2030. All I wanna know is: Is that Easter Standard Time or Greenwich Mean Time?
With current trend lines, an anti-capitalist bent in our own gummint, and a strategic Pacific “pivot” for which we currently have barely enough Naval assets to execute even in peacetime, I would say 2030 is damned optimistic. Economic and military power is withering daily before our eyes, and Politico tells us that the ODNI seems somewhat resigned to our decline. No nation would surpass us if we were not on the way down. With China stating openly their goal of supplanting the United States as the preeminent power on the globe, the rather strangely optimistic quote from ODNI is puzzling:
“The U.S. most likely will remain ‘first among equals’ among the other great powers, due to the legacy of its leadership role in the world and the dominant role it has played in international politics across the board in both hard and soft power,”
“The replacement of the United States by another global power and erection of a new international order seems the least likely outcome in this time period,” the report projects.
With a major military and economic rival working toward just such an eventuality, and we doing virtually nothing to prevent it, one should at minimum not dismiss the possibility as “least likely”. That smacks of hope as a course of action. The idea of “legacy” of leadership will be worth not a thing if we do not ensure our place as a leader in the world’s international affairs. We have done anything but, consciously, beginning with Libya.
The US Navy will be well under 200 ships, IMHO, by 2030. While the Navy will retain some good deal of striking power in a major sea battle, the shrinking numbers will mean a contraction of US presence worldwide. We will learn again that the Navy that provides forward presence is built, to an extent, on the numbers which were so airily dismissed during the debates. No, this isn’t “Battleship”. That is a game for children. This is the chess match of international affairs. Which is a game for serious and professional diplomats and statesmen. Of which there is a notable dearth among the current cast.