Ladies and Gentlmen,
The President has quietly declared the end of the American Century and the death of our Superpower status.
On a cold day in Washington the President appeared to discuss the budget cuts to the Department of Defense. One reporter remarked that it was unusual to see the President appear personally in an otherwise routine press conference. The President announced the cuts in a white paper discussing the realignment and future of the US Military.
I remain amazed that the most critical announcement has completely passed by the American Public uncommented on. The President says that the US Military will no longer maintain the ability to fight two simultaneous wars. Though the President and the white paper refer to fighting in two countries, the older WW2 era term used by military planners was a two-front, or two-ocean, war.
Even with the big defense cuts that Bill Clinton made in the 1990’s we have always claimed to maintain the ability to fight the two front war. Even as Clinton demolished the old remnants of the Cold War, such as the bomber crews on 5-minute alert ready to blow up the world 24 hours a day at the SAC bases, we claimed to be the only remaining Superpower.
And those claims were proven right, at great cost, we fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq as an occupying army re-educating the civilian populace in the greatest tradition of post-WW2 Europe. Until the President announced that we would know be ready to fight one war, and act as a “spoiler” in a second country.
Britain, prior to World War 1, maintained a two power standard, having twice as many battleships as the next closest military power, so they could engage that country and still protect their empire from a second front. Though it took twenty years to realize it, the moment they gave up the two power standard was the crest to becoming a second rate world power. At least Maggie Thatcher has some backbone to reverse that trend.
However thin the fiction may have been, after Korea or after Vietnam, we have told the world everyday since the 1930’s that we could fight that enormous effort. The Greatest Generation fought across both sides of the globe. And this week, that cold day in Washington was the day we stopped trying. We are now over the crest, and whatever your feelings understand that we are turning our back on the WW2 and Cold War legacies left to us by the Greatest Generation. Perhaps everything that they said about the Baby-Boomers is true, maybe they really are screwing up the world, and Generations X and Y seem on a path to a catastrophic trainwreck.
Hopefully voters will keep this in mind when they cast their ballots.
God Bless the U.S., we’re gonna need it.
The proof in the pudding:
There will also be a move away from the decades-old mantra of US military planners that America must be capable of fighting two wars at any one time. “The two-war paradigm has been an anchor in the way we think about the future. That paradigm is a residual of the cold war,” Dempsey said.
-UK Paper The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…
Never miss a photo op!
Obama became the first president to announce a strategy change directly from inside the Pentagon – a theatrical gesture designed to underline the significance of the shift
Same, courtesy of the Guardian
Text from the President’s own remarks
As we look beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the end of long-term nation-building with large military footprints — we’ll be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces. We’ll continue to get rid of outdated Cold War-era systems
From the White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-…
Those same “out-dated” systems still form a key aspects of our national security. Until very recently, Eisenhower’s Nuclear triad-the bombers, the missiles, and the subs- was still in place. We still hold onto and cherish our nuclear arsenal, a remnant of the Cold War.
We have also been engaged in a decades long process to get rid of chemical and biological weapons. This is all well and good, but one of the great measures of power is what a nation can publicly claim to be able to do.
You will all remember the big flap in the 1990’s about Israeli espionage leading-by rumor-Israel joining the club of powers possessing nuclear weapons. There was a time when the list was updated and of great concern to the public. Countries believed to be on the list- The US, UK, France, Russia, China, Pakistan and India, Israel (not publicly confirmed). Several recent articles have speculated that North Korea has nuclear weapons and only lacks a missile delivery system. Iran also recently test fired a series of short and medium range missiles[poll id=”