Andrew Bacevich: U.S. Learned The Wrong Lessons From The Fall of the Berlin Wall

The postwar era should have ended in 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell or when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. This is what Pat Buchanan campaigned on in the 1990s. Instead, it went into overdrive once it was liberated from all external constraints.

LA Times:

“Thirty years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the end of the Cold War. Where there had been two superpowers locked in a dangerous decades-long post-World War II rivalry, only one remained. A global order commonly but misleadingly referred to as bipolar gave way to a new era even more misleadingly referred to as unipolar.

The onset of this unipolar order induced in Washington a mood of sheer giddiness. Leading members of the foreign policy establishment persuaded themselves that a period of unprecedented promise now beckoned, with not only the United States but the world at large sure to benefit. The way ahead seemed clear. All that was needed to ensure the fulfillment of these happy expectations was for America to demonstrate the requisite level of leadership.

After all, leadership had enabled the United States to prevail in the Cold War. Through more of the same, the U.S. would now reap the benefits of victory for itself and for others. After all, who was there to say nay? Who would dare challenge the aims and aspirations of the world’s “indispensable nation”? …

As for what requisite American leadership meant, the answer was more of the same: The United States should perpetuate the commitments, priorities, habits and especially the military posture that had evolved since 1945. The fundamentals of U.S. national security policy — our role as global policeman — would remain unchanged …”

It is going to end in a different way now.

China will surpass the West in the 2020s and 2030s while it implodes due to smoldering resentment and internal divisions over decades of multiculturalism and mass immigration. The postwar era will be bookended by something truly awful and wrenching like the sudden collapse of colonialism in Africa rather than a ticker tape victory parade.

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  1. The problem is that America believed it made USSR fall. USSR made USSR fall. Basically Gorbachev prioritized political freedom in front of economic stability.

    The fact is, language is an extremely big barrier. Try learning Russian or Arabic, or a language that is not western european after you have hit mental maturity.

    When we invade foreign countries and try to convert them to our ways, we’re seen as total aliens in a way that is different from our own racial diversity. We can’t even speak to each other. People like Hillary Clinton underestimate these gigantic cultural gaps between western and eastern europe and the middle east.

    Neo-cons and their fellow travelers in the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party are too confident that we made things happen, when they happened on their own.

    Also communist in russia didn’t go the way of nazism in germany or fascism in italy. The communist party is still a respected no 2 contender and growing. I predict socialism gains in russia for at least 10-15 years.

  2. But for the fact that NATO is meant to occupy Germany and keep it from ever being a White nation again, it should have disbanded by no later than 1991.

    But unfortunately, and unlike the rest of the world, the former United States® are still stuck in the 1980s. And it looks like the politicians that will succeed Biden’s generation, have been trained to fight the Soviets in the 1980’s, too.

    Which is why we’re falling behind the 21st Century world, and why automation will be a nonstarter in the U.S.

    • Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s military adviser and first Secretary general of NATO said that the purpose of NATO was to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down. It served its purpose but now is simply another bureaucratic parasite, a dangerous and expensive one too. History is full of lost opportunities, disbanding NATO in the early ’90’s is one of them.

      • Yes, NATO should have been disbanded after 1991, instead of expanding and committing massive aggression and war crimes in Serbia, Libya and elsewhere.

  3. Hopefully the former DDR will be spared from the racial and cultural genocide being inflicted on the rest of the former Reich. In hindsight East Germany was much freer and more German under Soviet socialism.

    • Ultra-hideous jew journalist in Germany Anetta Kahane has loudly complained about “too many bio-German men” in Thuringia DDR.

    • The Soviets may have imposed their system and dismantled factories and sent them east, but they fed the population and did not deliberately starve millions to death as the UK and Eisenhower did…

    • No, they are cracking down on them. Expect them to redouble their efforts in eastern Germany, where they have stood up and said “NO” to enforced immigration.

      They are flying in plane loads of military age african males as we speak.

  4. Commentary from someone that was there in Saturday.

    There was a big disconnect between the way the German, American and international media portrayed the bittersweet nature of the day, and the attitude of most people on the ground about the bittersweet nature of the day.

    The only thing in common between the two sides is the bittersweet mentality.

    The disconnect is really easy to explain:

    The media and political establishment thought that 30 years ago Saturday leading up to the day after Christmas 1991, the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, was the process which meant the Fukuyamaite “end of history.”  But in the generation since then, the promise of utopian liberal democracy has been unrealized, and is now being set back by those white populists and nationalists who stubbornly continue to take their own side.  The German media in particular also used the day as another opportunity to squeal about the lingering east-west divide.

    Germans on the ground in Berlin on Saturday were bittersweet, because the grassroots mentality starting 30 years ago Saturday and peaking on the day of formal reunification the next year was that, now, finally, the Russians and Americans would take their troops and go home, and Germany could finally become genuinely independent and a true global power and maybe even superpower, and at the very least, quit being a vassal-client of either.  In that time, obviously the Russians left in very short order, mainly because the USSR proper was itself on its last leg.  But American disengagement from Germany has been a much more slow process, and still to this day not consummated.  While the American military footprint in Germany has been declining, what has not abated is American soft power. 

    To wit, and as a very small example:  The new Reagan statue debuted on Friday very near the exact spot where Reagan stood on the high podium to deliver the “Tear Down This Wall” address.  While JFK is openly honored about two miles southwest of that point, at the old West Berlin City Hall, the site of “Ich Bin Ein Berliner,” (and miss me with the jelly donut nonsense, that’s fake news), the reason why the Reagan statue there and now rubs Germans a little bit of the wrong way is because Americans are continuing to use Germany for American political ends, when by now, they thought we would have been long gone.

    So that basically sums up the disconnect.  Politicians and the media are upset that populism and nationalism still exist, while grassroots Germans are upset that Germany is still an American vassal-client.

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