2010 will be another year of war for the United States and, from assassination campaigns to new fronts in what is no longer called the Global War on Terror but is no less global or based on terror, it could get a lot uglier. The Obama administration may, from time to time, talk withdrawal, but across the Middle East and Central Asia, the Pentagon and its contractors are digging in. In the meantime, more money, not less, is being put into preparations and planning for future wars. As William Hartung points out, â€œif the governmentâ€™s current plans are carried out, there will be yearly increases in military spending for at least another decade.â€
When it comes to war, the only questions are: How wide? How much? Not: How long? Washingtonâ€™s answer to that question has already been given, not in public pronouncements, but in that Pentagon budget and the planning that goes with it: forever and a day.
Of course, only diamonds are forever. Sooner or later, like great imperial powers of the past, we, too, will find that the stress of fighting a continuous string of wars in distant lands in inhospitable climes tells on us. Whether we â€œwinâ€ or not in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Yemen, we lose.