I can't go on like this
That's what you think
--The Unnamable, Samuel Beckett
We have guided missiles
and misguided men
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
There'll be sun!
The concepts of War and Peace are usually considered distinct events, but when utilized by the state, they are actually the same, separated by a small increment.
A state will apply violence and kill members of another state or group, or even its own subjects, to achieve its goal. The goal may be reining in control, fomenting discontent or a number of other puposes. Peace and violence exist on a continuum circumscribed by and exploited by the state.
These events are designated as serving the National Interests. Something as irreversible as state violence should be commenced only upon cold, hard facts, but this is seldom the case. We can build technological marvels like Cruise Missiles, but the use of these death-dealing devices is based in emotional, subjective assumptions dressed up as the National Interest.
What we term "knowledge" is often just rational-sounding assumptions posing as facts. There are so many assumptions we live by. We presume there will always be a tomorrow, when we know that there will in fact be an end. Contra-factual presumptions like these are necessary to going on every day.
For the Christians, God may simply choose to flood the world again, like a big toilet bowl (since that's how we are treating it.) If he did it once, why not again? At some point, the sun will quit shining. All of what we believe may be true or partially true. Though it may be factually true, that not necessarily a basis for reality. The world is contingent.
Truth and policy must be consistent, predictable and rational. This is when our perceptions cross reality and National Interest emerges. But this still does not imply correctness. Our precarious fiscal bailout policy is as fanciful as our phony wars, yet both pose as the best decisions available. However, they are both based upon faulty assumptions. Our lives hang from assumptions we think are facts.
The Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) cannot make the attacks of 9-11-01 un-happen, just as it cannot prevent future attacks. Opposing cultures meet over rifle sights because it has always been tit-for-tat, but not because it is the most expedient means of conflict resolution.
The first thing taught to young soldiers is, do NOT assume anything, yet the rest of their careers are based upon assumptions made by their leaders. Soldiers die for assumptions that are seldom true, and civilians suffer the consequences of ill-considered National Policies. Military strength is no guarantor of security, as it just forges counter-alliances.
Nothing says National Interest equals the public good, and the bedrock of our thinking is often quicksand, when fully explored.