The influential Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) has issued a warning that “The military foundations of the United States’ global dominance are eroding [and]…are already starting to disappear.” This warning was included in an article entitled “The Pentagon’s Wasting Assets” which appeared in the July-August, 2009 issue of Foreign Affairs, the CFR’s bi-monthly publication. The article (see first link below) is written by Andrew Krepinevich, and it is well worth everyone’s reading. Indeed, I would regard it as “must” reading for anyone who wants to understand modern global geopolitics! The article warns that the dramatic military advances by China and Iran may soon make the Persian Gulf and East Asian waters “no-go zones” for the US Navy. It emphasizes the dangers posed to US warships by new and improved antiship cruise missiles (ASCMS), and it especially notes the dangers posed by these missiles to US aircraft carriers.
This warning from the CFR souds like an echo of some of the warnings I’ve given in my past blogs about the threats posed by new cruise missiles to US aircraft carriers and warships. The Foreign Affairs article does not name the Russian cruise missile (the supersonic “sizzler”) as the biggest ASCMS danger, but I’m sure they were aware of them when this article was written. The article does relate a very important and ominous warning for the US Navy in the event that an Iranian-American battle occurs in the Persian Gulf (which could happen soon in the aftermath of an attack against the Iranian nuclear facilities). It reveals that as long ago as 2002, the Pentagon “conducted its largest war-gaming exercise since the end of the Cold War” when it projected how an Iranian-American conflict in the Persian Gulf would unfold. A US Marine Corps General led the “Iranian” side, and in the war game, his “Iranian” side inflicted the biggest defeat on the US Navy since Pearl Harbor, “sinking” or disabling over half the US ships in the war game. This was back in 2002! The US Marine General did not use Iranian assets the way the US Navy commanders expected and this led to a war-gamed disaster for the Navy. Keep in mind this was surely before the Iranians had access to more-advanced cruise missiles from their Russia and Chinese allies. I’ll bet the “Iranian” side in this war game did not have any of the new Russian supersonic sizzler cruise missiles to use in this war game. If the “Iranian” wargamers had had sizzlers, the theorized Iranian victory might have been even greater. Let’s hope the US Navy has deployed new weapons systems and tactics since 2002 to make US ships survivable in the Persian Gulf if a war breaks out. If not, a number of US politicians and admirals may be headed for disgrace. If the US Navy loses a carrier and/or other major warships in a Persian Gulf War, the Obama adminsitration itself might not survive the voter rage which will follow.
The article also warns that the proven Chinese ability to shoot down satellites could damage navigation and communication abilities of the US military in any future war, and that China has deployed “large numbers of conventionally-armed ballistic missiles” which could be fired at US bases in Japan, Okinawa, Guam, etc. in a future war. The article further warns that “If the United States does not adapt to these emerging challenges, the military balance in Asia will be…transformed in Beijing’s favor.” China is not the only danger discussed in the article. It warns about Russia’s cyberattacks against Estonia, Georgia and Kyrgystan in recent years as well as “reputed” Chinese cyberattacks vs. the Pentagon and several NATO nations. The article warns that “a surprise of the worst sort in this realm [cyberwarfare] remains a real possibility.” While unspoken, this infers the Russians and Chinese may be able to disable US weapons systems or perhaps shut down critical US infrastructures via a cyber attack. As an example of how even irregular forces are becoming more powerful, it notes that Hezbollah was able to use Russian antitank missiles to destroy or disable 50 Israeli tanks in the 2006 war between Hezbollah an the Israelis. The same thing could happen to US tanks in a future war zone if irregular forces have Russian antitank missiles.
The article concludes that “the Obama adminstration’s choices regarding the future US military posture must [have]…an overarching strategy as ambitious as the one during the first decade after the Cold War.” I am always intrigued how often the CFR articles use the word “must” when it tell US administrations what to do on policy matters. If the CFR is not a “shadow government,” as some allege, they certainly phrase their articles as if they were one. However, in this article they are right. The US “must” address the slippage in its military superiority or there will be very serious consequences in a few years. In a harbinger of what may happen soon, this article urges the USA to deploy “indigenous forces” in Iraq and Afghanistan and “withdraw US combat units.” This advice reminds me of the “Vietnamization” of the Vietnam War as US combat forces were withdrawn in the 1970s. It guaranteed defeat in Vietnam and it will do so in Afghanistan today (maybe not in Iraq). However, it is folly for the US to “surge” its forces into Afghanistan as Afghanistan will revert to the rule of its tribal warlords whenever the US forces leave. The USA cannot afford the war in Afghanistan, so economic realities alone will eventually force the USA to leave Afghanistan.
The article also suggests the US Navy build “more large submarines armed with…cruise missiles” (in other words, do what China is already doing!), and the article worries that US carriers could slip into “operational irrelevance” due to the growing threats to their survivability in modern combat situations. This fits perfectly with the warnings I’ve been issuing in my periodic blogs about military threats to US carriers during the last two years. To sustain a superior military, a nation must also have an economy to build and support military forces. This CFR article also warns that “The United States must get its own house in order,” and “Americans must learn once again…to live within their means.” I put the double use of the word “must” in italics to show again how the CFR tells governments what to do, but, again, the use of the word “must” is absolutely justified in both instances. The CFR article sounds like it is adopting conservative Republican tenets. So far, neither the Obama administration nor the Democratic Congress exhibit even the slightest intention to get the nation’s “house in order” or “live within their means.”
In my blog two days ago, I warned that the lives of the ruling elites of the West (the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bildergbergers and whatever other groups belong in this list) are dependent on a strong US military. I warned that Russia and China have no intention of ultimately “sharing power” with the USA and the West. Russia, China, Iran and their allies see the rapid decline and exhaustion of the US military and economy and they see an opportunity developing to seize all power in the world and make western nations their serfs. Ezekiel 38-39 prophesies just such a military attack will occur at the very end of our modern age before Divine intervention occurs. The CFR article in the first link indicates to me that the western world’s elites now realize the existential dangers they face from a militarized Russian-Chinese-Iranian alliance. As an indication of a significant shift in CFR thinking, the November-December, 2008 issue of Foreign Affairs featured an article entitled “Nuclear Policy for the Next US Administration” (also called “The Logic of Zero”) which advised the Obama adminsitration to work toward a “no nukes” world. It included the stunningly-naive statement: “Russia is not a military threat to the United States.” While I’m sure the CFR neither reads not understands Ezekiel 38-39’s prophecy that Russia does pose an existential danger to the USA and the West, the CFR now seems to realize the world is more dangerous that it realized. An article in the September 7, 2009 issue of Newsweek magazine was entitled “Why Obama Should Learn to Love the Bomb,” and it warrns that keeping US nuclear weapons “may actually make us safer.” The article (see second link) was written by Jonathan Tepperman, a former Deputy Managing Director of Foreign Affairs, the CFR’s own bi-monthly publiction. Mr. Tepperman is now the Assistant Managing Director of Newsweek, which I regard as the weekly magazine of the CFR, given how many of its featured articles are written by CFR luminaries.
It appears to me that the CFR sees the same dangers that I described in my blog two days ago about the very serious dangers posed by Russia, China and Iran to the US airrcraft carriers and the US military. If the Obama adminsitration ignores the urgent advise of the CFR concerning what “must” be done, the CFR may throw its considerable weight behind an effort to elect conservative Republicans who will strengthen the US military and economy…helping to ensure the survivability of not only the USA but the CFR’s elites as well.