The British Empire would have won anyway, agreed taking much longer and with greater cost. But I think that overlooks the idea that none of the problems that existed today would not still have existed. There would still have been Communists, there would still quite possibly have been Nazi's, there would still have been Islamic Jihadism. In fact, we may have seen Europe further weakened and overrun by communism in the wake of the 1919 war between Poland and Russia. Which would still likely have happened, because the Poles were not going to suddenly stop wanting a nation. The difference is, they would have less material support from France, and the domino theory would have gone into action about 25 years before it was became a household name. Poland would certainly have gone under. Maybe Austria would have gone under. Maybe even Germany.
Besides, looking at the rise of American seapower, the idea that it was WW1 that caused America to break out of its shell is quite easily disproved. Does nobody remember the Spanish American War of 1904? That was America embarking on the world stage, not 1917. All that 1917 changed was that America was willing to work with European allies, which proved of inestimable importance in WW2. America was already rising, and already wanted its place on the world stage. WW1 was just a convenient place to start.
America's presence on the world stage has mattered. Its saved lived, preserved democracy, created a great framework of international order. These are not trivialities, and they are worth far more than accountants would estimate in what they cost. I greatly respect it, even if American's seemingly dont.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 23 November 2018 - 0357 AM.