietPI
    @Quietpi

    Percival (View Comment):

    Seawriter:

    The Romans disregarded that warning. Will we?

    Probably.

    Not probably.  It’s clear to all who look.

    • #5
  6. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    This nation has not been 100% prepared for war since Bill Clinton decided to spend the “peace dividend”.

    Luckily, we still had enough in the tank to fight the first part of the War on Terror, however, as the war(s) dragged on, the troops started to get worn down.

    Then Obama came in and it was all over.  Money that should have been spent refurbishing the military instead went to social programs.  Although Trump was able to “hold serve”, Biden tore into the military with his DEI programs.

    Now, our military is in deep s***.  It’s sad to see.

    • #6
  7. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    The last year there was a real existential threat to US soil was in 1942, including a brief occupation of minor bits of what later became Alaska.

    A minor quibble if I may. Those minor bits were not part of what later became Alaska. They were part of what was already the U.S. Territory of Alaska which became a state thirteen years later. 

    • #7
  8. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Seawriter: The United States has been at peace for the last 70-odd years.

    That’s not how I remember it. I am still waiting for my peace dividend.

    List the US cities occupied by enemy armies. Or the ones bombed to rubble (or even hit by missiles). Give examples of how many times we have gone through wartime deprivations such as rationing or travel restrictions within the US due to the wars we have been involved in since 1945. By historic standards of what war and peace has been through history we have been at peace domestically. We don’t appreciate how unusual that is or how lucky we have been because we assume peace is normal. It is not.

    War is not always fought on the home territory. The United States has been lucky, but it has been involved in wars.

    • #8
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