What is the strength in, brother?
The first part of the material.
At the international level, the "power of relevance" of the United States, according to Todd, is rooted in its strategic size, geography and resources. Economic and industrial power, stabilizing (or vice versa, but the American colonel thinks differently) the presence of forces deployed around the world, strategic support for external and military assistance, as well as the ability to project military power around the globe have provided the United States an undeniable influence as one of two global superpowers after the second world war. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War and the self-removal of Russia from global competition to solve internal problems for a considerable period of time, the power and significance of the United States became hegemonic and seemed undeniable. Well, yes, we all remember the stories about "the victory of the American world for eternal times", "the end stories"and other rubbish from a breath stolen with joy from someone's goiter. But everything went wrong ... Todd also writes about this.
Nearly two decades after September 11, US power is at an inflection point. Miscalculations, the lies of politics, the economic downturn, political polarization, wasted influence, military overstrain, the restoration and growth of Russia, the rise of China, the growing power of regional powers and the growing influence of non-state actors "have created a multipolar world with a myriad of problems." Well, yes, how convenient it was to live in a dream world of a unipolar world controlled from the Potomac!
Government agencies responsible for national security and foreign policy, which were once a haven for a bipartisan agreement, are now hyper-politicized. Consistent management strategies have led to an increase in the number of political appointees as part of the national security process and foreign policy. The presidents believe that this contributes to their political agenda in the short term. In the long run, he introduces aspiring political actors into an area unsuitable for on-the-job training. Which ultimately increases the number of underserved people who run "exclusive" America. A sense of “exceptionalism”, messianism out of the blue, ignorance and confidence in one’s right to create whatever one wants - what a beautiful bouquet! But falling will be very painful, and soon enough.
US allies and their point of view
The US allies (those who have a certain freedom of opinion and action, because the opinion of "non-slave" satellites like Poland and Ukraine are of no interest to anyone and have little influence on them) are carefully watching the growing chaos, according to the American political colonel. American economic, foreign, and national security policies are perceived as inconsistent, destabilizing, and immoral. And the US commitment to agreements and alliances is called into question primarily by the actions of the United States. The world’s perception of the growing political instability of the United States is sowing seeds of doubt in its allies, as this refers to the US-declared "global leadership" of the United States. Which, however, has long been only a declaration. But this state still has a lot of opportunities, and it’s even good that not very smart people rule it.
The rhetoric that claims NATO allies increase defense investment is an indication of the success of current US policy. But fundamentally nothing changes in this matter. And a slight increase in defense spending, from which key NATO allies like the Germans quite successfully break away, is, in fact, a hedge of a weakening US desire to fulfill its obligations. Although when something could stop the Americans from abandoning an ally, when it comes to preserving their skin or interests? The Allies, in fact, do not trust the United States anymore, and Washington’s current policy of “squeezing” additional costs, in general, is a signal of a failure in relations with the Allies, Todd believes.
Associated with the perception that the United States no longer wants or can no longer implement mutual defense agreements, NATO countries seem to be revising their own commitments. The French president publicly condemns the leadership of NATO and the United States and claims the "death of the brain" of the alliance. The German Chancellor consults with the Kremlin about the perception of unhealthy US international behavior. With historical irony, the Russian president is seen as a source of international stability that balances US unpredictable behavior. This is what the American writes, obviously a holy believer in the fact that the USA should be a factor in world stability, and their current behavior is abnormal. And Russia is a priori bad and aggressive. It’s only a pity that she’s so strong, and nothing really can be done to her.
The American Colonel also considers it incorrect that NATO, assessing the main threats to its security, is no longer oriented only to the East. Indeed, for this reason, this whole shop was created and is maintained all these years. Despite the efforts of Washington and Brussels, participants in the ranks of the "old" NATO are focused on multi-domain threats, or "look at 360 degrees." This paradigm shift requires NATO members to focus primarily on the defense of their countries to the detriment of the obligations of the North Atlantic Pact.
Opponent is not asleep, or Old songs about "interference in democracy"
Opponents of the United States are also watching the process, writes Mr. Todd. They listen when American generals complain about the problems of the troops entrusted to them (the author seriously thinks that they have no other sources besides the next general who is wailing in the media), they see enormous military, economic, political and social vulnerability. Then Todd talks about "ineffective cyber defense," which "allows for disinformation campaigns, to sow schism and destroy democracy. In general, the classic American paranoia in this election cadet:" Russian hackers interfere in our elections and elect Trump for us. "
At the same time, they say, the "atrocities" of the rivals are below the threshold of any serious reaction, which, you see, does not allow America to respond. This, the American argues, is the essence of the competition of superpowers of the 21st century. This is an endless and constant rivalry between war and peace in the gray zone. This is a revolution in military affairs. He is "ahead of the ability of politicians" and civilians to understand and respond. This threatens with existential consequences. This weakens the relevance and adequacy of US actions and is a clear and real threat to US national security.
The author either does not understand, being also a victim of propaganda, or pretends that he does not understand that the answer is impossible not because of this, but because there is nothing to answer, because everyone invented everything and attributed everything to the Russians and Chinese, or because that such a serious response to virtual threats could come with a real answer, and America may (and should) not survive such “interference in the elections”. But in general, of course, it is clear that the two superpowers will by all means avoid a direct clash, and the United States has already shown that they can’t do anything with regional powers, even if they don’t have nuclear weapons. Iran is the freshest example.
Wrong cadres in power
The policy of “quick response to threats,” which is widely considered in the context of domestic and international politics, gives a general idea of the enormous problems that we face, Colonel Todd concludes. Time is critical. In a future era, historians will consider this period a transitional era, in his opinion. Will this be an era in which information and technological advances are ahead of the intellectual ability of politicians to understand and respond?
Administrative management strategies that place budding political actors deep in government institutions to counter far-fetched “deep state” conspiracies are harmful. By influencing electoral politics and demanding on-the-job training, these appointees demonstrate that they do not meet the responsibilities of a superpower leader in an international strategic environment. Such novice figures (a hint, apparently, again to Trump) often do not have the cognitive complexity, intelligence and experience necessary to understand and understand the national security problems faced by the United States.
In addition, inadequate investment in institutions that control elements of national power (other than military) contributes to an unbalanced, inconsistent, inconsistent, and fragmented political process. Until political will appears to solve these problems, government agencies (in addition to the Ministry of Defense) will continue to be underfunded and more and more will lack competent personnel. Apparently, the American analyst is seeking this political will from the military elite. Is this an offer to take on more power? So, after all, there were no military coups in the history of America, and gradually the military did not dispose of everything. Although there have been attempts. At the time, Eisenhower was perceived by the same military elites as their own, but Ike showed that even though he is his own, he would not let his former colleagues through and through and steer himself. And then his colleagues who were working then had a much narrower understanding of reality, and could well bring the situation to the point that "there aren’t enough bulldozers in the USA to clean the streets of corpses," as Eisenhower told the military in response to a proposal to preemptively strike the USSR.
The military doesn’t have a place in power, but the civilians also don’t succeed
Strengthening the political power of the military elite also has its consequences, Todd said. When the pendulum of political power swings to the opposite end of the political spectrum, the independence of the military will be compromised, and their prestige and public trust will be wasted. The inconsistent winds of public opinion will bring seeds of doubt, skepticism, suspicion and wariness towards the army and military elites. In the United States, there are already enough people who do not trust their pennies for their own government, considering them to be proteges of anyone (Putin, ZOG, Chinese, aliens from Nibiru), and especially do not like power structures. And if the military finds themselves in a situation where they "steer the US ship," then the attitude towards them may turn out to be the worst for most of the nation.
Thus, for leadership of the country, nevertheless, much more experienced and sensible civic political elites and figures are needed. But where to get them amid growing incompetence? Inexperienced politicians do not have sufficient training, education, experience and professional development to compete with military elites in the political process, Todd laments, which gives rise to the fact that the military is increasingly playing a role in shaping politics. Like, we would be glad, but there is no way out. It could be assumed that the military elites, like the Praetorian guard, ensure continuity in politics, stability in foreign relations, fulfillment of promises to the allies and rigidity in the face of opponents. But in reality, it turns out that politics is becoming increasingly difficult to understand and inadequate, both for its own and for its rivals. To ensure a healthy civil-military balance of power and to prevent the growth of "Praetorian tendencies" (as the Roman Empire was in a period of decline, which the United States obviously came to), high quality recruitment and continued professional development of the civilian political elite should be given higher priority. But how to achieve this, Colonel Todd does not know or does not speak.
At the international level, US foreign policy should not be perceived as inadequate, Todd concludes. It requires leadership that understands the interconnectedness of the global community and the global role of the United States. Politics requires a leader who understands the nuances of political geography, history and international political economy. This requires leadership committed to international stability. It requires reliable, reliable leadership committed to the collective security of allies and partners. This requires a leader who is ready to confront and challenge opponents, rather than flatter, suck, or fear them, the author believes.
Again, obviously, there is a ritual throwing of stones at the trump effigy. Excuse me, Colonel, but if you were President H. Clinton or Biden, confusing your sister and wife, would something have changed?
Leadership, knowledge and power hate the vacuum of power, knowledge and leadership, says Colonel Todd. Aggressive competition of the leading world powers will not tolerate this. In the event of a civil default, this vacuum can be filled with an increasingly powerful Praetorian guard of military elites, which by their nature are political forces-actors. Indeed, it is necessary to consider the necessary changes in the roles, responsibilities and powers of the military elites. A new legal framework of authority needs to be developed to ensure an unhindered ability to respond quickly to threats in a reliable and manageable manner that ensures accountability. However, these devices must maintain a healthy balance in the civil-military balance of power. That is, this document can probably be assessed as a touchstone probing the soil: will society take a more active role of the military in power in the United States? Moreover, this work is not the only one, in recent weeks there have been many such arguments. What contributes to the coronavirus epic, which, no doubt, will greatly change the world after itself. And now many people are asking questions in the USA about what, in fact, needs to be changed in the building of American politics: is it enough to change the arrangement of furniture or do you also need to change the employees of the institution? And the recipes are offered different. There are obviously different recipes in military circles. Among which there are both satisfied with the current situation in the country, and dissatisfied. The author of the material under discussion apparently serves as an expression of the interests of military elites. But among the senior and senior officers of the US Armed Forces, there are now enough of those who are sick and tired of the endless “war on terror”, with operations in foreign countries like Syria or Iraq, where, in their opinion, the United States has nothing to do. And those who want some changes in politics, more taking into account the interests of not only the Pentagon generals (“military elites”), but also those who directly serve “in the field”. So, there is an opinion that in American politics the representative of the interests of such circles is the notorious Tulsi Gabbard.
During the National Prayer Breakfast on February 6, 2020, Dr. Arthur Brooks argued that contempt for opposing political views is now the biggest crisis facing the United States. Indeed, political separation is destroying the United States domestically and internationally. Absorbed in partisanship, polarization, and political mentality (“win at all costs”), elected officials are no longer responsible for their actions .. The pervasive ignorance of the value of compromise, the essence of the bipartisan system of the United States as a regulator of stability (and the irremovability of the elites, prevails) what kind of party in power - they are ruled by the same uncles behind the scenes), diplomacy and the work of government institutions. If these trends continue, they will be followed by domestic and international problems for the United States, Colonel Todd concludes. To this I want to add that the internal discord within the elites destroyed more than one state, and our 1991 is the clearest example of this. Perhaps the United States will also pass its perestroyka to the desired result, probably by the majority of the world's population? And the current crisis may well contribute to this. We are talking about the "coronavirus crisis" and economic depression. After all, it began without any virus, just an excellent excuse for "blowing a bubble" in the United States turned up.
In addition, it is worth saying that, in general, a thorough analysis of the situation by Dr. Colonel Todd does not contain verified recipes for how to rectify the situation, confining himself to general considerations. Apparently, the author (or those whose interests he is trying to express) does not have these recipes.