In part one of a four-part series, AuthorHouse author Charles L. Levy, neurosurgeon and former military advisor, returns to Author’s Digest to discuss the United States and its policies toward Iran. Charles is the self-published author of the award-winning novel El Volcan.
THE AGE OF THE EMPIRE OF INFLUENCE, Part One
The great Prussian military strategist Carl von Clausewitz once famously remarked that “War is the continuation of Politik by other means.” We now stand at a point in our history when it might be better to consider that war is, in reality, the course of action that is pursued when diplomacy fails. War, in my opinion, should not be considered as a simple extension of policy from the realm of diplomacy into the realm of armed conflict. This view is folly. War is what happens when Politik has ended and been discarded and is not something to be taken lightly or considered in theoretical contexts.
We have seen in human history the failed Pax Romana; Pax Britannica; and, most recently, Pax Americana. Somehow, we have endlessly failed to learn the lessons so blatantly informed by these failures. A brilliant Native American leader once remarked “In order to know what lies ahead, one must simply look back.” I would urge our elected officials to take this simple step in order to insure a future for our nation.
The Roman emperor Hadrian provides an example of effective strategic national and foreign policy. Rome during his reign was far flung. The empire was beyond the ability of a central government to control. Hadrian looked at the situation and said, essentially, “This far and no further.” Hence, the construction of Hadrian’s wall which essentially ended the expansion of the Roman empire and defined its ultimate geographical limit. It is interesting to note that during his reign, the Roman empire flourished to perhaps a greater extent than at any other time in its history.
In fact, the wealthiest Roman during Hadrian’s rule was, in real terms, about ten times richer than the richest person on earth today. What does this mean? It means simply that a policy of constant internecine meddling aimed at endless expansion of influence is not the smartest or best course. There is a time for marshaling resources and turning the focus inward, which, if done prudently, can easily be achieved without disengaging or abandoning international relations and diplomacy.
Check back at Author’s Digest in one week for the continuation of our guest blog post from Dr. Charles Levy.