Why bother with trying to sell your people on a foreign war when you can just build new land, claim it as your own, and then sell any war that results from said building as a "defending our homeland" conflict?
+1 Why indeed? One could not expect an expanding population with a competitive spirit to reside inside 13 little colonies.
By raising the allotted household children number by a factor of 1 any nation could be expected to grow (and then reach) inside of a decade. Mom and Dad need jobs; the kids need to eat. Do some math. Russia is hurting. Daesh is doomed if only because the majority of their sons are illegitimate. If they receive any degree of a liberal education those children will be unable to determine who they hate more.
And this is closer to the central question I have about long term planning. In the big news stories people tend to count aircraft carriers. The direct fight some would call it. This ignores our politicians on the payroll, ports on the Mississippi they tried to buy, leased ports on major continents, etc. SimpleExample
Why fight something when you can own it? Did not old man Tzu say that it is the indirect approach that is needed to secure victory? Should you worry about their billion man army or their billionaire rep having a $80 dollar lobster tail with your elected official in some swank eatery off 14th St. this afternoon?
No one can harbor any doubt in this country about elections being purchased.
A few years back I read about a grant provided to the state of Virginia to study if snapping turtles were in decline. A news article led me to a more detailed discussion of the study I found online in which people wondered by the amount (in weight) of turtle sales was doubling, tripling and quadrupling each year. I finally contacted a wildlife biologist I knew to ask questions about the turtle study. (I eat snapping turtle but with so many Wendy's within a 5-minute drive...). He told me that China was buying the turtles. Confused, I asked why. His answer: "Because they have eaten all of theirs."
Political theory is fascinating to me but it offers no calories. A man's gotta eat.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau