Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today's Reading Assignment

Victor Davis Hanson, at National Review, on "The Dangerous Dog Days of August." As he reminds us, a number of major conflicts have begun in the waning days of summer, including both World Wars, the first Gulf War, and the attacks of 9-11.

The best antidote for preventing such calamities in the future? Hanson sums it up in two words: military readiness, with this final warning for those who refuse to heed that lesson:

Even more worrisome, in times of 1939-like recession and staggering deficits, the United States is understandably talking of massive cutbacks in its military. Nations never reduce defense expenditures because they want smaller militaries, but because in tough times the public shortsightedly thinks that money is better spent on social programs at home.

The combination of provocative rivals abroad, our president’s constant assurances that the United States has been at fault in the past and wants to reach out to enemies in the future, and probable defense reductions should remind us to tread carefully this late summer.

Unfortunately, the past guns of August teach us that war may be looking for those who are not looking for war.

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