“The U.S. defense strategy and posture have become insolvent. The tasks that the nation expects its military forces and other elements of national power to do internationally exceed the means to accomplish those tasks.”
These are the principal conclusions of a new report by the Rand Corporation – an independent political research organisation of high repute which is primarily funded by the U.S. Government.
The full lucid analysis running to 240 pages is available for free download in book form under the title “Inflection Point; How to reverse the erosion of U.S. and Allied military power and influence”.
It makes essential reading for all who have been concerned with the recent deterioration in the effectiveness and objectivity of NATO forces. This has been exacerbated by the Ukrainian conflict, which may well be the last occasion when conventional weapons are used to make limited territorial gains.
The supremacy in all fields, which the military of the U.S. enjoyed for two decades after the Cold War ended in 1991, has evaporated to the extent that the combined technological strength of its enemies, principally China and Russia, now exceeds that capability.
Its army is reportedly understaffed by at least 15,000 skilled combatants while stocks of essential weaponry, equipment and vehicles have been depleted by age and distribution to allies to the extent that it would be impracticable to equip its entire chain of at least 500 redoubts and bases which are scattered strategically across the globe.
Even with the supplement of allied troops and the recall of reservists, it would be impossible logistically to fight a devastating conventional war based on the potential territorial gains and losses on both sides of an international frontline stretching for many thousand kilometers.
The wargames now being rehearsed in the Kremlin, Piquing and the Pentagon have a vastly different concept to those of only five years ago due to huge advances made in technology. New weapons such as drones, unmanned submarines and pinpoint missile systems supplemented by chemical, biological and nuclear weaponry have all increased the risk by horrific proportion. To such threats is now added the likelihood of all such combat being supervised selectively by artificial intelligence.
Much worse is the sinister exponential growth of global corporations which compete in a power game for the exploitation of the planet’s animal, vegetable and mineral resources by controlling key geographical locations.
In this, they have been assisted by their own private armies cloaked as security guards and by the armed forces of military dictatorships. Although such entities may fly a national flag, their true identities and allegiances are difficult to ascertain because of off-shore registrations and a complex web of holding companies.
What is probably true is that the ownership ultimately lies in the hands of the super wealthy family groups which make up the 0.01% of the world’s plutocracy and are effectively sovereign states whose wealth often exceeds the entire domestic product of the countries in which they operate. Their business interest lies not in territorial conquest but in the legal pillaging of the people’s resources.
An example of this is that of the infamous Wagner Group which has been exposed as being an immensely powerful mercenary organization selling protection services to whoever can pay its price. This often includes shareholdings in the enterprise of which it is guardian.
Such Smersh-like syndication is becoming common place in Africa where elected presidents are easily toppled by the monied influencers of commerce and strife is imminent.
The lid can only be kept on this simmering bellicosity by a sea change in geopolitical stability led by a reformed United Nations which will endeavour to reduce tension by the formation of a powerful international peace-keeping force. Can the admirably courageous Sr. Guterres be the saviour of the planet?
Comment by Roberto Cavaleiro
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Roberto Cavaleiro first came to Portugal in 1982, acting as advisor to international investors. Current interests include animal welfare and writing opinion articles, especially with reference to environmental issues.