The long, slow slide into once-great nation status begins with the military.
We’re hanging our whole maritime strategy in the Pacific Ocean around a few of these big, super-expensive iron airfields. If a carrier battle group(a carrier rolls with a posse like an old school rapper) gets within aircraft flight range of an enemy, then the enemy will have a bad day. So, what’s the super-obvious counter to our carrier strategy? Well, how about a bunch of relatively cheap missiles with a longer range than the carrier’s aircraft? And – surprise – what are the Chinese doing? Building a bunch of hypersonic and ballistic anti-ship missiles to pummel our flattops long before the F-35s and F-18s can reach the Chinese mainland. We know this because the Chinese are telling us they intend to do it, with the intent of neutering our combat power and breaking our will to fight by causing thousands of casualties in one fell swoop.
The vulnerability of our carriers is no surprise; the Navy has been warned about it for years. There are a number of ideas out there to address the issue, but the Navy resists. One good one is to replace the limited numbers of (again) super-expensive, short-range manned aircraft with a bunch more long range drones. Except that means the Naval aviation community would have to admit the Top Gun era is in the past, and that’s too hard. So they buy a bunch of pricy, shiny manned fighters that can’t get the job done.
Another mistake is over-prioritizing quality over quantity, which is the same mistake the Nazis made with their tanks. The Wehrmacht had the greatest tanks in the world – all top notch. Really good tanks. Tank-to-tank, they were the best – the dreaded Tiger had an 11.5-to-1 kill ratio. The Americans and Russians had merely decent tanks, just multiples more of them. Quantity has a quality all its own. Right now, America has something like 280 ships. We’ll have about 326 by 2023. That’s to cover the entire world. We had 6,768 ships when WWII ended in August 1945
This is inexcusable, but it is being excused. The focus of our military has shifted from victory to satisfying the whims of politicians. Here’s a troubling thought – if you go to one of the service branches’ War Colleges and poll the faculty and students about America’s greatest strategic threat, as many as 50% of the respondents will tell you it is “climate change.” That’s not an exaggeration. Our military is supposed to be dealing with the Chinese military and its brain trust is obsessing about the weather in 100 years.
The Chinese are going to continue dumping exponentially more carbon than America into the air and preparing to take us down while we focus on this kind of frivolous nonsense. Did you know the Chinese are pillaging our tech here in America, while our intelligence community’s incompetence led to our spy networks in China being rolled up? Probably not – these are one-day stories because the elite in DC and the media are busy trying to push the guy who won the last election out of office.
Here’s how the Chinese win. First, they take out our satellites. You know the GPS location service on your phone? Satellites, which are easy to hit. Say “bye-bye” to much of the ability of our precision weapons to find their targets. Also up for destruction are the communications satellites we rely on to coordinate our operations. And then there is the Chinese cyberattack, not only on our military systems but on systems here at home that control civilian power, water and other logistics. A U.S military with no comms and no computers is essentially the Post Office with worse service. An America with a ruined internet is Somalia.
Then they hit our land bases on Guam, Okinawa and elsewhere with a blizzard of missiles, knocking them out and annihilating our aircraft on the ground. Maybe we could respond with B-2s flying from the continental United States. We have 19 whole combat-capable aircraft, assuming a 100% operational readiness rate, which is just not a thing. We might even take out a few missile batteries on the Chinese coast. We won’t know the difference though. As for our carriers, if they come to play, they are likely going to get sunk, and if they stay out of the fight, they are merely useless – assuming quiet diesel subs do not find and sink them.
This is not a surprise. We play wargames against the Chinese all the time, and we lose.
The world’s “lone superpower” has absolutely NO business sending the putative “strongest military in the world” into combat against anybody until it can, first, somehow muster the will to win in its people, and second, clearly define what victory might consist of. Until such time, we’re doing nothing more than offering up the nation’s blood and treasure to provide our heavily-politicized flag-rank officer corps with a convenient playground to futz about in…which fecklessness will surely get our asses kicked up between our shoulderblades. In war most especially, if we ain’t in it to win it, we shouldn’t oughta be in it at all.