美国军事霸权的失败

e7be8ee59bbde5869be4ba8be99cb8e69d83e79a84e5a4b1e8b4a5 • 美国军事霸权的失败 军事霸权

美国军事霸权的失败

History Is Clear. America’s Military Is Way Too Big.

2010年,美國士兵在前往阿富汗的旅途中。
2010年,美國士兵在前往阿富汗的旅途中。 DAMON WINTER/THE NEW YORK TIMES
For much of its history, the United States was a big country with a small peacetime military. World War II changed that permanently: American leaders decided that a country with new global obligations needed a very large peacetime military, including a nuclear arsenal and a worldwide network of bases. They hoped overwhelming military capacity would avert another world war, deter adversaries and encourage foreign countries to follow our wishes.
在建國後的大部分時間裡,美國作為一個大國,只有一支規模不大的和平時期軍隊。第二次世界大戰永久地改變了這點:美國領導人做出決定,一個承擔著新的全球義務的國家需要一支龐大的和平時期軍隊,包括擁有核武器和遍布全球的基地網路。他們希望壓倒性的軍事能力能避免下一場世界大戰、威懾對手,並鼓勵外國遵循我們的意願。
Yet this military dominance has hardly yielded the promised benefits. The collapse of the American-supported government in Afghanistan, after 20 years of effort and billions of dollars, is just the latest setback in a long narrative of failure.
然而,這種軍事主導地位幾乎沒有帶來所承諾的優勢。美國用20年的努力和數十億美元的投入支持的阿富汗政府的垮台,只是一長串失敗故事中的最新挫折。
The war in Afghanistan is much more than a failed intervention. It is stark evidence of how counterproductive global military dominance is to American interests. This military hegemony has brought more defeats than victories and undermined democratic values at home and abroad.
阿富汗戰爭遠不止是一次失敗的干預,它也是全球軍事主導地位對美國利益產生反作用的嚴酷證據。這種軍事霸權帶來的失敗多於勝利,而且削弱了國內外的民主價值觀。
History is clear: We would be better off with more modest, restrained military and strategic goals. U.S. public opinion seems to have moved in this direction, too. Our country needs to re-examine the value of military dominance.
歷史表明:如果有更溫和、更克制的軍事和戰略目標,我們的境況會更好。美國民意似乎也在朝這個方向轉變。我們的國家需要重新審視軍事主導地位的價值。
The reliance on military force has repeatedly entangled the United States in distant, costly, long conflicts with self-defeating consequences — in Vietnam, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. American leaders have consistently assumed that military superiority will compensate for diplomatic and political limitations. Time and again, despite battlefield successes, our military has come up short in achieving stated goals.
對軍事力量的依賴一再使美國捲入遙遠、代價高昂、結果適得其反的長期衝突——在越南、黎巴嫩、伊拉克、阿富汗和其他地方。美國領導人始終如一地認為,軍事優勢可彌補外交和政治的局限性。我們的軍隊儘管在戰場上取得了勝利,但一次又一次地在實現既定目標上失敗。
In the Korean War, the overestimation of American military power convinced President Harry Truman to authorize the Army to cross into North Korea and approach the border of China. He hoped American soldiers could reunite the divided Korean Peninsula, but instead the incursion set off a wider war with China and a stalemated conflict. Now, after seven decades of American military deployments on the peninsula, the Communist regime in North Korea is as strong as ever, with a growing nuclear arsenal.
在朝鮮戰爭中,對美國軍事力量的高估說服了哈利·杜魯門(Harry Truman)總統授權軍隊越過三八線向中國邊境靠近。他希望美國士兵能把分裂的朝鮮半島重新統一起來,但突然入侵反而引發了與中國的更廣泛戰爭,以及一場陷入僵局的衝突。如今,美國在朝鮮半島部署駐軍已經70年了,朝鮮的共產主義政權一如既往地強大,還有了一個不斷增長的核武庫
In Vietnam, the “best and brightest” experts around President Lyndon Johnson advised him that America’s overwhelming power would crush the insurgency and bolster anti-Communist defenses. The opposite was true. American military escalation increased the popularity of the insurgency while also creating greater South Vietnamese dependence on the United States. Following an offensive by North Vietnam in 1975, American-trained allies collapsed, much as they did in Afghanistan this summer.
在越南,林登·強生(Lyndon Johnson)總統身邊「最優秀、最聰明」的專家們向他建議,美國的壓倒性力量會粉碎武裝起義,加強反共防禦。事實正相反。美國的軍事升級讓武裝起義更得民心,同時也使南越更加依賴美國。1975年北越發動進攻後,美國訓練的南越盟友崩潰了,就像今年夏天在阿富汗一樣。
The fault lies not with the soldiers, but with the mission. Military forces are not a substitute for the hard work of building representative and effective institutions of governance. Stable societies need to have a foundation of peaceful forms of trade, education and citizen participation.
錯不在士兵,而在於使命。軍事力量不能代替建立有代表性的有效治理機構的艱苦工作。穩定的社會需要有一個和平形式的貿易、教育和公民參與的基礎。
If anything, the record shows that a large military presence distorts political development, directing it toward combat and policing, not social development. American military occupations have worked best where the governing institutions preceded the arrival of foreign soldiers, as in Germany and Japan after World War II.
如果說有什麼不同的話,那就是記錄顯示,大規模的軍事存在扭曲了政治發展,將其導向了戰鬥和治安,而不是社會發展。在外國士兵到來之前已經存在治理機構的地方(比如「二戰」後的德國和日本),美國的軍事佔領才發揮了最好的作用。
American leaders have depended on our armed forces so much because they are so vast and easy to deploy. This is the peril of creating such a large force: The annual budget for the U.S. military has grown to more than a gargantuan $700 billion, and we are more likely to use it, and less likely to build better substitutes.
美國領導人非常依賴我們的武裝力量,因為這支力量規模龐大,易於部署。這是建立一支如此龐大軍隊的危險所在:美國軍隊的年度預算已增長到7000億美元以上的龐大規模,我們更有可能去使用軍隊,而不太可能建造更好的替代品。
This means that when nonmilitary overseas jobs like training local government administrators are required, the U.S. military steps in. Other agencies do not have the same capacity. We send soldiers where we need civilians because the soldiers get the resources. And that problem grows worse as the military uses its heft to lobby for yet more money from Congress.
這意味著,有需要培訓地方政府行政人員等非軍事性的海外工作時,美國軍隊會介入。其他機構不具備同樣的能力。我們把士兵派到需要平民的地方,是因為士兵得到了資源。隨著軍方利用自己的影響力向國會爭取更多的資金,這個問題變得越來越糟。
At home, the growth of the armed forces means that American society has become more militarized. Police departments are now equipped with battlefield gear and military equipment, some of it surplus from the Army. Former soldiers have joined the violent extremist groups that have multiplied over the last decade. Less than 10 percent of Americans have served in the military, but 12 percent of those charged in the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6 had military experience.
在國內,武裝力量的增長意味著,美國社會已變得更加軍事化。警察部門現在配備的是戰場用具和軍事裝備,其中一些是軍隊的剩餘裝備。退伍軍人加入了暴力極端主義組織,這些組織在過去10年裡成倍增加。不到10%的美國人曾在軍隊服役,但因涉嫌1月6日攻擊國會大廈而受指控的人中有12%軍事經驗。
Of course, the U.S. military is one of the most professional and patriotic parts of our society. Our uniformed leaders have consistently defended the rule of law, including against a president trying to undermine an election. The trouble stems from how bloated their organizations have become, and how often they are misused.
當然,美國軍隊是我們社會中最專業、最愛國的部分。我們穿制服的領導人們始終如一地捍衛法治,包括反對一名試圖破壞選舉的總統。問題的根源在於,他們所在的機構已變得多麼臃腫,他們多麼頻繁地被濫用。
We must be honest about what the military cannot do. We should allocate our resources to other organizations and agencies that will actually make our country more resilient, prosperous and secure. We will benefit by returning to our history as a big country with a small peacetime military.
我們必須正視軍隊做不到的事情。我們應該把資源分配給其他能使國家變得更有韌性、更繁榮、更安全的組織和機構。回歸擁有一支小的和平時期軍隊的大國的歷史,將使我們受益。

Jeremi Suri是得州大學奧斯汀分校(University of Texas, Austin)的歷史和公共事務學教授,近期出版了《The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office》一書,他也是播客《This Is Democracy》的主持人。

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