Does the Republic Stand? Part Two: How It Has, and for How Long...
Other than my mental super-powers, the ones I struggle with every day to keep them in peaceful check, the United States is the only military power with true force projection capability. Without next-generation weaponry like mine, the government must rely on oodles of obsolescent hardware, I mean stuff that needs actual people to work it and isn't on SkyNet artificial intelligence yet, to bully its friends and enemies. The US has 11 complete aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs or CBGs, formerly CVBGs in Pentagon parlance, pre-formerly CARBATGRU). These are the only 11 CSGs in existence. Britain, France, Russia, and Italy had a few but all decommissioned theirs, saying, "Why bother? We'll develop mental super-powers!" Thailand and Brazil do have one vanity carrier each, but sadly lack the fleet and orbital patrol capabilities required to protect huge floating things full of juicy jet fuel, and to attack over any distance, they'd have to deploy sails.
Auric Goldfinger and Dr. Julius No would hold lively debates on the wisdom of building aircraft carriers, each of which are approximately as expensive as an average country. (Bond villain Interviewer: "To best achieve world domination, is it better to: A) rob Fort Knox; B) threaten to nuke London; C) build a death ray on a remote island, or; D) build Carrier Battle Groups? Discuss.") Return on Investment (ROI) aside, the purpose of a real carrier battle group is to send a coked-up maritime Warren Zevon sort of Werewolves of London message:
"You better stay away from him...he'll rip your lungs out Jim! But oo-woo--I'd like to meet his tailor."
The real thing even comes with lawyers, guns, and money to deal with the predictable fallout that rains down in its ports of calls, otherwise known as Drunken Puking Disease Pits (DPDPs).
For context, merely one (1) of these floaty assemblages embodies sufficient force projection and firepower advantages to defeat all the fleets that ever existed. At the same time. If the US parked any one of its strike groups within range of Ireland and the UK right now, it could blow the holy shits out of them despite the combined maximal efforts of both countries to the contrary. Our military capabilities so far outclass those of any competitors, in fact of all others put together, that conventional resistance is Not an Option (NO). While it's true that India and China have announced plans to outfit militarily viable CSGs, and have each increased military spending commensurately over the last decade, what they fail to explain is that their fleets will be comprised of weaponized Jet Skis and Sea-Doos commanded by Jacques Cousteau's kids, because at least they have some experience with oceans.
That India and China would even think of building aircraft carriers was foreseen in the mid-1980s by Mssrs. Cheney and Rumsfeld, two brilliantly evil agents of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. These Blofeld agents managed to take over the US government from the inside, then generated a CIA study that examined with surprising competence the likely future economic growth rates of those countries; the study predicted the expanding military powers of both and assumed the imperial extension of either or both, particularly westwards to Iraq and the Caspian Basin to seize the necessary hydrocarbon resources to fuel further growth.
The Blofeld Study was evangelized to thought leaders and policy makers, the more dimwitted legions of whom promptly be-shat themselves. The dimwit panic was the impetus for a so-called Neo-Con movement, which was neither nearly as neo nor as con as my Aunt Sophie, with its most cynically be-shat members organizing and formalizing themselves into something they called PNAC (Paranoid Narcissistic Asshole Chickenhawks). This group eventually caused or allowed a falsely flagged causus belli to occur. Hence GWOT ensued, which sounds a lot more menacing than SPECTRE, and is. 50 years from now people won't know what the acronym stood for, but its mere sound will signify. Of course that's assuming people will still use the alphabet.
This movement envisaged the need for a Jupiter-like military that could beam lasers from Mars onto skateboarders, also sagely foreseen as the Enemy. After 30 years of massive investment, they've just about achieved the Operation Exploding Heads from Space goals, and have quite a lethal bag of new tricks, including tanks that can microwave cattle right on the hoof! Believe me, I'm too freaked out to lie to you and am writing this while hunched under a book-reinforced desk. In this world of mad and brutal men, the misery humans suffer and visit upon each other is most unleashed by those who love others more than themselves and only want that love to be recognized and returned. When you don't or can't comply, then that is precisely why they must kill you.
Any hapless fool who wishes to actively disagree with PNAC policy goals must resort to so-called asymmetrical warfare, which primarily involves becoming an adept at hiding in plain sight so as not to have your head exploded by space weapons. As in, "No, no, I'm not about to blast your sweaty hyper-aggressive grunts to kingdom come with my cell phone speed-dial hooked up to trigger the fuse on a 40 year-old artillery shell. See, I'm smiling, we're all friends...and I'm just peeing in this ditch right here."
The practical need for such superiority arose from the US defeat in Vietnam, wherein it failed to kill every single Vietnamese person. This wasn't allowed to happen because the American public, consisting of hippies, Jewish intellectuals on welfare, militant blacks and Walter Cronkite (who was on LSD at the time) stormed the Pentagon with Molotov cocktails. Yes, I realize this never occurred. But tell that to the Pentagon, which codified these vital lessons into a military doctrine known as American People = Vietnamese (AP=V).
Since the US was bankrupted by its failure to kill Vietnamese people, Dick "No, Mister Bond, You're Going to Die!" Nixon simply foreswore the gold standard at Bretton Woods in 1971. The finance ministers of Germany and France complained that without gold backing it, the US dollar would only be worth the cotton it used to be printed on, to which Nixon coolly replied, "What part about the bombing of Dresden did you NOT understand? I think someone might need another lesson in high finance."
Nixon made a deal with Saudi Arabia to price its oil exclusively in dollars in exchange for perpetual protection by CBGs, for not letting an oil embargo get in the way of friends, and for getting richer than Croesus. Thus has the dollar been backed by oil ever since. The dollar's purchasing power, and the US ability to nakedly issue debt and then pay it off in imaginary money, and to generate full faith and credit for that imaginary money, is correlated 1:1 with the ability to blow things up real good. Sure, China has bought some fat oil field rights in Iraq, hydrocarbon and rare earth mineral rights in Africa, but if the Iraqs or Africans choose to renege, what could China do? They could build one ACG in 10 years, or they could truck a few million troops to the border of Tajikistan, drop them off and tell them to "march east for a few months, and make sure to make a left turn after you pass Tehran."
Since going off the Gold Standard, the US has increasingly enforced its currency regime in hard-power fashion, a fact not lost on Little Foreign People. Remember what happened to Saddam Hussein? The Big People know he went off the dollar and started selling his oil for Euros in early 2001, the ultimate no-no, shortly before Iraq was invaded by sheer coincidence. Just like Iran started selling its oil for Euros later and then was invaded by sheer coincidence. Yes, I know Iran wasn't really invaded. But tell them that. And tell Afghanistan, Africa, Indonesia, Paraguay, most of South America, Pakistan, and northern Florida that, too or anywhere else has erected hundreds of new military bases so far this century. All this has been flip-out expensive, with the real US military budget (including the NSA, NASA, Homeland Security, CIA, DEA, the Capo di Tutti Capi, et al) now tipping in at well over $1.xtrill.
Harsh is the desert that quickly leaches bones. This is how it has gone, and this is how it will be done. Here are the bones, here is the heat of the sun, here is how white they will leach: in September and October, merely anticipating the Fed's QE2, dollar-denominated cotton prices rose by 54%, corn by 29%, soybeans by 22%, orange juice by 17%, sugar by 51%, wheat by 36%. How's that for stimulus, Alice? It'll take 6-9 months for those new price increases to pass out into products and services. Yes, Virginia, there is a Hyper Inflation.
It hurts to watch Old America sink like this, like a ship still under power but taking water on evenly, steadily faster, coming in from all sides, heading to the deep where God's voice ceaselessly resounds. At this moment Goldman and Sachs has chosen to strike. Their torpedoes are 50-year bonds yielding 6.25% interest, these will sell like Madoff Farms Municipal Bonds and will serve as the pricing benchmark in an entirely new market, one in which Goldman & Sachs is the Last Bank Standing.
It already controls the fiscal and monetary policy of the US Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank. It will soon control the International Monetary Fund. And the best part is, they're doing it with money they got for free and their idea is to make our children pay. The money is virtual, the consequences won't be. I think hell is about to meet heaven, and vice versa. I don't know all of what will happen, but I know where the gunpowder is stacked, I see the wick, and I see how it just lit. Will be back when I can. Until then I'll be smiling for the cameras and peeing in the ditch.