Cold War backlash
by BruceHH on July 8, 2012Having read 'Arsenals of Folly' by Richard Rhodes, and keeping an eye on the current situation, I can see history repeating itself. I also find interesting the references to short stories, novels and movies, some of which are prescient. Such as the short story "Top Secret" which appeared in the magazine 'Authentic Science Fiction' in 1953. It's about a group of friendly men in business suits that have a secret facility in a small town. Turns out they were Soviets building an atomic device in the US.
One gets a different view of political figures. Ike noted "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies...a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed." Yet he allowed us to become more deeply involved in Vietnam and Iran at the instigation of our 'allies' in Europe.
During Kennedy's administration, the Army Chief of Staff, George Decker, warned against military involvement in Southeast Asia. He was not re-appointed. A similar incident occurred during Bush 43's first term. Eric Shinseki, Army Chief of Staff, warned that an order of magnitude more troops would be needed in Iraq than Rumsfeld was proposing. He was not re-appointed.
The author also provides a brief description of the attack on the USS Liberty which clearly shows the Israelis knew what they were doing. But thanks to AIPAC, little was done and Israel still receives strong support.
The book actually supports the ideas of "Imperial Hubris". Various examples are given of intelligence and counter-intelligence failures and exaggerations due to hubris.
A couple of ideas stated in this book are: one, our alleged allies are not really out allies; two, perhaps barely noted because it is stated as pertaining to how the Soviet Union could have saved itself, "eschew the ruinous compulsion to devote so staggering a percentage of its total resources to military preparations."
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