America is fast gaining the reputation as the lead paper-tiger in the world. Carry a big stick and don’t use it. Forget the positive momentum and goodwill bequeathed to us by prior generations; apologize as convenient.
In this land of missed opportunities, we are not missing many of them to claim leadership and then not exercise it. Our national reputations based upon past glory will not last forever.
As a child, I recall building plastic models of aircraft carriers, submarines, and jet fighters. During the various phases of our space program, I constructed highly detailed models of the Apollo launch vehicle complete with working Lunar Excursion Module, or L.E.M., complete with golden metal foil.
The boxes that the models came in were very important, as they were packaged with blurbs about history, development, and usage of what you were assembling with Testers glue. The models would still be with me if I had not discovered firecrackers in 8th grade, allowing for realistic-scenario destructions!
NASA is now launching its very last space shuttles missions and has paid lip service to a trip to Mars. Fuggedaboutit! That was but a half-hearted campaign device by Barack Obama that was weakly pitched without heart or follow-through. He was essentially the “anti-Kennedy.”
Eleven nuclear powered aircraft carrier battle groups are available to us. This large number allows several to be under refit or long-term refueling stages at various docks while always having some “on station.”
While it can be argued that John F. Kennedy – and later Lyndon B. Johnson – promoted “Man in Space” via NASA as a test-bed program for military rocket development, the aircraft carrier development was never a cover program for anything; it was for American “force projection” literally globally.
Carriers were limited only by the food they could hold (they manufacture their own drinking water from the ocean) and can fly in replacement provisions like lubricants, jet fuel, and replacement bombs for the fighter wing even while rushing to “put out a fire.”
So, why are we not dominating the sea-lanes to deny the Somali pirates? Mil-Net satellites could surely spot targets for us?
Why are we not dominating the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf? Why not pre-position to protect the Suez Canal and our “friends?” Is this due to ego-driven decisions based upon offending Russia and Communist China?
This extortion is – of course – a function of our “global economy,” borrowing from China and paying off Russian nuclear scientists in the name of nuclear weapons non-proliferation. Think the scientists get all of the payoff money?
Since “First Strike” in a threatened nuclear conflagration scenario is off the table – theoretically – in a geo-political sense at least, why not position our forces for the true material support for economic warfare, intimidation of bad-actors, oil wars, and civil wars that we will obviously run into as a direct result of the global-economic-reconstruction born of an American “Great Recession.”
Will the American arms trade be conducted continually as payment for the oil of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and for how much longer? Will we go to war to protect a Saudi Arabian empire wrought with oppression, similar in intensity to that from Iraq, Egypt, and Libya?
Just how well do we choose our friends?
Weak international policy – possibly bought and paid for – and absent knowledge of strong international diplomacy and appropriate usage of our military’s “big stick” will ultimately dilute any absolute impact from the might we possess as a nation. We built this might with intention, but currently without some established will to use it in the course of world stability; it is but a payoff to defense contractors.
In the current case of a Libyan civil war, with their terrorist-government engaged on CNN committing genocide on freedom fighters, what will we do, wait for a U. N. resolution?
Now would be a good time for America and her president to “grow a pair.”
…As sometimes it is better to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission.