"On the outside I was a liberal internationalist--straight as an arrow. It took going to National War College to make me a 'restrainer.'"

A 🧵...1/
The curriculum at @NWC_NDU is designed to make strategic thinkers out of a healthy mix of military, civilian, and intn'l officers. It does this through historical examination of conflict, domestic and economic dynamics, and the tools of statecraft (military but one of them). 2/
While I can only speak for myself, the more I learned, the more convinced I became that "unipolar moments" are, historically, fleeting, and much death and human suffering comes from the pursuit of maintaining one through force, amidst shifting power dynamics. 3/
A self-reinforcing deficit occurs, where the other modes of statecraft--often those more effective--atrophy to service the doubling-down on military means to reach increasingly elusive or indefinable ends. We've seen this play out twice in my lifetime. 4/
Generationally, there seems to be a barrier of lived experience between those for whom the Cold War experience informs their approach (with US military primacy as the substrate of national power); and those (post-9/11) for whom that substrate has proven a strategic blunder. 5/
This survey of current global security issues left me less confident in the military instrument to address them, and more concerned about US national capacity to contend for "primacy" amidst them. The checks we reflexively wrote in the 90s simply won't clear as easily today. 6/
Now, we debated this issues in class much as we debate them here. However, no one's patriotism or values came into question due to preferring diplomatic tools over military ones. No one's blood and treasure was innately superior to another's. 7/
National interest, policy formulation, domestic and economic dynamics, and IR theory can't be simply glossed over or distilled down to "appease vs deter." DC *needs* a healthier and more robust debate about war. Welcome it, and engage in it respectfully. /End
I'll add here my respect and admiration for @AmbDanFried, @Nigelgd1, @scharap, and @KofmanMichael in particular for making me smarter, even (and especially) when I disagree with them.

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