In the intelligence community there always seems to be periodic foreign policy Holy Grails which are sought after and whole policies have been set in motion to obtain these Grails.
What we find, after these Holy Grails are actually obtained, is that this object of long desire and decades long policy-making is actually, more often than not, a Trojan Horse and not a Holy Grail at all - and carries inside it what amounts to a very undesirable content and outcomes.
Let's look at some of the Holy Grails the US has sought and obtained over the past half-century:
The Break-Up of the Soviet Union
All of these foreign policy Holy Grails have been achieved to some degree. All have turned out somewhat more poorly for the US and the world.
The fall of the Soviet Union did not lend itself to instant kinship with the west and brought about a decade long bloody civil war, perpetual strife and unrest in many of the former Soviet republics. The democracy born here has its roots in communist thuggery and even now no one can claim that the west is better off than it was before the collapse. The reverse is an easier claim. Europe since 1989 has shifted away from the US, its former protector and post European War Marshall Plan provider. Some will say that this is a good and natural development. At some point the kids have to leave the safety of their guardians arms and take care of themselves. Unfortunately, this hasn't quite worked out this way. Europe spends still a negligible amount of its collective GDP on military protection or forces. Europe does not carry its weight when a global security crisis emerges. In stead the now grown children still expect their guardian to do all the dirty work and heavy lifting while they party into the night and secure deals with dictators and the folks their guardians always refused to deal with.
Like the preacher's daughter going out with as many boys as she can to drive her dad crazy, Europe has been doing business wherever the money and profits are flowing freely. If that means dealing with genocidal nations in Africa or fanatical Islamists in the Middle East, so be it. Sophisticated, cultured Europe has brought about its own set of head-aches now from its European exploits. Which brings us to our next Holy Grail - German Reunification.
German reunification would have been great - if it happened around 1970 or earlier. As it stands, Germany was reunited not with their lost German sons and daughters but with a group that had largely already been completely born and raised under communist work ethics and ideals. The young East Germans felt they were owed a living by the West and the West was history after that. As an ally, reunified Germany has been less than stellar. Saddled with debt, Turkish refugees by the millions and a socialist framework that simply can't handle the output with the current GDP, the future of Germany is not pretty. It's too late though to say, "Mr. Gorbachev, keep this wall standing! Everything is perfect just the way it is!"
The Islamification of Europe is amazing and growing with the same startling rapidity that Mexicanization of the United States is experiencing. This, of course, is Birth rates and religious edicts at work. Islamic graffiti can be found on the statues and monuments of culture from Vienna to Berlin and from Frankfurt to Paris -or on the subways in the UK. Increasingly demanding religious intolerance displayed by Islamic immigrants towards their host/adoptive nation's cultural values - Europe is in a lot of trouble. Self-awareness has begun as the situation gets worse. However, it all has its roots in the achievement of Holy Grails that have turned out to be Trojan Horses. The European Union is such. Conceived to create wealth and prosperity in Europe, it will turn out to have been the doorway to poverty and the destruction of the greatest European nations and cultures that have thrived for the past several hundred years and which have stood as one of the cornerstones of western culture.
Capitalism abroad has been held as an ideal that will support developing nations and bring wealth to the most poverty-ridden places on the planet. The truth is slightly different. Capitalism has been embraced by China, but because it is being implemented by the lawless dictatorships, it has become a giant drain on the wealth of the nations around it. It is not a reciprocal capitalism employed, but rather one which manipulates currency, pollutes mercilessly the environment and employs what often amounts to slave labor. Sure, the China of today is better than Mao's China - but also represents a much more significant threat to the world. Its now huge manufacturing ability combined with a blatant focus on weaponry illustrates it is not just content to loot American and European wealth, but that it has grander ambitions, in the Far East and throughout the rest of the world that conflict with democracy and individual liberty - or even peaceful coexistence. Its efforts to steal our guidance systems for long range missiles, and its success at doing so, tell a whole story that does not necessarily have a happy ending.
Sure, I can view it all as perfect from one point of view. I can tell myself this in the infinite at work - balancing everything. And it's true.
So the message for today is be careful what you wish for.
Because more often than not - one is actually wishing for things that will produce the most terrible outcomes. Like James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson - one just often doesn't realize it until it's too late.