Tuesday, 24 April 2012

presto-chango or mission abolished

Though ostensibly in response to the promise of more moderate and democratic regimes in the wake of the Arab Spring (which caught the West off-guard, though now they are trying to countermand the movement and cultivate partnerships), elements within the US executive branch have pronounced the war on terror to be over, the tide receding. I truly hope that peace, openness and reason will return to fill that void, idleness of the machines of war, but I suspect that prosecuting terrorists is merely transmuting into something more devious and shadowy, and puts the conduct and shell-diplomacy of the US just a few precious notches above the forces and ideals that they were fighting against, until just now. The armed forces, vetted and contained by Congress, and the foreign service corps of America are being drastically cut, only to be replaced with mercenaries and all-seeing harpies. 
 One important characteristic, at least one that was highlighted by the US for justification, of terrorism is that these groups fight unconventionally, outside of the context and oversight of government and law. This shift to contracted warfare, rendition, secret operations sounds uncomfortably similar to the modus operandi of enemy combatants, unaccountable and held to no standards or overarching consensus.  Soldiers-of-Fortune do not exactly seem promising, not only in keeping the peace but also in terms of real defense from real threats.  Add to the formula the erosion of civil liberties, income disparities, chronic under-employment and a representative democracy that has strayed far from its intended purpose and process, America is becoming more rogue and difficult to distinguish as a leader among nations.