Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Welcome To the New America, the Weak America

After all, he DID promise a fundamental transformation, didn't he?

The story comes from Family Security Matters.

The Emerging U.S. Weakness

Whether directly or tacitly, nations offer signals about their strength, willingness to act, weakness, and appeasement. At the moment, the United States is in a state of "preemptive surrender," a condition manifest by several recent events.

When Russia granted asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, Putin defied and embarrassed the Obama administration. Lawmakers across the land scorned Moscow for this obvious slap in the face, but Putin knew intuitively that there were unlikely to be any real consequences. White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step..." But all that happened was a decision to withdraw from Obama's one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The message is loud and clear to friends and foes alike: a nation, as well as a terrorist group, can get away with hostile actions against the United States. There is simply no price to pay for attacking the U.S. in these Obama years. While no one will say so directly, American security is now more fragile than at any point since Pearl Harbor. The U.S. still has some power and influence but as Putin's decision and the Chinese unwillingness to prevent Snowden from fleeing Hong Kong suggest, the limits of power are apparent.

Moreover, frustration with Mr. Putin has been building on another front. Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including a transfer of advanced antiship missiles over U.S. objections, indicates Russian ambitions cannot be thwarted by U.S. power. Government officials contend that the U.S. can push Moscow only so far without jeopardizing "mutual" interests in other areas, i.e. the Iran nuclear program. But this claim merely demonstrates how far U.S. interests have been compromised.

Not only has the Snowden affair weakened U.S. anti-surveillance and anti-terror activity it has invited copycats to do the same. For detractors of American policy the door of disclosure is open and secrets are for sale with virtual impunity. In addition, the U.S. government has averted its gaze from the release of terrorists from jails at an alarming rate. Last month, al Qaeda freed 600 terrorists - including many on death sentences - from two prisons near Bagdad. Terrorists also pulled off a massive jailbreak in Benghazi that included 1200 inmates.

Yet even as tensions across the world are rising and China and Russia are daily challenging America's national will, the U.S. military is conducting sweeping overhaul of its war plans and capability. Recent Pentagon proposals unveiled deep cuts in the size of the Army and Marine Corps and further cuts in naval forces already decimated by recent retrenchment. Pentagon officials maintain that these force reductions still provide adequate contingency plans for dealing with hypothetical conflicts around the world. But every officer knows that the revised plans mean "achieve the mission with fewer forces."

Surely these new plans require technological innovations to compensate for force reductions. Where these innovations come from is anyone's guess. Moreover, projecting power when and where it is needed becomes an exercise in priority building. The military can no longer do what it once did.

Here is yet another signal from the Obama administration. Mutual defense pacts that depend on an American military umbrella can no longer be relied on. President Obama has discussed a pivot to Asia, but it is a pivot without substance. Allies in the Pacific wonder whether the U.S. government has the will to act, and even if it does, no longer has the naval assets to project power. Is it any wonder that there are continual debates in the councils of Asian governments from Japan to India about the U.S. commitment to the region.

For enemies of the U.S., there isn't the fear of apprehension and retaliation. Despite all the talk about Bin Laden, the terrorists responsible for the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi walk the streets without any concern. As they see it, the United States is a paper tiger, toothless and without the will to defend itself. Even if this is exaggerated, the perception is dangerous because it can become a reality that triggers terrorist activity wherever American interests are vulnerable.


Anonymous said...

The SCO made you guys broke. What do you expect?

Xi Jingping

Anonymous said...

Don't you guys get it? Your glory days are behind you. This decline started long before Obama the scapegoat took office. He's simply a symptom of your illness, not the root cause. The root cause is your never ending greed and your woefully shortsighted foreign policy. Only on paper you are the "United" States of America. But in reality that couldn't be farther from the truth.

The future belongs to us, China. For a variety of reasons that are too long to list here. All you Americans have now is time, time to dwell on your short sighted decisions that got you in the mess you are currently in. Maybe by thinking long and hard you can avert future catastrophes. But I doubt it, you guys are prone to repeating your mistakes because as an entire nation you are afflicted with political ADHD. Have your vicious election cycles where every old bad idea just keeps getting recycled for domestic consumption. We'll practice Strategic Patience, it has served us well so far. It won't be long before you see us in your back yard.

Xi Jingping

Findalis said...

I see you are getting spammed by Xi. He thinks that Communist China will rule America. Bring it on China boy and discover why the Japanese (Who kicked your asses.) were terrified to attack the US on our soil.

Anonymous said...

Xi brings some valid points do not overlook them. Bravado does not win wars, military do. The US under Obama has for teh last seven years sunk to a new low. He is and I believe deliberately trying to weaken teh US. His fioreign policy is a total mess, our enemies do not fear us, and they should . He has made teh military a political correct area, and it shows. Rules of engagement get soldiers killed. Obama is a quisling, a weak kneed vascillator, and an appeaser, Worse yet he is a self loathing American who adores and worships Islam. How in hell did any true patriot vote for this puppet. Impeach him now, get Biden in it can not possibly get worse

Anonymous said...

@Findalis, perhaps you should not be stuck in the past and reminisc about faded glories. Yes in 1937 the Japanese could and indeed invade us, but I don't see how The Rape of Nanking could be considered kicking ass?

But......could Japan repeat the feat again? That's the all important question. The answer is clearly no. We don't have to invade other countries like you do to own them. We just buy their debt or use our vast reserves to invest in them. Look at the two strategic blunders of the last decade and a half you Americans committed. Who is the main beneficiary?

China Boy? And you guys wonder why the world views you with leery fatigue. Drop the frat boy attitude and the "get some" shock and awe mentality. You might just achieve something by doing so.

Xi Jingping

Anonymous said...

Don't you see Findalis? This is 21st Century interaction. The problem with you is that you're still stuck in 20th Century mentality when it comes to relations with other nations or filling the coffers of your treasury.

This is how its done. No meathead frat boy utterances like "China Boy." And no vague references to faded glories, as if they will somehow leap out of the past and save the day. That was then, This is now. You're staring bankruptcy in the face, hundreds of thousands of civilians have perished as a result of your recent foreign policy. How can you even think, matters are flowing smoothly?

American shortsightedness is staggering. How can the first reaction be....F-16's and Hooting, hollering soldiers on top of tanks celebrating an empty victory in an empty city?

Let me ask you this then.....What prompted you guys to go into Iraq so unprepared? Lets put the strategic blunder of the invasion behind us....but why was the occupation such a failure?

Was it because....there was no plan at all after the euphoria of pulling down the big statue and landing on an aircraft carrier with the pretty banner, there was no phase 2 to the occupation?

It's exactly that kind of lacking in forward thinking that gets America easily lured into well laid quagmires by the SCO. Imagine the strategic victory had you gone in with a Marshall Plan? But you're now only left to rue.....what if?

Xi Jingping

Xi Jingping said...

How can you compare?

It's all about priorities isn't it? When reality TV takes the number one priority over say....Space Exploration. What can you expect?

When an obsession with tax cuts and a 230 year old document take up your time, how can you expect to address the more day to day issues of governance?

When your first reaction to getting poked is to drain your treasury in far flung military adventures, how can you expect long term financial solvency?

Perhaps another era of non-intervention is best for America, no? How can you even afford anymore interventions?

You guys need some time of reflection, regarding your decisions in the past 12 years. Take some time off and rebuild your nation first. Expand your aging infrastructure and take care of your own citizens for a change. The rest of the world will manage to get along just fine without "Democratic Intervention."

Xi Jingping

Holger Awakens said...

Isn't "Xi Jingping" Cantonese for "I'm not really Chinese" ?

:Holger Danske

Xi Jingping said...

Is that a joke? I like it. Actually I am Chinese. Born in Shanghai, September 6th, 1981. But I lived in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2008. Now I'm back in my hometown. I stumbled upon this blog during my research on Islam, particularly its contemporary role in Central Asia and Pakistan.

I got to say, I hope the US leadership takes your advice. I really do.

Xi Jingping said...

Don't you mean Wu Chinese instead of Cantonese? Come on American, get in touch with "cultural diversity" lol.

Isn't "Holger Danske" Old Norse for "I'm not really Scandinavian"?

;) Xi Jingping

Funny how you didn't address the strategic failures of America's foreign policy, the ones I laid out.

You shouldn't be afraid of discourse Holger Danske, wasn't that the very foundation of your nation's Independence Movement?

And I hope your friend Findalis isn't too shy of open discourse either.