Aren’t you bored of war yet? After all, for a dozen years so far, the grand old U.S. of A. (and a few unfortunate allies) has been at war. While the whole greater conflict’s beginning can be traced to 2001, everything becomes a whole lot murkier after that.
At first, America was under undeniable attack. As a panicked New York City shook under a cloud of dust and smoke, something had to be done. The perpetrators of the attack had to be stopped. And so Afghanistan, as one of the countries found guilty of hosting the mostly-Saudi terrorists, had to go down in flames. The great American war machine surged into action, thousands of new recruits spilling into its ranks, eager to kick some Taliban Tali-butt.
Then the conquest was over, but the enemy was still alive and kicking, and the will to take up arms against the enemies of the U.S still burned strong. Then Saddam Hussein became a threat to national security. He hated America, looked vaguely similar to the terrorist enemies, and could possibly have possessed some really nasty weapons. Plus, he was undeniably a really big meanie, and no one would shed a tear if something bad were to happen to him. And so the war machine poured into Iraq as well.
What next? It all becomes a little fuzzy after that. Drone-striking terrorists in Yemen and Pakistan. Bombing and invading another meanie with no immediate security risk in Libya (but not really invading because… kinetic something). Now Syria has become that eight shot of tequila after which nothing makes sense anymore. Groups affiliated to al-Qaeda are our allies now? Chemical weapons? Wait, Africa too? Did anyone even hear about that one?
Now, after a whole generation of perpetual war, with no clear beginning to each conflict and definitely no clear end in sight, enthusiasm for war is waning. Iraq sort of stabilized. Afghanistan continues to be, well Afghanistan, all American lives seemingly going into the great black hole of no progress. Now Libya is free from Gaddafi’s clutches, but still in turmoil, and Syria promises to turn out the same. Where are the great enemies of American freedom? Where are all the good wars? When is the end of war going to come?
The answer is that there were never any great, clear-cut enemies. There were no good wars. They will never end on their own. Slowly but surely, the American people are losing enthusiasm for the myriad conflicts going on around the globe. No energy is left for going out there and kicking some nondescript foreigner butt. War ennui has taken full effect.
We can expect the wars to come to an end, not because they are won. Not because they are lost. Not because of a great rising up against the state of perpetual war. But rather, wtih a quiet, cold withdrawal. When the time comes to seriously restructure the budget of the U.S. government, the war machine will fall on the chopping block without fanfare.
Before long, all these twisted, useless conflicts will be but a foggy memory in a couple of old-timers’ aging heads. “Remember back when we were killing all them terrorist types?” “Yeah, whatever happened to that?”