Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Secret of American (and Russian?) Leadership?

Martin Sieff explains it all.

The assumption in citing military airlift is that other great powers need to reproduce lumbering twentieth century capabilities for long-distance power projection in order to be considered peers of America and Russia. I don't think China's military modernization can be judged by that standard. In China, advances in asymmetric capabilities (eg. surface to space and surface to surface missiles) seem to be moving ahead. In Iran, uranium enrichment and missile development are both necessary to a nuclear deterrent capability and are both proceeding apace.

There is also real question about how much longer traditional military-industrial capacities can be sustained if the civilian economies of America and Russia continue to destroy skilled blue collar jobs. In the 1940s, the US had many factories and shipyards for the products of which there was civilian as well as military demand. Today America's military-industrial complex rests on government purchases and would be very hard-pressed to expand if an emergency suddenly required it.
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