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Our Everlasting Volume 1 (Yaoi) (v. 1)

Our Everlasting, Volume 01 - Toko Kawai On his retirement in 1965, Air Force General Thomas S. Power was granted permission from the Pentagon to publish these essays reflecting the changes he had witnessed in modern warfare over his career, and his musings on the military challenges he foresaw in America’s near future. Browsing in the bookstore, I happened to see Chapter 5, which really sold me on the book. So who is this guy, and why I should care about his opinion? Thomas S. Power’s 37 year military career includes his becoming –at age 39- one of the youngest Generals of World War II, which he earned perfecting strategic bombing tactics in the Pacific theatre. When conventional incendiary bombing was eclipsed by the atomic bomb, Power was placed in charge of postwar atomic weapons development, and he worked with General Curtis LeMay in formulating the nation’s first nuclear warfare tactics. His last seven years were spent as Commander In Chief of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). That’s all pretty damn impressive… plus, the dude’s last name is “Power”!Gen Thomas S. Power -yeah, that’s FOUR STARS you see on his shoulder.Chapter 5: The "One World" syndromeI just want to go directly to the best part first. In the course of his duties as a four-star general, Power frequently advised leaders at the highest levels of government. As the Cold War continued, he became concerned with a trend he noticed: during discussions about long-term strategies towards the Soviet Union, more and more national leaders began to ask about, and even advocate for building up the United Nations into a unipolar military force. That is to say, instead of existing as a deliberative body and a forum for international diplomacy, there was a suggestion that the UN should become the world’s only military force. The idea behind this is that –with a monopoly of force, international rivalries could never flare up into war. The Soviet-American competition, for example, could never spiral out of control into Mutually Assured Destruction. The people of the world would give up their arms to a trusted public force for good, and, disarmed, would be incapable of harming one another. All would be as in a placid Utopia.Who thought this would be a good idea? Well, the authors of “Blueprint for the Peace Race”, for starters. That was the title of a point paper submitted to the Geneva Disarmament Conference, by the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in April 1962. The paper outlines a three-stage plan for all nations to surrender their military forces to the United Nations. Included in the document is a passage reading (p.70): "An ultimate goal of the United States is a world which is free from the scourge of war and the dangers and burdens of armaments, in which the use of force has been subordinated to the rule of law, and in which international adjustments to a changing world are achieved peacefully." Sounds flowery and idealistic but think about it for a bit. All nations would be at the mercy of the UN to protect them and enforce international laws and treaties, and anybody who didn’t agree with the UN would have no recourse. It would be a UN's "my way or the highway" world. And once hegemony was in place, wouldn’t it attract the most corrupt, ambitious, power-lusting sociopaths the globe over, to positions in the new world government? Even if you believe the UN today is a wonderful, benevolent institution, there would be no checks and balances to keep it that way.Moving on: who else liked the One World Government idea? Department of State Policy Planning Council Chairman, W. W. Rostow did. He actually writes: “It is a legitimate American national objective to see removed from all nations- including the United States- the right to use substantial military force to pursue their own interests. Since this residual right is the root of national sovereignty and the basis for the existence of an international arena of power, it is, therefore, an American interest to see an end to nationhood as it has historically been defined.”That, from an official at the State Department?!? He’s very matter-of-factly talking about the surrender of national sovereignty. Before you get all excited about the perfect world we’d be getting in return, it’s worth remembering that living under UN rule means giving up the US Bill of Rights. Maligned as it has been in recent years, I think it’s the best thing going for people who want to live free of tyranny, and the UN doesn’t have it.Do you need more names? Here’s Robert M. Hutchins, Associate Director of the Ford Foundation, speaking to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR): “No teacher can avoid pointing out that national sovereignty is synonymous with international anarchy. Disarmament and some form of world government are going to be necessary if your grandchildren and the DAR are to survive.”This isn’t some drugged-out hippie, or a lunatic off his meds; this is a Director at the Ford Foundation. My point in all this is to note for the record specific persons in leadership positions who really did seriously advocate surrender of US national sovereignty, and all its attendant freedoms. This is usually the sort of thing people say is a “crazy conspiracy theory”, isn’t it?If you wonder why I'm getting spun up about the idea of a UN military, consider how every time the UN sends a "peacekeeping force" into a region, it always comes out that the force is corrupt, exploitative, and leaves the region wondering if they weren't better off with anarchy. Here's just a brief search of stories like that:Sex abuse by U.N. troops in SudanU.N. Peacekeepers Raping Children in the CongoSex Abuse by U.N. troops in HaitiCorruption and Cover-up by U.N. ForcesU.N. Troops involved with smuggling and arms dealingCorruption within U.N. Peacekeeping ForcesAll those points aside, the General makes the eminently reasonable objection that the UN is definitionally international in nature and composition, so will never reflect the attitudes, values, and historic character of the American people as well as our own national government. To ceed our self-determination to this alien power (be it benevolent or not) makes no sense as a strategy for "preserving our way of life"; it is still a surrender of sorts, and if the prevailing attitudes of the UN were ever at odds with the wishes and desires of the American public, we might come to find that surrender to the UN was no better than surrender to the Soviets.The Rest of the Book: Is the rest of this book worth reading? It probably is. A lot has changed between 1965 and 2013, but it’s interesting to hear this old Cold Warrior sharing his perspective. Most of what the General has to say pertains to the Soviet Union. Check out the highlights:1) Although the principle of “Mutually Assured Destruction” kept the world in an uneasy state of dynamic peace for fifty years, Power believes nuclear weapons actually favor first strike strategies. A surprise first strike with conventional weapons may cripple an enemy, but there is little hope they could completely eliminate a nation’s ability to counterstrike. Power cites the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as a case example: Even though the raid was a success, striking a blow against American forces in the Pacific, the US was able to recover. More importantly, the US was able to hit back at Japan with Doolittle’s Raid on Tokyo, just four months after Pearl Harbor. A successful nuclear first strike might completely obliterate an enemy- particularly if the players are not evenly matched (e.g. a nuclear state attacking a non-nuclear state).2) Interesting point: In the calculus of nuclear deterrence, in order to avoid war, each side needs to convince the other that a first strike would not completely incapacitate the enemy, and would trigger a response resulting in unacceptable losses. The United States was at a disadvantage here, because “unacceptable losses” is a very subjective term. American leadership is dependent on public approval, and America is a nation which has been spared the horrors of 20th century warfare on our own soil. In our history, the greatest number of American losses in a single conflict was the Civil War, which resulted in 600,000 dead. Russia, on the other hand, has a leadership comparatively isolated from the wrath of public opinion. Further, Russian ideas of “unacceptable losses” are seen in the context of 20 million Soviets killed in World War II, and the raising to the ground of giant industrial towns like Stalingrad. To achieve parity on the scales of “unacceptable losses”, the US actually needed a much greater nuclear arsenal than the USSR.3) Power didn’t believe any arms reduction treaties would be possible with the Soviets. His skepticism was founded on the same concerns as Ronald Reagan’s: “Trust But Verify”. The problem was, Power didn’t believe verification could ever be reliable. He believed the arms race would continue escalating, never drawing down, until one side broke. America’s challenge was to neutralize the Soviet threat through some other means (economic, political) before arms proliferation madness overtook us all. It’s more or less what happened.4) “The Brushfire Strategy”. Citing all the reasons the superpowers would not want to directly engage each other, Power expected that future hot conflicts between the USA and USSR would be fought through proxies. While any one or two scuffles might not affect a superpower much, the expense of these over time could be draining. Power hypothesized a sensible Soviet strategy would be to bog the US down into a multiplicity of little “brushfire” wars, which would sap the nation’s resources. I’m not sure how easy these are to manufacture “to-order”, but that's a different discussion. With several little “brushfires” burning lately (Iraq, Afghanistan, the threat of Iran), I can see General Power’s point.5) “Running out the clock”. The General’s analysis of the Soviet position in 1965 was that it had missed its opportunity (through the Sputnik program) to overtake America in military technologic proficiency. To maintain parity with the US, it would have to compensate its lesser technologies with greater numbers. As capitalism drove the technology gap between the powers wider with time, this would ultimately be unsustainable. Power saw that America could outwait the Soviet Union, if only it could contain it, and avoid a nuclear war in the interim. Interestingly, he opines that Soviets felt an additional pressure from China: to become masters of a post-capitalist world (which Power believed was the Soviets’ ultimate goal), Russia needed not only to defeat the US, but to do so before China matched them in military and economic strength.6) An insider’s view: When Joseph Stalin died in 1953, American military strategists waited with bated breath to see who would emerge as his successor. In military planning circles, there was apparently a school of thought that perhaps the Soviet Union had evolved such a cult of personality around Stalin, that it might not be functional when he died. Some people in the Pentagon thought there was a chance another revolution might occur, and even fragmentation and the end of the monolithic socialist system… sort of like happened in 1991. It’s an interesting thought, and reasonable enough; I just never knew anybody was thinking that in 1953.Readers may be surprised to find the General's writings do not resemble the testosterone-fueled warhawk stereotype popularized by Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 Doctor Strangelove. Indeed, he comes across as resolute, but level-headed and dispassionate. The whole thing may be worth a read, if you’re into the history of it. If not, just go for Chapter 5. That’s not history; it’s history in the making.