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The Phony War 2002: How the West Through Their Unwisdom, Carelessness, and Good Nature Allowed the Wicked to Rearm

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In 1939, after France and England had declared war on Germany, U.S. newspapers described the period of desultory military activity as the Phony War. In England it was known as the Twilight War, and in Germany, Sitzkrieg. We are today, engaged in just such a phony war. This is an analogy worthy of our consideration, for just as in the early stages of World War II when opportunities were missed that, in the ensuing years, would cost millions of casualties, so to now are we foregoing opportunities that could save American lives in the future. Churchill proposed calling World War II, The Unnecessary War. And so it was. The Allies could have stopped Hitler from re-arming in 1933-34 - an activity clearly proscribed by the Peace Treaty. They missed another opportunity in 1935 when Hitler re-introduced conscription in violation of the Locarno Pact. Throughout the 1930s, the militaries of France and Britain were vastly superior to Germanys. Ironically, perhaps because of this overwhelming superiority and the hubris it engendered, coupled with the recognition that Germanys military elite itself understood Germanys own deficiencies, the Western democracies failed to act decisively. The threat was sufficiently diffuse, and the necessary remedies too painful to undertake. Unfortunately, this is precisely the state of affairs we are presented with today as we pursue our own phony war. Rational calculations by Western governments and their intellectual elites clearly recognize the tremendous disparities between Western military capabilities and those of our Eastern adversaries. European governments in particular, see no reason to tackle the inconvenient and messy activities necessary to thwart development of weapons of mass effects WME, despite the fact that these capabilities have the very real potential of blossoming into the essential facilitators for the first World War of this millennium.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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