Pseudoerasmus had an interesting thought about the Cold War: that all the West’s efforts in the Third World were pointless, had little effect on the ultimate outcome, with the possible exception of some big oil producers. “most developing countries could have disappeared into a black hole 16 galaxies away & it might have made little difference to the outcome.”
Nice to be arguing with someone who’s not crazy, for a change.
He has a point. If you’re thinking about human capital, industrial resources, military potential – those countries didn’t amount to much. Cuba didn’t matter, Angola didn’t matter, Vietnam didn’t matter.
I was recently reading The World was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World. The Soviets were struggling for influence & trying to screw the US all over the globe, but not much came from it, even when they prevailed: it was like trying to build bricks without straw. What can you do with Afghanistan, with Ethiopia, with South Yemen? Pseudoerasmus says ” serene non-intervention by the USA everywhere (except maybe oil-producing middle east) would have made little difference to the final outcome.”
Look at the correlation of forces, write down the power equation, and he sure looks right.
But he’s not right.