Does the U.S. go to war because it wants to, or because it has to? Jonathon Delacour has a thought provoking post on the subject, based, in part, on data suggesting that the U.S. has had 200 military interventions abroad in the 228 years since declaring independence:
…it’s difficult to take seriously John Kerry’s promise to “bring back this nation’s time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to; we only go to war because we have to.”
… Which means John Kerry is suggesting that, ever since declaring independence, a reluctant United States has been under merciless, unrelenting pressure to go to war.
There’s another possible explanation. That the US has to go to war, not in the sense that Kerry uses—of being forced by external circumstances—but rather because, as one of Maruya’s characters in Grass for My Pillow, suggests: “The state has no other objective other than that of making war.”
He quotes extensively from Maruya’s book, which seems very interesting.