Do U.S. foreign policymakers have a clear cut idea of what they want, other than for the U.S. to be the perpetual king of the hill? From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
The West cannot relinquish the sense of itself at the centre of the Universe, albeit no longer in a racial sense, Alastair Crooke writes.
A strategic aim would require a unitary purpose that could be succinctly outlined. It would require additionally a compelling clarity about the means by which the aim would be achieved and a coherent vision about what a successful outcome would actually look like.
Winston Churchill described the aim of WW2 as the destruction of Germany. But this was ‘platitude’, and no strategy. Why was Germany to be destroyed? What interest did destroying such a major trading partner achieve? Was it to save the imperial trading system? The latter failed (after ‘Suez’) and Germany went into a deep recession. So, what was the end result intended to be? At one point, a completely de-industrialised, pastoralised Germany was postulated as the (improbable) endgame.
Churchill opted for rhetoric and ambiguity.
Is the English-speaking world today any clearer about its strategic aims with its war on Russia than then? Is its strategy really that of destroying and dismembering Russia? If so, to what precise end (as ‘the jump-off’ to war on China?). And how is Russia’s destruction – a major land-power – to be accomplished by states whose strengths are primarily naval and air power? And what would follow? A Babel Tower of clashing Asian statelets?
The destruction of Germany (an ancient dominant cultural power) was a Churchillian rhetorical flourish (good for morale), but not strategy. In the end, it was Russia that made the decisive intervention in the Second War. And Britain ended the war financially bust (with huge debts) – a dependency, and hostage to Washington.