The Colonel has far more books than shelf space, and loves each as a personal treasure. For a child who attended 12 different schools before he even started high school, books were the Colonel's educational salvation.
And he was in dire need of salvation.
His favorites are histories; particularly the ones that dive deep into the waters of connection and causation. Names and dates are important as milestones, but the clash of motives and means are the critical components to understanding the arc of history.
The Colonel swims constantly in the sea of history. Its mineral rich waters permeate his being and enrich his understanding...
Well..., as much as the understanding of an Ole Miss grad and knuckle-draggin' Marine can be enriched...
The Colonel will readily admit that he ain't smart and you can't make him. But, it doesn't take a particularly bright person to read and comprehend most of the books from which the Colonel derives his understanding.
We're not talking quantum physics, here. This treatise is about history; and, while the treatment of historical topics is subject to the world view of the historian and must be evaluated with that in mind, at least there ain't no stinkin' equations to solve.
In his life-long study of the history of nations, one theme constantly jumps off the pages and slaps the Colonel across his frown-framed jowls:
-- The single most important motivation is survival, followed closely (upon survival's guarantee) by prosperity. --
It is not the duty of any nation's leaders to care about the survival and prosperity of any other nation, particularly to the detriment of their own.
This old centurion has lived by one code the entirety of his adult life:
-- All geo-political decisions boil down to one question: What is best for the Republic? All other nations DO NOT matter.
When the president of our Republic says, and the Colonel quotes him verbatim,
"What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually gonna work to protect the American people and to protect people in the region."...,
....then it is time for that man to go. He no longer places the survival and prosperity of the United States in a place of supremacy in his thoughts and actions.
The rest of the world DOES NOT matter, Mr. President. You are the President of the United States of America; not the world.
When we start annexing other parts of the world (the Colonel recommends we start with Latin America), THEN you can start "protect[ing] people in th[at] region."
It's Centurion Logic.