Speaking of Germany, it has always raised my hairs how close Germany came to conquering the world. Hitler’s highly unusual procrastination in continuing the attack on Dunkirk left Britain with a semblance of army as it was able to evacuate from the continent. His unfounded hope to sign a treaty with Britain delayed the planned invasion of British Islands and allowed them to prepare a sham of a defense. Further delays of the invasion allowed the RAF to deplete the German fleet. Overall, Germany could credibly have defeated Britain. Had that happened, pro-German American isolationists would have overwhelming arguments against joining the war, and interventionists would have been able to provide no reason to join it. With unhindered freedom in the Mediterranean, Germany would have been able to ward off any American attempt at landing in Africa, leaving the United States with no beachhead for invading Europe. Within a few years, a strong Germany would have landed in Latin America and forced the US to install a Nazi-friendly administration. The Russian problem existed because of an incident: a Yugoslav revolt prompted Hitler, against the better judgment of his generals, to delay the war against Russia for a month, and that month proved critical: German troops were unable to reach Moscow before winter, which allowed the Soviet government a respite to assemble troops and launch military production. The Germans oddly shifted their initial policy of relatively benevolent administration of occupied land to terror, antagonizing the Ukrainians, who had initially welcomed them, and turning the German war on the hugely unpopular communist regime into a war with the Russian masses.

Certainly, the German victory could not have lasted forever, as no empire does. Victors grow unwarlike, adopt the customs of defeated cultures, slowly allow more rights to the governed, and watch their empires dissipate. But that raises a larger question. In the past, logistical restrictions prevented any one country from establishing world dominance. On the fringes of decadent empires grew competitors, who eventually overcame them. But the modern world is different in two respects: no place on earth is too far for cruise missiles, and a competing power needs huge, visible preparations in order to unseat an empire. The Germans failed to destroy British plane factories and radar stations, which allowed the RAF to defend the islands. Today, the destruction would be a slam dunk affair for precise munitions. It takes minutes to blow up factories, and years to rebuild them. SAM batteries present a challenge, but if an empire guards its interests with sufficient jealousy, it won’t allow potential competitors to develop or produce meaningful SAMs. The point, then, is for the empire to demilitarize potential competitors early and thoroughly, and keep them demilitarized through frequent preemptive strikes against their emerging military facilities.

In the age of cruise missiles and nuclear weapons, massive armies are less important than before. Arguably, military skill was always more important than numbers. Israel can gain an imperial position in the Middle East and hold it for centuries. Terrorism by our Arab subjects cannot inflict statistically significant damage on the empire, and the threat of nuclear retaliation would force Arab countries to root out their terrorists. By occupying the Middle East’s oil and gas fields, Israel would increase her GDP tenfold; but more importantly, she would deny the Arabs the income they use to grow their populations and arsenals.