The first line of Col Douglas Macgregor’s excellent article is a bit of a misnomer. America’s national power has already been leashed and broken. What we’re witnessing now is the limits of the imperial USA’s power, which have been constricted by the incompetence and shortsighted mismanagement of the mostly foreign imperial elite.
The crisis of American national power has begun. America’s economy is tipping over, and Western financial markets are quietly panicking. Imperiled by rising interest rates, mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasuries are losing their value. The market’s proverbial “vibes”—feelings, emotions, beliefs, and psychological penchants—suggest a dark turn is underway inside the American economy.
American national power is measured as much by American military capability as by economic potential and performance. The growing realization that American and European military-industrial capacity cannot keep up with Ukrainian demands for ammunition and equipment is an ominous signal to send during a proxy war that Washington insists its Ukrainian surrogate is winning.
Russian economy-of-force operations in southern Ukraine appear to have successfully ground down attacking Ukrainian forces with the minimal expenditure of Russian lives and resources. While Russia’s implementation of attrition warfare worked brilliantly, Russia mobilized its reserves of men and equipment to field a force that is several magnitudes larger and significantly more lethal than it was a year ago.
Russia’s massive arsenal of artillery systems including rockets, missiles, and drones linked to overhead surveillance platforms converted Ukrainian soldiers fighting to retain the northern edge of the Donbas into pop-up targets. How many Ukrainian soldiers have died is unknown, but one recent estimate wagers between 150,000-200,000 Ukrainians have been killed in action since the war began, while another estimates about 250,000.
Given the glaring weakness of NATO members’ ground, air, and air defense forces, an unwanted war with Russia could easily bring hundreds of thousands of Russian Troops to the Polish border, NATO’s Eastern Frontier. This is not an outcome Washington promised its European allies, but it’s now a real possibility.
In contrast to the Soviet Union’s hamfisted and ideologically driven foreign policymaking and execution, contemporary Russia has skillfully cultivated support for its cause in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The fact that the West’s economic sanctions damaged the U.S. and European economies while turning the Russian ruble into one of the international system’s strongest currencies has hardly enhanced Washington’s global standing.
Biden’s policy of forcibly pushing NATO to Russia’s borders forged a strong commonality of security and trade interests between Moscow and Beijing that is attracting strategic partners in South Asia like India, and partners like Brazil in Latin America. The global economic implications for the emerging Russo-Chinese axis and their planned industrial revolution for some 3.9 billion people in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are profound.
In sum, Washington’s military strategy to weaken, isolate, or even destroy Russia is a colossal failure and the failure puts Washington’s proxy war with Russia on a truly dangerous path. To press on, undeterred in the face of Ukraine’s descent into oblivion, ignores three metastasizing threats: 1. Persistently high inflation and rising interest rates that signal economic weakness. (The first American bank failure since 2020 is a reminder of U.S. financial fragility.) 2. The threat to stability and prosperity inside European societies already reeling from several waves of unwanted refugees/migrants. 3. The threat of a wider European war.
America was finally defeated once and for all in 1965. Everything that has happened since was literally a new imperial order, and it is the new imperial order that is jeopardized, not the conquered nation that will likely benefit from the collapse of the empire.
They also know that since 1965 Washington led them into a series of failed military interventions that severely weakened American political, economic, and military power.
Washington. The seat of empire.
Far too many Americans believe they have had no real national leadership since January 21, 2021.
They haven’t had it for a lot longer than that. Since at least 1965, in fact.
This confusion of America with its imperial elite notwithstanding, Macgregor’s piece is an astute one that accurately chronicles the challenges presently overwhelming the empire. And the empire is neither willing nor able to meet those challenges, because the weapons of influence, namely, money and media, are unable to effectively defeat the weapons of power, which are industrial capacity and military might.
Influence can only defeat power if morale is sufficiently lacking. But both the Russians and the Chinese collectively possess a formidable will to survive, which is why they will likely succeed where a complacent and degenerate America failed.