There are no indications that the world is getting any safer and history would show that mankind’s proclivity is to resolving differences through violence. It is a matter of record that western nations, and particularly those aligned with the USA, are perceived as culpable for many of the world’s ills. The western democracies are targets of many ideological narratives, most prominently an Islamic one, that proposes the west is corrupt, decadent and exploitative. These narratives have ideological roots that provide the presuppositions with which people use information they receive.
How can we be confident that there will be due warning of a significant event which requires an urgent mobilisation of power to defend against a threat to our liberty? Why are we so confident about the assumptions our Ministry of Defence makes about the time available to prepare for conflict? Will our military and civilian agencies have time to equip, train and response? Major General Tim Cross tells of taking command of his logistic unit in 1993ish and being called the following day to report to the aircraft for deployment to the Gulf.
After the Second World War the British Army spent forty years facing the imminent threat across the German border while conducting several operations around the globe. Did our posture prevent conflict, increase the risk of war, or provoke our potential adversary to reinforce? What about the wars in other parts of the war caricatured as, ‘proxy wars’? Were they despite the Cold War or, as some claim, a consequence of our unwillingness to engage the Soviets with battlefield nuclear weapons? In modern times only one year, 1968, has a British soldier not been killed in active service.
The answers to these questions are formed through the prism of our presuppositions or worldview. If you think the British Government’s current policy of shrinking the Army is good and there is coming a time when we will hardly need an Army (or police for that matter) then you probably think you, and mankind are essentially good and want to get along (we just need the right system (your system probably)). I would propose that you do not have a shred of evidence to support mankind’s willingness to reconcile differences peacefully. I see history displaying, in bloody technocolour, mankind’s greed, pride and distrust for his neighbour.
My worldview informs me that we did well to remain on our guard before the Soviet Third Shock Army. We will do well to remain on our guard before the doctrinal ideology of mankind’s religions, grand political philosophies (Marxism, communism, and all the other isms). The question is how much suffering, how many Tamil Tiger suicide bombs, how many 9/11s and 7/7s, or killing fields of Cambodia have there to be before we realise the threat? The world is not getting any safer.