A Strategic Plan For The West

Entities without a plan tend to drift; they tend to get overtaken by events instead of shaping events in their favor.  The United States shouldn’t be drifting because it has a plan.  The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 requires a National Security Strategy to be issued annually.  The latest dates from February 2015.  Reading it won’t make you any wiser though.  It is a mess of pabulum, evinced by the fact that one chapter is entitled “Confront Climate Change.”  Not “Win Against Climate Change” or “We Will Run Away From Climate Change,” but simply confront something without having a result.

The Quadrennial Defense Review is a more sensible document even though it too genuflects to global warming.  The Review has three pillars of doctrine:

  1. Protect the homeland, to deter and defeat attacks on the United States and to support civil authorities in mitigating the effects of potential attacks and natural disasters.
  2. Build security globally, in order to preserve regional stability, deter adversaries, support allies and partners, and cooperate with others to address common security challenges.
  3. Project power and win decisively, to defeat aggression, disrupt and destroy terrorist networks, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

That’s good but it doesn’t tell us how to run Western Civilisation as a multigenerational enterprise.  For that we need we need a strategy.  Dr M.T. Owens provides a definition of what a strategy is:

Strategy is a plan of action for using available means to achieve the ends of policy. Strategy links ends and means, seeking to minimize any mismatch between the two. Strategy is both a process and product. As such, it is dynamic. It must adapt to changing conditions. A strategy that works under one set of conditions may not work under different ones. To develop and execute a strategy requires that one be able to comprehend the whole and be able to bring the right instrument to bear at the right time and in the right place to achieve the object of the war. Risk assessment is always a part of strategy, both in terms of development and execution.

An important requirement of any coherent strategy is to identify the enemy. One such enemy is radical political Islam, which is the major cause of disorder in the Greater Middle East, South Asia and Africa. But there is no mention of radical political Islam in the NSS (National Security Strategy).

So, to write our strategic plan for Western Civilisation first of all we have to identify our enemies.  Thankfully our enemies have self-identified as such.  They are:

  1. The United Nations

The Evil on the East River is now essentially a communistic organisation with its aim being the redistribution of wealth from Western countries to the wretched of the earth.  It has multiple agencies to that end including Agenda 21 and the UN Climate Change Commission.  The latter is headed by Ms Christiana Figueres, who has said that the climate treaty coming will effect “a centralised transformation” that “is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different.”  This will be achieved by taxing every country with above world average carbon dioxide emissions and handing the money over to countries that produce less than average.  It is simply communism with an attempted cloak of scientific respectability from the association with climate.  Ms Figueres has said that the US Congress is “very detrimental” to the fight against global warming. 

  1. The European Union

It might seem strange to have the EU as an enemy given that the countries of the EU are the cradle of Western Civilization and most are members of the NATO Alliance.  Ironically, the fact that the United States has shouldered most of Europe’s defense burden has allowed the ungrateful wretches to devote their resources to other projects, including ones designed to hobble the United States.  Thus when the global warming bandwagon was getting momentum, 1990 was chosen as the year for counting emissions growth from.  That was the year that communism fell apart in Europe and coal consumption started plunging.  The European countries were going to find compliance with the treaty easy while the United States was going to be punished for being more successful than Europe.

The EU has been the major funder of the Palestinians in Gaza and is well aware that 250 million or so euros a year of their funding goes to buying weapons for attacking Israel.  Twelve years ago, European Union Parliament member Ilka Schroeder noted that the Europeans saw themselves as the future global power and that, in effect, their support for the Palestinians should be understood as a proxy war by the Europeans against the United States as, at least prior to President Obama, Israel was the United States’ major ally in the region.  So Gaza should be considered as the second front in a European war on the power and influence of the United States.  The perfidious Europeans, having burnt through most of their own coal and oil and realising how parlous their long term energy supply position is, have asked for a legally binding commitment guaranteeing the export of oil and gas from the United States.

  1. Islam

Not extremist Islam or moderate Islam, but the whole of the thing that is called Islam. As Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said,” There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”  The Prime Minister, much praised by President Obama and Hillary Clinton alike, has attempted to delegitimize the American Enterprise by claiming that Muslim sailors discovered North America 300 years before Columbus.  Islam hates the West for the same reason that the EU hates the United States -- because the Americans are more successful.  And Islam has the same response as the EU.  Rather than improve themselves by changing how they are run, they would rather bring down the party that is doing better.  This battle is existential.  In the long run, one idea will prevail and the other will be extinguished.

  1.  China

Once again, it seems strange that a country that has pulled just itself out of millennia of poverty would want to attack those countries that were instrumental in getting them out of poverty.  But the reason is the same -- simple jealousy.  They can’t abide the notion that some other country is considered to be better than they are, so they must pull the other party down. 


In a way, China is simply repeating what a couple of other trading powerhouses have done.  Japan was opened to the modern world by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853.  Only 20 years later, the Japanese cabinet discussed attacking Korea.  They first attacked China in 1895 and then just kept on attacking elsewhere in Asia as the decades passed and left bitter memories throughout the region. 

Similarly, Germany’s rapid economic development in the late 19th century made it overconfident.  Bethman Hollweg, chancellor of Germany at the outbreak of the First World War, confessed later that Germany had overvalued her strength.  “Our people,” he said, “had developed so amazingly in the last twenty years that wide circles succumbed to the temptation of overestimating our enormous forces relative to the rest of the world.”

China’s overconfidence has been further fed by naval analysts issuing reports saying how effective China’s anti-ship missiles will be.  The Chinese read these and it skews their own assessment.

A Chinese Government film made in late 2013 made for consumption within the party and the military, Silent Contest, began with these words:

The process of China's achieving a national renaissance will definitely involve engagement and a fight against the U.S.' hegemonic system.  This is the contest of the century, regardless of people's wishes.

The basis of the film is that the US used cultural engagement with the Soviet Union to destroy that country and is also using cultural engagement to contain and divide China.  The fact that China considers itself to be involved in a titanic “contest of the century” is a fate that it has chosen for itself.  It seems that it is too late to suggest to the Chinese that they would be better off simply being happy in themselves.

Now that we have our list of self-appointed enemies, let’s look at a couple of previous attempts at putting together a strategic plan for Western Civilisation.  The first is President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points.  The first four of his points deal with freedom of navigation, removal of trade barriers, disarmament and self-determination.  The rest are mostly a shopping list of World War 1 wrongs to be righted.  In 1941, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill drew up the Atlantic Charter. The eight principal points of the Charter are:

  1. No territorial gains were to be sought by the United States or the United Kingdom;
  2. Territorial adjustments must be in accord with the wishes of the peoples concerned;
  3. All people had a right to self-determination;
  4. Trade barriers were to be lowered;
  5. there was to be global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare;
  6. the participants would work for a world free of want and fear;
  7. the participants would work for freedom of the seas;
  8. there was to be disarmament of aggressor nations, and a post-war common disarmament.

Having seen what a strategic plan looks like, we should now define what we mean by Western Civilisation.  Up to about 20 years ago, before the OECD started going off the rails, Western Civilisation was simply the countries of the OECD.  OECD countries have per capita incomes three to four times the best of the rest of the world.  Virtually no country exists in the income gap between the OECD and the rest.  The difference is explained by respect for private property.  Countries that respect private property have a high standard of living; countries that don’t do that remain much poorer. 

There is a higher level beyond just respect for private property.  Culture is the continuation of natural selection by non-physical means.  The two interact, sometimes with a positive feedback loop and sometimes with a negative one.  An example of a positive feedback loop is the decline in the murder rate in Europe over the last 1,000 years due to the execution of murderers by the state, rinsing the genes for impulsive violence out of the gene pool.  One negative feedback loop in western societies is rewarding single mothers with welfare when these mothers are too lazy to attract and hold a mate, undoing the work of possibly three million years of evolutionary pressure.  This will result in a rapid rise in the portion of the population that is lazy and ugly.

As Dr Owens said in his definition, a strategy must adapt to changing conditions. Possibly better, a good strategy will anticipate changing conditions.  If we want a strategy that will be good for one hundred years at least, that strategy will witness some profound changes.  Energy costs will rise as supplies of fossil fuels run down, increasing the cost of all physical things.  Food production will peak sometime in the 2030s while population attempts to continue to rise, unless that timeframe is foreshortened by solar-driven climatic cooling.  There will be population collapses due to starvation in the Middle East and Africa, and possibly Asia too.  China might succumb. 

So, having defined our objective and the operating conditions, this is the strategic plan for Western Civilization:

  1. Keep taxation as light as possible to maximise economic productivity and thus economic health.
  2. Allow the rest of the world to go through its starvation events without futile attempts at intervention.
  3. Police non-OECD states to punish aggression but without futile attempts at nation building.
  4. Start the transition to the post fossil fuel economy by developing thorium-burning molten salt reactors.
  5. Limit social welfare to being a safety net rather than rewarding and encouraging lifestyle choices such as single motherhood.

How will things pan out?  China is running interference on the plans of the other three enemies, which is a very good thing.  The evil plans of the UN and the EU require a static world to which new taxes and regulations can be applied.  China’s war will involve half the world’s population and will rend the international fabric that supports the enormous burden of having the UN and EU.  The Islamic threat can be countered by quarantining them.  Simply have nothing to do with them.  They can’t feed themselves from their own efforts and don’t produce anything that we can’t do without if we try.  Once the external threats are seen off, and they will be, all we have to do is maximise our own productivity.  The highest standard of living possible will be the fruit and the triumph of our strategy.  To paraphrase Edmund Burke, our strategy is a contract between our forebears and their sacrifices to get our civilization where it is now, the present and those yet unborn.

David Archibald, a visiting fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of Twilight of Abundance (Regnery, 2014)