We are at a crossroads. Two unnecessary wars and irresponsible economic policy have stretched our resources to the breaking point. George Bush lit a fuse in the Middle East that is a catalyst for a loosely connected series of events responsible for this moment of inadequacy. History won’t be kind.
Days ago the Pentagon realized that the paucity of American presence in the Mediterranean sent a signal for a power grab. The Mediterranean is becoming a Chinese lake filled with Iranian fish. The Chinese are at this instant establishing their hegemony with action in Libya. This moment became imminent the day Bush chose preemptive military action over posturing and leading from a position of strength. The entire United States naval force presence plan lays shattered.
The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. – Sun Tzu
The Republican frat boys whose strategic skills were honed during exam weeks playing all-night Risk and taking speed never learned from overextending their armies on the board. They were happy to defend Kamchatka successfully. But this is real and there are consequences. And they have been laid in President Obama’s lap.
There was a time when forces were more fungible. No more. As a result, last week naval forces in the beginning of workups (literally the first day out of port for training and qualification) were recalled, redirected, and ordered to the Mediterranean weeks ahead of their deployment schedule (which was supposed to relieve forces in the Gulf). They won’t arrive for weeks. Now those Gulf forces who were to return will remain on an extended deployment while the new Mediterranean force will not have a relief for the foreseeable future. And then, what?
Throw in the tragedy in Japan and America finds itself short on action and solutions. This is the America inherited from the George Bush years; the legacy of the neo-cons. This is the America whose blood and treasure were spilled in the sand for no apparent purpose and if now available in reserve for such contingency could be so powerfully and effectively employed.