Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Obama’s Edwardian Moment.

The decision by the Pentagon that the US armed forces will no longer be expected to take on two simultaneous conventional wars is both a recognition of reality and an unwelcome step away from US military supremacy.

It is like the moment when the Admiralty had to drop its own guidelines. From 1909 the Edwardian Royal Navy could only maintain its Two Power Naval Standard, a fleet the size of the next two combined, by ignoring the American fleet. In a Blair-like evasion, Liberal politicians of the day side-stepped the issue by saying that the Naval Standard was really only meant for next two European fleets.

The good thing from our own glimpse of the dimming of British power was the understanding that war between the US and UK was unthinkable. Our nations were now too alike in outlook and interest to come to blows.

There is no glimmer of hope with the Pentagon's announcement. If you don’t like the world’s only superpower being the US, I wish you luck with China and let’s see where your personal freedoms get to under Peking’s Pinochet-style market-led but nationalistic dictatorship. The logic is that our European allies will step forward to help fill the breach, but bitter experience in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq (both times) is that most of them are of precious little help when things go wrong. We can only hope that things get better...

1 comment:

  1. At best! In the First Gulf War, British and American forces found themselves fighting Iraqis armed by the French.