The Wall Street Journal has begun an excellent new feature, the Journal Exchange, where they highlight some of the best outside thinking, in other words, where they acknowledge things the way they are.
they wanna have a war to keep us on our knees
they wanna have a war to keep their factories
they wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese
they wanna have a war to stop Industrial Disease
--Industrial Disease, Dire Straits
In "Military Interventions by U.S. Vary in Effect," they refer to an Economic Journal Watch study questioning the positive, long-term impact of imperialism.
"However, they point out that along with a public good like regional stability, U.S. military intervention can also create public bads. Using a historical index of democracy, they find that very few of the nations where the U.S. intervened militarily in the past 100 years developed democratic institutions. Five years after an intervention, only 28% had a viable democracy, and only 36% had one 20 years after. The authors say this poor success rate, even when considering positives such as short-term stability, shows how military interventions have downsides such as worse instability later on and client governments focused on keeping the support of the U.S. government, rather than on domestic growth."
The obvious conclusion is that America can carry a big stick, but people don't necessarily enjoy being beaten about the head and shoulders with it.