How have the U.S.’s many wars since World War II helped the general public, as opposed to the defense and intelligence contractors? From David C. Hendrickson at theamericanconservative.com:
The truth is that America’s struggle against the world’s autocracies badly threatens American security.
The biggest problem in American foreign policy is that the institutions and postures that were supposed to bring security have in fact brought profound insecurity. U.S. officialdom is edging closer to armed conflict, but seemingly without consciousness of the profound vulnerabilities war would bring. This contradiction is not a novel feature of the American position in the world, but it is perhaps more manifest today than ever before. Assuming responsibility for the world’s conflicts, the United States has enmeshed itself in all the world’s conflicts. Its national security state has become a threat to the security of the American people.
The present age is distinguished from the past in one vital respect. It is marked by the existence of embedded interdependencies in numerous domains—military, financial, economic, ecological, cyber, biological—all of which have immense harm-producing potential. To go to war, even to the brink of war, brings all these vulnerabilities into play. In effect, it makes hostages of the American people to the vicissitudes of America’s world role. That prospect doesn’t seem to frighten our rulers. It should frighten the ruled.
It hardly needs demonstration that the United States is closer to war with Russia than at any time in the past three decades, and more so than most times during the Cold War. By the 1960s there were clear “red lines,” understood and respected by both sides; that is no longer true. That the United States has revived the Lend Lease legislation of 1941 is eerily symbolic, because that earlier moment featured both a fierce determination to aid the allies and a no less emphatic public unwillingness to get into the war. We know how that contradiction was resolved. The United States is not formally at war with Russia, but it has adopted aims that cannot be achieved without a war.