We tend to forget that everyday the president of the United States controls the most awesome power ever invested in a single human being in the history of humanity: the power to launch a nuclear attack that could conceivably destroy much of humanity.
In the last decade a high-tech, privatized, covert version of war has become presidential property, fought at the White House's behest by robots, warrior corporations, and two presidentially controlled "private" forces.
Amid all the post-debate chatter, not a single commentator seemed to have a clue when it came to the profound strategic changes encoded in the president's words. Yet for the past four years, the Obama administration has presided over a technological revolution in defense planning.
The more dominant the U.S. military becomes in its ability to destroy and the more its forces are spread across the globe, the more the defeats and semi-defeats pile up, the more the missteps and mistakes grow, the more the strains show.
However one might feel about the Clinton presidency as a whole, one salient fact highlights his two four year terms in office -- namely that he never sent massive contingents of ground troops to deal with a perceived foreign threat.
China will not easily capture hearts and minds. They will be an economic superpower only. The Chinese are ethnocentric and in large ways and small, an instinct to narrowly defend interests can be off putting.
Obama would be wise to read up on Eisenhower, on Nixon, on Edmund Burke and others -- and realize that military answers to problems are leading the US to greater calamity, global irrelevance, and impotence.