Wedemeyer’s comparison of World War II to the Peloponnesian War is instructive:
Sparta fought Athens but Persia was the real beneficiary, or a few years later Macedonia, or a little later Rome. To see this as a failure of Sparta is to misunderstand it’s motives. Sparta wanted to get rid of Athens, and they did. Sparta itself wanted to maintain unquestioned control of the Peloponnese, the southern part of Greece, but their failure to do so is mostly unrelated.
Paleoconservatives gripe endlessly about the neoconservative, and now Obama, policy of promoting democracy in the Moslem world, as if this was a new and idiotic idea. But reformers in Britain were promoting democracy various places in the 19th century, Greece and Italy among them I believe. Not in India, mind you, or any of their colonies. But if demanding democracy, or national or ethnic self-determination undermines potential adversaries, the sting of being accused of hypocrisy will harm you little.
Britain, or the Anglospheric elite, controlled a lot of the globe — all the oceans, North America, India, much of Africa, and had strong influence in Western Europe. It had commercial presence in China and South America, but little to no control. It could not hope to control Russia, which if it was able to extend its power south would make it a fearsome competitor.
Communism never seriously threatened any English-speaking country, any Protestant country if you exclude East Germany, or any British colony. Like a plague or a forest fire, it wiped out cultures uncontrollable, unamenable or uncooperative to the English and the classes and castes that supported them. The hellish industrialism of 19th century Manchester has been established in China. Russia is a broken shell of a nation being looted by “Russian” billionaires and their KGB friends. Catholic and Orthodox Western Europe is being destroyed under a financial system established just after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Taking the long view, World War II and its aftermath worked out great for the people running Britain and America.