Tolik, I agree. No nation ever won a war against a peer nation if its people saw no purpose in fighting, and I can’t see the will to fight among “mah fellow ‘Muricans,” (as LBJ used to say), at least not for something of no more value than international bragging rights. Could the USA once again field the most powerful military in the world? Yeah, possibly, but for what reason? A nation needs to be strong enough that the potential losses an enemy would sustain to defeat it, would not be worth the likely gains..
We could at least do that, which is what I think Russia is doing under Putin. I’m less certain of China, because a lot of their official rhetoric is about how this is their time to rule the world, and they’ve already claimed exclusive jurisdiction over Asia and the western Pacific. Still, with imagination, work, and at least a little wisdom, we could make it more advantageous for them to trade with us than to try to conquer us.
Sort of like the porcupine beginning to cross the log over the creek, just as the skunk begins to cross from the other side: “Look,” he says, “If I should accidently stick you, I’m sorry.”