Got into an online exchange with a leftist, doing the usual US guilt trip stuff. When pointed out how the US has been a force of GOOD in the world, he put up the following question.
"How would you advise those nations that view the US as a bully to act?"
I took a while to come up with a reply, because I didn't particularly want to offend his (or her) sensibilities. In fact, in order to avoid mental trauma I even left out a considerable amount of what I think we should do when nukes are involved. But I thought you might be interested in my thinking on it all - so here it is in unexpurgated glory.
Bullies usually look on any impositions of order by 'outsiders' to be horribly unfair. Have you noticed that?
Now, I'm not a terribly nice person. I'm a pretty mild, turn the other cheek sort of guy in my personal life which probably explains why I'm so bloody-minded when it comes to this. And I spent 23 years in the AF, sitting on various targets, so I appreciate FULLY what nuclear weapons can do.
But I've watched the diplomatic dance for the last 30+ years, I've seen us make mistakes and other countries mess up - so you want to know what I'd do at this point? Bear in mind I've seen a lot of stuff that DIDN'T work the way it was thought, so I'm not terribly patient with diplomatic initiatives and all that.
Personally, if I had the authority I'd like tell the countries who view the US as a bully to pull their heads out of their asses and play nice with the other kiddies, otherwise when they try a grab for land then they'll not just be shoved back to the border, but lose AT LEAST as much territory as they were trying to grab. No diplomatic niceities, no ambiguious verbiage, no threats of sanctions. Just a simple, clear promise that there will be consequences for their actions. They're adults, they know what their actions could cost them - so there's no reason for them to complain when it happens. If we've got to be the world cop - we ain't gonna write a ticket, we're going to bust heads and bust 'em hard.
That's for the uniformed, more or less 'formal' combatants, by the way. Are you sending 'freedom fighters' over to destabilize another country? Google Earth ain't your friend, and neither is the night. Your training camps will be destroyed, your fighters won't go to Club Gitmo. As non-uniformed combatants, they'll be asked ONCE for all the info they're willing to spill. They'll even be asked nicely. With a cup of tea. But if there's the typical bluster and "I'd rather die than tell you anything!" - they'll be obliged, and quickly. I figure that after a few get shot the word will get around. Surrender, and you'll be treated well in exchange for information. Be captured, and you'll be treated well in exchange for information. Stall - and you'll be dead.
But hey - it's not waterboarding, right? So it's okay.
The chain of responsibility will be followed - each level on the way. If it goes all the way to a national leader - then that leader needs to go. Along with his cronies. (Think of what happened to Nicolae Ceauşescu when he was deposed and decapitated.)
If one country throws a nuke at another country - then they get 10 of Hanford and Oak Ridge's finest in return, 100 KT airbursts over their major MILITARY centers. First one will be right over wherever they were constructing nukes, too. (These will likely be in proximity to their population centers - sucks to be them in that case. They may start the fight, but we'll finish it.) If there aren't enough military centers, then we'll go after dams and power plants. There WILL be deductions from that number for the head of every leader who orchestrated or coordinated or approved of the use of the nuke. I figure 10 heads would be sufficient to save one city. In the case of Iran, the first head would need to be Ahmadinejad, then Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and just keep on going down the line in their Parliment. Give the people of Iran 48 hours to deliver, and extra points for neatly tied nooses.
AND whoever's stupid enough to do this will get no rebuilding money from us - if anything, there's going to be reparations taken to rebuild the victim the likes of which haven't been seen since Germany lost WW1.
I'd want it made clear and unambiguious that using a nuke on another country would be the equivalent of cutting their own metaphorical throat. Call it 'National Suicide by Cop' if you like - but after someone lights off a nuke isn't the time to play nice with sanctions and UN scolding. It's time to bust heads to make sure it NEVER happens again.
AND I'd limit the CIA to information gathering ONLY. No manipulation of governments, no funding of 'insurgents', no 'assisting' .
It'd be a 'Pax Americana', all right - with teeth. So the new motto for US being the world cop would be "Don't start nothin' - won't BE nothin'."
But I'm not very diplomatic. Or nice.
And if other countries get together and complain - then we'll give THEM the badge and tell 'em "You didn't like what we did? Then you take over. Don't call us if you hit something you can't handle.."
The UN was envisioned as the 'world police' - but that police force has become a pretty much useless conglomeration of kleptocrats. The 'Blue Helmet' isn't particularly wanted, except in the ME where it seems that half of the force is on the take and the other half is not-so-tacitly assisting whever's fighting Israel. As a 'peacekeeping' force, they're useless.
The bad thing is that once you get PAST the UN, there's nobody ELSE OUT THERE! It's the US, then the UN - and then... nothin'.
We have, unfortunately, become the World Cop. And I can't say I like it... but what choice do we have? If we don't keep the law, then you'll see land grabs and low-level fighting again.
So - we may be disliked. That's tough - but what else is new? You know who they'll be calling if needed - and while the UN may be on the phone list, we're on speeddial.