When Europe attempted to intervene in the Balkans, the result was shameful and ridiculous. European armies, it seemed, could do nothing.
The ludicrous weakness of Europe is an attractive nuisance. There is a lot of women and loot sitting around undefended. That cannot continue forever. It might continue for a very long time, or might end suddenly very soon.
The English speaking countries, particularly American and the Australians, have remained more effective than most of Europe. Britain, (and perhaps Canada) not so much. I have seen a few you tube videos of British police responding to rioting “youths”, and rioting Muslims in manner that was cowardly, ridiculous, and shameful. In Basra and the Persian Gulf, British forces suffered shameful, ridiculous, and humiliating defeats and surrenders. The British humiliation in Basra was repeated in Helmand province of Afghanistan, where three thousand British troops were defeated and besieged by what turned out, when the US marines arrived to rescue those girly men, to be a mere eight hundred Taliban.
The Swiss probably remain effective, though this has yet to be tested, and the Israelis were effective last time around, though the questionable performance in Lebanon was troubling.
The British were defeated by handful of ignorant savages in Basra and in Helmand province, though the events in the Balkans suggest that the British could defeat and conquer the rest of Europe with one hand tied behind their backs.
These defeats are all the odder because in modern conflicts, the evidence is that a small group of trained, civilized men, can easily defeat a large group of untrained uncivilized men in a completely one side manner. Private security has a short way with Somali pirates, random criminals, occupy mobs, and left wing terrorists.
A state is near its end, approaching collapse when it is as formidable to its citizens as it is contemptible to its enemies.
It is not clear to me what is causing the weakness of Britain. In one of the you tube videos a substantial proportion of the police were curiously short, presumably females though their sex was invisible due to body armor. The men, however, were no more manly than the women. Perhaps, just as hospitals have a no lift policy, so that the work that female nurses do is equal by decree to the work that male nurses do, thereby justifying equal pay, perhaps British police have a no manliness policy, lest women, gays, and transsexuals be embarrassed. They sent women to do what is the most quintessentially male of all male jobs, and then, on the video, no one, neither male nor female, made any attempt to do the job. If they were serious about getting a man’s job done, would not have sent women to do it.
The strongest remaining nation is the US, whose white male army defends a country ever more hostile to the army and its values. Although a large proportion of the US “army” is female, black or Hispanic, these are generally non front line officers, generally the privileged, support and administration. The despised, hated, and neglected low status part of the army, the few people who do the actual shooting and actually get shot at, the grunts, are of course mostly white male, as is apparent from who gets explosion related casualties.
The divorce rate for actual fighting men in the US army is about seventy percent. A soldier has poor prospects of getting his little man wet, and even smaller prospect of retiring in old age surrounded by his biological children.
Part of the reason for this is the low and diminishing status of being a fighting man. Another reason for this is the cash and prizes approach to divorce. If a woman divorces a soldier, she generally does not get an interest in his pension, and in compensation for the lack of long term access to pension, gets his cash and assets up front. Since women tend to focus on the short term at the expense of the long term, this encourages adultery and divorce.
Until 1984, it was illegal for soldiers to commit adultery, but legal, and increasingly financially rewarding, for their wives to commit adultery. Indeed, on paper it is still illegal for soldiers to commit adultery. They stopped enforcing the law against fighting men some time around 1998, shortly after the commander in chief was in an adultery scandal, but as I write this, not yet repealed, and still sometimes enforced against the politically incorrect.
For an effective army, this needs to be reversed. If the wife of a soldier commits adultery, she is undermining national security, but if a soldier commits adultery, he is not undermining national security.
The falling rate of marriage among soldiers suggests that the US army, like everyone else’s army, is declining in effectiveness, it is just that everyone else is even weaker than the US. The falling rate of marriage among fighting men is a manifestation of the low and falling status of fighting, fighting men, and general manliness.
Sex and children is not of course the only thing that makes for an effective army, but it is one important thing, and if a society neglects that, it is probably neglecting all the others, probably treating military men as generally expendable and low status. I notice that the only army that routinely fought to the last man, the Japanese imperial army, took extraordinary measures to ensure wifely fidelity and that soldiers routinely got laid, and in the march of the ten thousand, we sometimes read of how they marched with enemies in front, and enemies behind, with shock troops covering the front, then slingers and archers, then the supplies and the women, then more slingers and archers, then more shock troops covering the rear, with cavalry shifting position as necessary to keep the enemy from the flanks. In the march of the ten thousand, pretty much everyone acted with extraordinary courage and casual heroism, with one big exception, that sometimes troops would desert their posts to protect their women. Xenophon’s biggest concern was keeping his troops fed by purchase or pillage of food, but keeping them laid was also pretty high on the list.
As democracy collapses, many conservatives have been hoping for and expecting a military coup, and indeed the only reason that military coups have not taken place in much of Europe is that the Cathedral forbids it.
Lately Obama has been railroading high ranking officers for adultery, adultery which is absolutely routine among upper class males and has been for many years. Women want high status jobs primarily so that they get access to high status males, and when they get those jobs, seldom notice that the job might have any duties or responsibilities other than access to high status males.
Possibly Obama suspects the potential for a coup, or has been spooked by conservatives thinking aloud in that direction, however, declining military capability diminishes the likelihood of a coup, while raising the likelihood of a collapse more drastic and fundamental: Perhaps someone starts helping themselves to women and loot in some decadent state on the periphery of Europe. People stop believing in that state. Intervention is ineffectual, so people also stop believing in nearby states. Anarcho piratism ensues, which then eventually transitions in some places, if we are lucky, to neo feudalism as brigands transition from being mobile brigands to stationary brigands, and, if we are really lucky, to something like anarcho capitalism in other places. Or military regimes under manly commanding officers reappear, which potentially transition into monarchies. Or, likely, all of the above.
Decreasing military capability diminishes the likelihood of a coup, but increases the likelihood of fat tail events, increases the likelihood of the unexpected.