America’s Grand Strategy

Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

“Robbing, slaughtering, pillaging they misname sovereign authority, and where they make an empty waste they call it peace.”  Tacitus puts this accurate if one-sided summation of Roman imperial strategy into the mouth of Calgacus, a Caledonian chieftain, urging the Celtic warriors to resist Roman expansion.  Tacitus was no isolationist, but Roman political intellectuals were far more candid than our latter-day imperialists.  Our patriots lack the courage that such candor requires, and they prefer to describe the expansion of the American empire as a defense of democracy, human rights, and territorial integrity.

Tacitus’ epigram is an apt description of the effective policy of all empires, whether Roman, British, Austro-Hungarian, Soviet, or American, which can only grow at the expense of the peoples foolish enough to resist amalgamation.  The subjugation and elimination of smaller ethnicities and identities is in the nature of empire, and it makes no difference if the empire goes by some euphemistic name such as “the Spartans and their allies” or the “Warsaw Pact nations” or, more recently, “the international community,” which would be more accurately described as “the United States and her satellites.” ...

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