DISCUSS: The “Pre-War Era”?

DISCUSS: The “Pre-War Era”? April 12, 2024

After a Russian missile entered his country’s airspace, the Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, had some sobering words for the rest of Europe:

“War is no longer a concept from the past, it is real.”

“The most worrying thing is that every scenario is possible. I know it sounds devastating, especially for the younger generation, but we have to get used to the fact that a new era has begun: the pre-war era.”

A large-scale conventional war, characterized by both old-style trench warfare and new-style drone attacks, is being waged between Russia and Ukraine.  Israel waged a bloody war against Hamas, and though its invasion of Gaza has been halted, Iran along with its surrogates Hezbollah and the Houthis are threatening to ignite a wider war.  Nations in South and Central America are torn by narco-wars, with Haiti collapsing into anarchy and some of those nations threatening to go war with each other.  There is fighting in North Africa, Nigeria, and Sudan.  In Asia, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is torn by bloody ethnic conflict, and the Syrian civil war continues.  ISIS is back. Afghanistan has resumed its role as a haven for terrorists, now that the Taliban is flush with its victory over the United States.  And China has greatly expanded its military and is rattling its saber.  Wikipedia is keeping a list of ongoing armed conflicts.

What does this resurgence of global warfare mean for the United States?  We are already deeply involved as arms suppliers to Ukraine and Israel, but our own military is short of supplies, manpower, and morale.  Can we stay out of all of these conflicts?  Should we intervene in some of them?  Is there any way of calming things down?

In short, do you agree with Prime Minister Tusk that we are in “the pre-war era,” his conviction that a large-scale global conflict is coming?  If so, what should we do to prepare and/or to fend it off?

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