A bit of a read, but Tom Luongo offers his analysis of the situation in the Middle East. Wheels within wheels.
Lots of insights there. Among the interesting observations he makes, one that rings with me, is that the US is being sucked into a Thucydides Trap. Basically, a rising power (China) goads an entrenched power (US) into doing something it does not want to do and has no chance of winning, but must act to demonstrate its supremacy.
So, here are the chain of events. US is militarily and politically weakened by its support of Ukraine. The China/Russia/Iran axis greenlights the Hamas attack on Israel to provoke a response from Israel and its backer, the US. Iran activates the Houthis to attack shipping in the Red Sea, which, again, demands a military/naval response from the US. In fact, Netanyahu demanded that if the US did not respond, Israel would.
So, to shorten a long story, the US is now sucked into a second significant front, Ukraine and now the Middle East. This is why the US is walking away from Ukraine, and why the Biden regime, in fact, does not want Congress to pass a spending bill for more $$$B to Ukraine. It is clearly a never-ending money pit the from which the US wants to extricate, as it is clearly lost.
But, wait, there’s more. Venezuela (backed by China) holds a faux referendum and is now poised to seize the oil rich portion of Guyana. This dates back to old disputes about arbitrary country lines yada yada yada. So, the US is “probably” going to have to make a play to protect Guyana. We shall see. Another point of conflict for stretched US military.
So, what are the odds that China is poised to make a play for Taiwan? Hmm. … about 100%. Xi told Biden he intends to reunify Taiwan into China. And he said so to the world in a New Year’s speech. Next shoe to drop. China is playing the long game here.
I think what we are seeing is the collapse of the US military supremacy, which looks to have been a paper tiger. Turns out a first world adversary in Ukraine is not the same as goat herders in Afghanistan, whom they lost to as well. The US has bizarrely run out of munitions to supply to Ukraine, and has very limited capacity to replenish. I wonder how long they can supply Israel.
US naval ships are shooting down $20,000 Iranian-made drones with missiles that cost between $1 to 5 million dollars. Which is not sustainable. Think about that. If you were the Houthis, wouldn’t you continuously swarm US naval ships to provoke them to expend their $2 million/missile supply. Here’s an article on the French defending its use of million dollar missiles to shoot down drones costing a couple thousand dollars.
Ironically, the Houthis are attaining their goals of effectively blockading the Red Sea, merely by pestering ships with cheap drones. Not only do they impair shipping, but they are grinding down the military response. Its not just cost. We know from Ukraine that the West has an unsustainable replenishment model for its spent munitions.
What’s more, it turns out that US destroyers cannot rearm at sea — they must go to port. So, in addition to the huge cost per missile, the drone swarms are forcing a depletion of missile supplies on the ships, forcing a withdrawal from the field of operations. Ergo, the aircraft carriers would be left vulnerable, so they have to leave as well. The US is going to go into catatonic shock when one of its $15B aircraft carriers gets sunk. What a debacle that will be. And what a cluster f*ck this whole operation is turning out to be.
Further, the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), which were designed specifically for the type of shoreline operations which would be required in the Red Sea, are being withheld from that deployment because the ships would likely be sunk by Houthi missiles. That didn’t work out very well. It has been clear for decades that US MIC likes to build expensive, heavy maintenance stuff that is impractical in an actual field of operations. About those vaunted Patriot missile systems deployed in Ukraine — they turn on their tracking radar and become sitting ducks.
Is it any surprise that the Biden administration has been trying to buy off Iran by releasing $6B locked up by the US government. i.e. here, take this money. Just promise not to get involved in a kinetic war in the Middle East. Same with Obama. Flew $Billions in cash on pallets to bribe Iran to sign a nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The US does not want to engage Iran in a kinetic conflict. Hmm. The Hegemon acknowledging a fundamental weakness. But, this only seems to encourage actors around the globe to confront US forces directly.
The US, and the West generally, have relied on expensive, exotic, complex weapons systems to intimidate the world and enforce its hegemony. But, the world has moved beyond the 1990s and Desert Storm. War has become commoditized and asymmetric. Ukraine was an inflection point. Russia learned and pivoted. The US/NATO is locked into an outdated mindset, and ineffective, expensive weapons systems.
Oh, and Operation Prosperity Guardian, the US-led convoy of military ships that were supposed to protect the Red Sea shipping lanes from Houthi attacks, has pretty much collapsed. France, Spain and Italy have now withdrawn as they refuse to be under US command. Is that a big middle finger, or what.
In order to establish its authority, the US and UK have launched airstrikes inside Yemen at Houthi hideouts. Uh huh. See Thucydides Trap above. Here is an explainer why the US/UK military action likely sprung the trap.
What’s truly amazing is the sheer incompetence of US military leadership. General Milley (now retired) and Lloyd Austin should be charged with treason for their leadership failures leaving the US so vulnerable. Its clear the woke US military is utterly unprepared for warfare. This is Milley’s legacy. He is treacherous and likely treasonous. But, for Austin’s pals in Raytheon and the other MIC corps, its Ka-Ching time once again. Mission accomplished.
As an aside, what is up with Austin’s AWOL hospital stay? There is real kinetic action involving US forces going down. He secretly checks into Walter Reid for prostate cancer surgery (since when is cancer surgery elective?), his second in command is on holidays in Puerto Rico AND STAYS THERE WHILE HE IS IN HOSPITAL. As of January 13, he is STILL in hospital recuperating. For more than a week. And still hasn’t stepped aside. As far as I know, there are no current pictures of him in hospital. Weird. I did read some speculation that he was whacked in an airstrike in Ukraine. But, that is unconfirmed. Still … how does it make sense that the person second in line to command military (2nd to POTUS) is MIA for a week and remains in hospital? If he was whacked in an airstrike, how humiliating it would be for the US to admit that the Secretary of Defense was whacked. There is more to this story.
The unipolar world is done. The competing powers to the US and western allies, the BRICS are taking advantage of incompetent and incapable US leadership to dethrone the US as “The” global superpower, the hegemon — economically, politically, and militarily. Its obvious that Biden is not even a figurehead. The US is leaderless. Whomever is actually making the decisions has no idea what they are doing. Or, maybe they do. Its almost as if this is all part of a deliberate design to destroy the US. Hmm … read The Higgins memo.
2024 is going to be an interesting year.