The second of September marks the sixtieth anniversary of Japan's formal surrender ending World War II. That war offers many important and relevant insights that are applicable today to America's global war on terror and the greater Middle East. Consider four.
First, wars beget wars. No war starts or ends in isolation. World War II had its roots not only in World War I. The defeat of Napoleon in 1815 put in place a structure in Europe predicated on a balance of power among the main states. When that balance ended in 1914, the result was the catastrophe of World War I. From World War I came the seeds of World War II. From World War II came the Cold War. And today, much of the conflict and violence in the greater Middle East springs from roots that are decades and even centuries old.