Mutually assured destruction is back in the news. I don't know if that's the best way to insure we aren't attacked with WMDs (ensuring the rest of the world knows that we could retaliate.) Mainly because I think the most likely attack is from people so hopelessly delusional they'd actually welcome the retaliation believing it to be a prophesy.
And I do see what I think is a much better way to protect our nation from WMDs of all kinds. It's basically the opposite strategy--get so close to your enemies that they can't use WMDs without unacceptable collateral damage. And, as a nation, we are more uniquely suited to accomplish this than any other. By a long ways. I see this strategy as a way to leverage an enormous yet under-appreciated asset into a fuel that rockets us upwards in the hearts of all humanity.
We have tens of thousands to millions of people who've recently immigrated from almost every other nation and that have ties to extended families and still speak the language. Suppose we decided to expand the foreign embassies in America into sovereign foreign cities. I realize that it is a radical idea. But why is it unreasonable?
We are uniquely situated right now--with the collapse of the housing market and millions of empty bank owned homes rotting away to create such places cheaply. If, for example, we took a few square miles of Stockton, California (where the housing market is abysmal) and handed it over to a european nation inviting them to build a showcase city that will be their sovereign land for at least a century or two what effect would it have on us?
All I can see are enormously positive consequences. From an immediate reversal on the direction of property values in Stockton, to a whole new economic sector for the US economy. I can't see any friendly foreign nations turning down the opportunity to expand their markets here more effectively, or promote tourism to their nation by showcasing the best of their culture here. The really wise ones will insist on a trade--that we do the same thing there. But most nations are far more xenophobic than we are, and their people will be a much harder sell than ours.
If America was peppered with foreign cities how much better would our industries become at designing and marketing products and services with worldwide appeal? How much wiser and more worldly will Americans themselves become with so much more potential exposure to foreign peoples, cultures, and products? What happens to the job market for Americans when employers from all over the world can hire them without them having to leave America? What happens to the theory that we're an imperialist nation when we voluntarily do exactly the opposite--giving our land to some other nation with an invitation to become a neighbor?
Every nation claims to want world peace. But if they really meant it, why don't they take the sort of steps that would force it? This is such a step. It makes disagreement between nations with foreign cities much more difficult. Fighting just isn't as much of an option any longer. Other mechanisms, like the courts, legislature, and vote will emerge to take its place.
I want America to shine so brightly in the hearts of other peoples that they simply cannot miss the deep beauty of our approach to government. That our nation is all about not imposing a religion, perspective, or even much of a nationality on people, but rather doing everything we can to leave ourselves free to live as we wish. Americans are so free they sometimes join the enemy in conflicts. It's not hard for them to do. I hope it stays that way too--the freedom to express our hatred for our own government is the most important one we have.
Think of it as the opposite of the Bush Doctrine. A way to get closer to other nations to undermine any future potential for conflict. (I'd often get ideas by working out the opposite of what I'd see Bush do. But I actually got this one watching the Berlin Wall come down and realizing that the same effect might be used to undermine dysfunctional governments in other nations with the expats we already have here--like Iran.)
I can think of no better way to ensure America has a leading role in the league of nations for the foreseeable future, secure a larger set of opportunities for our people, or better prepare ourselves to achieve the highest standard of living in an ever more competitive world. Let us once again breech the barriers of tradition to brave a promising new frontier. It's our heritage to do so.