Originally published 03/19/2013
Mario Loyola is former counsel for foreign and defense policy to the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee.Seventy-five years ago this week, Austria and Nazi Germany became united in the Anschluss. Thus, with celebration in the streets, passed the last point in time when Britain and France could have prevented World War II.The disastrous policy of appeasement is often attributed to foolish governments in London and Paris. But the truth is more complicated, and 75 years of hindsight have brought us no closer to understanding it.Simply put, France and Britain demonstrated in 1938 that the democratic system of government has a grave weakness: To a certain extent, it is structurally incapable of defending itself.Because democracy can generate vastly more military power than any other political system ever devised, it can win wars. The problem is that because of the constraints of democratic politics, it can’t always prevent them....