On FP Everybody calm the hell down -- and while you are at it, turn off your TV by Tom Ricks From that essay: Back in the 90s we used to talk about the enemy deficit, this century brought the solution: enemy inflation. Stoking up small threats into existential firestorms e.g. ramshackle AQ as a greater threat to the UK than the Luftwaffe that flattened much of urban England. Expensively constructing the worlds greatest standing military also has its own momentum of course. The procurement beast must be feed so new threats and roles must be conjured to justify the sausage factory. Sincere belief in this warped view of the world follows. This military becomes the default policy instrument and other more subtle tools are neglected. Expensive policy pratfalls become inevitable. Easily drawn into the error of trying to defend everywhere before you know it a fundamentally isolationist nation has turned itself inside out, has quasi-imperial basing all over the globe and a fistful of debilitating small wars often with little idea how the hell it got into this thankless world's policeman malarkey. The Founders were wise to that threat to their Republic, they would be very surprised to see London as camp follower to this unwieldy juggernaut. Perhaps boomers are peculiarly prone to collective panic. We've lived through soft times. In the US they've been privileged to live through the fat years of delusional affluence, in real terms incomes have dropped and healthcare cost of gone of the grid but fueled by debt on easy terms and ever cheaper Chinese trinkets in Wal*Mart its been very comfortable. Now as the chickens are coming home to roost and many are confused or angrily crying for their country back. That happy fiscally feckless place of magical markets is gone forever of course and much of it is fast turning Latino. It's a suddenly a new frightening world that challenges what once were certainties, the understandable rage at TARP is a symptom of something deeper. One of my Californian Teaper mates has flitted to oh so stable Buenos Aires in a fit of Barry induced despair. Still it's odd that the generation that grew up with the very real threat mushroom clouds above its cities was so easily spooked by the happily modest threats we face today. It's not just that they were being hoodwinked, there was genuine panic among policy makers who really should have known better, I include here not just the US Congress but Dick Cheney rushed to the bunker beneath the Whitehouse on 9-11 and even the tag along trickster Tony Blair. The UK under Team Dave seems to be shrugging this fear filled moment off. It never had the same grip on the collective cojones on this side of the pond, terrorism was old news. Now despite the talk of austerity London is pouring most of the UK PLC's remaining wealth into the welfare state to support its graying boomer voters while cutting defenses they clearly feel little need of. I'm beginning to wonder if the UK policy elite has swung too far away from the jittery paranoia of the Blair's last years. Lulled by a world were the greatest threat is a succession of self-igniting Takfiri away from it always being 39 to not realizing events like 1914 came upon the similarly spoiled Edwardians with little warning.