Two newspaper items caught my attention which further confirm that the once unsurpassed military strength of the USA continues to steadily erode. The March 24, 2007 Minneapolis Tribune (p. A-11) reported that the US army has lost 130 helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the helicopters have not yet been replaced. The article stated that “it takes 24 months to get replacement aircraft,” and cited Brig. Gen. Stephen Mundt, the US Army’s Aviation Director as “complain[ing] that they are not being replaced fast enough.”  The article added that only 1/3rd of the losses were due to hostile fire. This further illustrates that American military equipment is getting too old and that a large-scale replacement effort is long overdue. However, both the White House and the Congress seem far more interested in political wrangling than in attending to the nation’s urgent business.

The second item is an AP wire service story printed in the March 24, 2007 Sioux Falls Argus-Leader (p. A-7). It reported that the US Navy has retired another large aircraft carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy. At a time when the downsized US military is badly overstretched fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and wars are possible with Iran, China (over Taiwan) or North Korea, it makes little sense to completely mothball one of the nation’s major naval assets. At any given time several carriers are in port for maintenance and repairs, so the fleet only has a limited number of carriers to deploy for active duty missions. If a war with Iran or China erupts, the USA is very unprepared for it. Our war stocks are being expended quickly in Iraq and Afghanistan. China has especially been producing many new classes of cruise missiles and its strategy seems apparent: it intends to overwhelm our carrier defenses by launching more cruise missiles at our carriers than they can successfully track and shoot down. As an earlier blog noted, a Chinese sub brazenly surfaced within easy “kill” range of a US carrier recently without the carrier’s defenders being aware of it. Chinese cruise missiles could be simultaneously launched from land, sea and air by China against our carriers. In such circumstances, US carriers could be lost in such a battle. How many scores of simultaneous cruise missiles can a carrier defend itself against? Now the US Navy has one less reserve carrier to deploy quickly into a war zone.

Given how many 100s of billions of dollars the US spends on defense, it is surprising how little “bang for the buck” this money actually buys in terms of new and replacement weaponry. Where does all the money go? The USA’s reluctance to rebuild its military forces is very odd, given the growing dangers in the world.

The trend is very much in place that the USA is consuming its weaponry and assets in two current wars which have no end in sight. This obviously benefits the enemies of the USA named in Ezekiel 38’s prophecy: Russia, China and Iran. Having the USA consume and wear out its military forces in two quagmire wars at once is very advantageous for the long-term goals of Russia, China and Iran. One wonders if this has happened by accident or design?

Steven Collins

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