[Content Note: Militarism.]

Last week, President Obama gave an address at West Point in which he ostensibly laid out "his vision for a new chapter in American foreign policy," during which he said:
This weekend, Ukrainians voted by the millions. Yesterday, I spoke to their next president. We don't know how the situation will play out, and there will remain grave challenges ahead, but standing with our allies on behalf of international order, working with international institutions, has given a chance for the Ukrainian people to choose their future—without us firing a shot.
This week, Obama is touring Europe, and has promised to send US troops and military resources to help provide security:
Barack Obama has assured Poland and its eastern European neighbours that the American commitment to their security was unswerving at the start of a four-day trip meant to show US resolve after the Russian intervention in Ukraine.

The White House unveiled plans for a $1bn initiative to send more of its military to Europe on a temporary basis but stopped short of promising to increase its permanent presence, as some of Washington's allies are seeking. It said the US would review its presence on the continent.

...The military assistance proposed by the White House, called the European Reassurance Initiative, aims to include greater US participation in training and exercises, deploying US military planners, and more persistent naval deployments near Russia in the Black Sea and Baltic Sea.
One billion dollars of military presence to support NATO security, which has some leaders fearful that "a significant increase in Nato forces on Russia's borders could prompt reciprocal steps from Russia and spiral into a standoff reminiscent of the cold war," but we're definitely striking that perfect balance between isolationism and intervention and for sure not a single shot will be fired.

All right then.

I'm not making the argument that we shouldn't be sending military support, or any kind of argument about military strategy at all, because I am no Professor of War at Worldfuck University, so my opinion on the matter is pretty much irrelevant.

I'm just saying that the new US foreign policy looks a lot like the old US foreign policy, and it would be nice if we could just be honest about the fact that, if we're sending military aid anywhere, it is a potential escalation and there is a serious likelihood that people are going to get hurt.

Because what I am really tired of is the constant downplaying by US politicians, in both parties, of how serious any military intervention really is. I don't rightly care if it's Bush's team talking shit about how invading Iraq is going to be a walk in the park or if it's Obama's team waxing cheery about how we're just helpin' shucks: Either way, I would appreciate a more honest and serious public conversation about what military intervention, of any kind, really means, and what the political and cultural costs will be.

One billion dollars is an incomplete price tag. Especially if we end up in Cold War II.

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