Things aren’t exactly rosy in any of those areas, and they are not improving. I would say they are on the decline, myself.
Our technological and economic advantage is tenuous, at best. Absolute value growth is not very meaningful in this context, it’s how we compare to others. Our edge will not last. Militarily? Wow. Yeah. I served in a 600 ship Navy. What are there now? 245? (EDIT: Actually up to 280) Planned to be 305-ish(?) next year (so far as I know), if none of the new construction ships get the budgetary ax, and the LCS ships are going to be useless as teats on a boar in a real shooting war. Underway replenishment fleet? Nope. Readiness levels? Toilet, last I heard. How many forward bases have been shut down? We’ve drawn down a long long way in just 30 years. No so long ago, the Air Force was scavenging parts from museums to keep planes flying missions.
I’m not on the inside of the chain of command, but there looks to be some serious structural deficiencies in our military readiness, the kind that show up glaringly when put to a real test. It’s a good thing there aren’t any really serious threats, right now, but that same lack of threat is a big readiness killer. The military is coasting, and the only way that works is downhill.
We’re better than most of the developed world both demographically and economically. Rome within a century of its fall had stopped improving, stopped developing, stopped expanding. We haven’t.
We’re not even like the Soviets who stagnated in all but a few narrow areas related to military technology.
Our technology continues to improve across the board, and we are in the best position to take advantage of humanity’s next big expansion; into outer space.
No one else has our concentration of expertise or infrastructure. Or Elon Musk. Or the 6 other Billionaires trying to do the same thing as him.
And by being both the first and biggest mover, we will command a supreme advantage in that arena.
Ergo, we have head room to expand into.
Normally I’d agree, but considering we’re making comparisons to Rome which had stopped growing in absolute terms, both are relevant.
Each of those ships has double the capability of the ships you served on, thanks to iterative improvements in missile guidance, munitions, and GPS. Yes, even if we’re talking about the same ships.
It would take the (rest of the) world’s combined Navy to equate the strength of just one carrier task force, and we have 5-6 of them operating at any one time.
Equally the iterative Improvements we make are something no one else can afford. Russia can’t even afford to rebuild its shipbuilding capacity, China is still trying to catch up where we were technologically in the 1980s, and relies on our GPS to guide its navy.
Translating from a land power, to a sea power, is something few countries accomplish. China is obstructed by the fact it’s surrounded by nations who want to hem them in, and more than a few have better technology.
No question, I’ve even worked for Lockheed, and I have 0 faith in that program.
This is pointing out a problem in acquisitions; it’s a real problem I fully agree, and it’s a problem China shares. Except, worse. Far worse. Rampant embezzlement and corruption; programs lead by people who are only party yes-men, and who don’t know what they’re doing.
Tied with a culture that knows only how to copy & paste things, not innovate, China has become its own worst enemy in achieving even just regional dominance, much less contending with us.
Final note; I highly suggest you look up old_dog’s guy, Peter Zeihan. He’ll lay out precisely why the 21st century will not be China’s, and what, geopolitically, makes us unique on the world stage.
I disagree, qix. I work at the travelers’ aid desk at the local airport every week. We have a basic training and AIT facility just an hour and a half south of OKC and the airport hosts incoming military on their way to that facility. There are literally hundreds of new soldiers coming through weekly, mostly on their way to basic training and I have regular contact with them. They are superb examples of American youth. Bright, enthusiastic and patriots all, not to mention physically a match for ANY other country and they haven’t even begun their training, and that’s just for ONE basic training unit out of several country-wide. They are the best trained, best equipped soldiers in the world and I’d match them against ANY other country’s. Turn them loose without all the politics and they’ll defeat ANY adversary in a heartbeat.
I guess circling the drain is better than already in the sewer. Doesn’t change the direction were headed or our speed going there
What expanding have we done in the last fifty years? In what kind of condition are our coalitions of strategic allies? Can any of them actually pull their own freight? Whatever improvements and developments are happening are pretty meager. What are we innovating?
That is a thing that could happen. But if it does, I don’t think it’s going to work out the way you think it should.
If you’re gonna dream, dream big! I can’t decide if Musk is a legit visionary, a starry eyed dreamer, a slick con man or some part of all three. The only/ other billionaire I know of working on space stuff (I’m not really following it) is Richard Branson, and I believe he’s a Brit?
That has to assume that (a) “space force” gets built in a timely manner (and since it’s a Trump administration initiative, the entire [okay, entire is an exaggeration] apparatus of Washington D.C. is going to do everything in it’s power to kill, obstruct, delay, sabotage, fold, spindle and mutilate it,) and (b) that stupid politicians don’t give that “supreme advantage” away in the interests of ‘international amity’ or some such kumbaya bull$#!*. Or because slavery! Colonialism! Whatever. It’s the enemy within that gets ya…
A big hickory tree in the creek bottom across the road blew down in a storm. I was kinda surprised; it was surrounded by other mature trees, down in kind of a wrinkle in the hills where the wind shouldn’t have had any extreme effect on it, and hickories are strong! I though I could maybe get some big pieces out of the trunk for projects, but when I checked it out, the heart was rotted completely away, the roots weakened. This outwardly strong, healthy looking tree was really just a shell. It didn’t take much to cause it to fall. America has the same kind of cultural rot Rome had.
Heh, I don’t buy that at all. I have no doubt there have been some systems improvements. But doubled effectiveness is marketing bull$#!*. It takes twenty+ years to get technology deployed into the fleet and properly implemented with most of the bugs worked out of it. (By that point, it’s well out of date) It never ever works correctly right out of the gate. That means right now, the most up to date ships in the fleet are running on '90s tech, or else they’re full of bugs with degraded capabilities. Just like when the CNO says readiness has come back up to 80%, I know the real number is more like 60%, maybe even 50%. That’s just how that works. When a vendor says their new gimmick is going to “double combat effectiveness” of such and such system, what it really means is more years working out bugs for maybe a 5% increase in effectiveness, once it’s actually working. But once the systems are built, installed and deployed, you have to get your use out of them because the budget is not, in fact, limitless. You also have to retrain personnel for new systems, and retool the training programs. It’s a strange dichotomy that the military drives development of technical improvements, but lags far behind in adopting them.
That assumes the CTF is up to snuff with it’s air complement at 90%, and the whole world is a lot to cover with 6 battle groups.
Another toilet-sewer comparison.
You are not allowed to do that.
China committed demographic suicide. You can’t always count on your enemies to be stupid. Eventually you have to face a smart one.
All the things that leftist politicians and at least 50% of the country insist have to be discarded, I’m sure.
Idk. Back then, drones weren’t small and common like they are now, so there wouldn’t have been much need for it, and at that point I’m sure the tech would have been classified if it existed. Drones were just starting to come into common military use as I was finishing my service, I think. Iirc, they saw considerable use in the first Persian gulf war, so countermeasures would have at least been in the works then, I reckon. You have to ask an electronic warfare specialist about that particular system.
I do know an Aegis class cruiser could fry electronics with it’s radar by blasting its full power (I forget exactly how many watts of rf that was-- 2 million, maybe?) down a half degree of bearing. Tech’s called it a “zorch”. I must be getting old, my memory is slipping, effective range of that might have been 20 miles or so?
So all it really takes is a focused beam from a fire control radar of sufficient power, which would depend on the range, size and durability of the target. I guess the ships I served on probably did have the capability, whether it had been refined for that purpose idk.
EDIT: Boy, I screwed that quote up! Do I need to clarify? PITA from my phone…
They both cut-short cultural malaise, and boost demographics so we avoid the nonsense Japan is going through.
And nothing else in this world scares me like what I see Japan going through. The place called “the first post-modern nation”. With all the skin-crawling awfulness that implies.
Pray that our domestic, native born terrorists, are never as scary as theirs. I only wish that was the worst part.
Space – were dominating LEO like never before, and we’ve sent probes to planets we’ve never seen until now.
And qix… Whose dreaming?
Elon Musk launched his own car into space, which is heading straight into the asteroid belt as we speak.
He launched it on rockets that propulsively landed themselves. Meaning it cost less to launch than far smaller ICBM rockets from the 50’s.
That rocket (the Falcon Heavy) is the most powerful launch vehicle currently in existence, and SpaceX
has already launched it again improving output by a 1/3. They’ve simultaneously been building the prototype for the most powerful rocket ever built (Starship / BFR), and developing Starlink which in one launch released 60 satellites.
Jeff Bezos (Amazon guy?) - Blue Origin.
He’s building a Lunar lander, and methane-powered engines for the replacement of the Delta IV series, Vulcan. Along with his own in-house rocket series.
Robert Bigelow - Bigelow Aerospace.
He’s building inflatable space stations - a prototype is already attached to the ISS.
Ricardo Salinas - OneWeb
Investor and developer of OneWeb, a satellite constellation providing low-cost internet worldwide. It’s basically trying to do the same thing as Musk’s Starlink, but it’s been around longer.
There was also Paul Allen who was involved with Stratolaunch before he died last year.
Not really; it just assumes Commercial Space develops itself like Civil aviation did a century ago.
Military development piggybacks what they first do in the Industry; and a large part of our air power dominance, came from a well-developed civil aviation system that is both the largest of its kind, and the model the rest of world has to follow.
We’re set to do the same thing in space.
Rome did not appear “strong”. Rome’s legions were not only weaker and less equipped than ever, they were deploying mercenaries to augment their numbers. Rome itself had been sacked, twice, by the same guy, before it was sacked the 3rd time that did the Empire in. By the same guy.
With many of the very mercenaries Rome had been hiring to protect itself.
I’m sorry, did you even read what I said qix?
China’s navy has to operate using our satellite system. Because their own sucks.
That’s as big of an operational drawback as saying your forces only fight on the weekends.
Meanwhile, as Russia’s Soviet-hold over fleet sinks due to lack of repairs, it draws up plans for ships it will never build, because the money isn’t there. Nor is the infrastructure. That is a very relevant comparison.
It means their navy is going to shrink, and they’ll lose capability they’ll likely never replace.
and btw, I can count on our enemies being in decline.
Russia’s is in a similar demographic decline to China. Meanwhile Iran has neither the money nor the tech to ever reach outside its region, and is surrounded by other enemies.
In comprehensive capability, no one can match us. They over spend in one or two areas just to get one edge.
They can’t, that’s Peter Zeihan’s point. How do you “discard” two oceans, the world’s best navigable river system, and the world’s largest growing area for food?
Geography gave us a supreme advantage no other country has. We will continue to be the world’s superpower, by virtue of being the last place standing.
I don’t really see how putting a few more bits in orbit counts as ‘expansion’, personally. Assuming it counts and leads to our actual territorial expansion into space, our politicians will find a way to muck it all up or give it away, while at least half of the country cheers them on, if, in fact the corporate interests in space don’t simply declare themselves independent polities (which could be either good or bad). Who would stop them? How could they be prevented from trading anywhere in the world (without resorting to measures that are anathema to the American character)?
You are if you think there will be a meaningful American national presence in space in the next hundred years, and I frankly don’t expect America to survive that long, at least not as a relatively free constitutional republic. And it’s “who’s”, not “whose”.
Never heard of 'im /sarc
That’s 4 and one of them is dead, so, really only 3.
Doesn’t mean it will happen. How many votes would it buy?
“Pride goeth before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction”. Our enemies decline doesn’t mean we can’t fall further and faster. America will not be defeated from without, but our enemies (and some of our ‘allies’, no doubt) will certainly delight in taking advantage, and credit if it’s possible.
I can just hear their chorus of “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”
From a security standpoint, you can discard the advantage of the oceans with open borders. It isn’t armies we need to worry about. It’s easy to see how ridiculous regulations could negate the advantages of rivers and arable land. And probably half the country would cheer it on.
It won’t protect us from stupidity, self inflicted harm, or internal divisions, and mass illegal immigration works against us on all counts.
EDIT: I watched the Peter Zeihan video. He puts on a good talk, makes some good points (America doesn’t need the rest of the world, something I’ve been saying for pretty close to 20 years), but nothing that suggests we shouldn’t make every effort to secure our southern border. In fact, some parts would make a good argument in favor of it.
Being the first to take pictures of Pluto and the outer reaches of the solar system, landing craft on Mars, or shooting a comet, is just like putting our Flag on the moon.
By being the first mover, we leave a disproportionate impact that will resonate among anyone else who follows on.
Just like how Japanese medicine is dominated by Dutch terminology, because it was the Dutch who first introduced modern physiology and medicine to them.
Who cares? Even if our relationship is like Britain towards Australia, that’s still more spheres of influence for us.
Don’t see why we’d want them to. That would just undermine their own development.
Yes, because we have the technology, and companies willing to employ it.
We have a company that builds space stations, a company that’s building asteroid miners, a company that builds reusable Rockets, a company that builds 3d printers capable of harnessing asteroid matter. They’re doing this because they see untapped economic potential in space.
We even have, thanks to Luxembourg, a transnational push to give companies property claims over assets in space.
They’re already investing, already making bets. The only way this doesn’t happen, is if those bets turns sour.
Regardless, there’s still going to be an attempt in the next 5 years to get to the moon.
You already named Branson. I didn’t name Burt Rutan as he’s actually “just” a millionaire.
Why are you minimizing this qix? It doesn’t make sense. The impact of this is huge, and these people have already produced technology they’ve put into Commercial use.
SpaceX is 1/4 of the world’s rocket launches each year. They have the most powerful rocket in the world, they have the most efficient rocket engine in the world, and are well on their way to doubling the amount of satellites in orbit.
They now lease launch pad 39A; where Apollo took off. They’ve rebuilt it to handle Starship.
This industry doesn’t need “votes” to expand. That’s the point. They’re building an industry that’s self-sustaining through commercial interest.
We didn’t engage in 1 child nonsense, didn’t try to build a rival “world” economy while being dirt poor, and we don’t spend more money on internal police forces meant to keep sedition in check.
Even Iran isn’t spared; they too have a demographic problem.
“Open borders” does nothing to change the calculus for us vis-a-vis China and Russia. It is not easier for them to invade us or our allies, it is not easier for them to spread influence in our backyard,
You’re connecting unlike things; it’s no more valid than trying to attach everything to climate change.
Then put in more legal immigration. Again, we need them. It’s what saves us from what most of the rest of the developed world is going through.
Debatable, but we get to trade with the rest of the world, because Freedom means you can. And comparative advantage means it’ll always be necessary.
As I said before, If I want to buy more preheaters from Alibaba, there’s little to no legitimate case you can make for stopping me.
It’s my business, my money. Looking over my shoulder is just Nanny state nonsense.
Dave, I don’t like abortion anymore than you do. But the fact of the matter is, our fertility rate is low, and immigrants not only fix it, they have been fixing it for years.
And we need that to continue.
Otherwise, we start becoming more like Japan.
For all the hype about cultural unity/purity, I look at this nation which has it, more 98% being ethnic Japanese, and yet I see a literal death spiral.
Whatever tensions having an assimilating population brings, it’s better than being proliferated with inverted family trees. It’s better than knowing you’re in a society that’s graying & dying. It’s better than having en mass retreat from reality where everyone is too busy navel gazing to care about doing important ****, like, IDK, how about testing those nuclear reactors you fear will melt down?
Immigration gives us a reality check the Japanese aren’t getting.
I fail to see how that, in and of itself, helps us at all. How much sway do the Dutch have in Japan?
I don’t think we’ll be able to exert any influence at all. Not only will those assets be beyond the reach of any authority, they will be in possession of insuperable strategic “high ground”. The corporations will control every single facet of life, right down to the air that gets breathed, with no one to guarantee rights. I forsee a system of indentured servitude rife with abuse that will be virtually indistinguishable from outright slavery.
That would obviously depend on what was being traded with whom and under which circumstances.
That will be corporate, not national. I’m not against that, mind. But if corporations are allowed to carve out fiefdoms in space, there will be no counterbalances against any excesses they might commit. If and when space travel becomes relatively routine, everything on earth can be held hostage to kinetic projectiles. Not having to lug the mass out of earths gravity well will make them pretty cheap, too. You ignore the darker aspects of humanity’s nature at your peril.
Did he immigrate? I was not aware.
I’m not minimizing the accomplishment. But they are not American national accomplishements. America as a whole gets no proprietary interest in them. (That is not an inherently bad thing, mind, just a distinction that needs to be made). Maybe it’ll all turn out to be peace and love and goodwill towards men and kumbaya…but I wouldn’t bet a plugged nickel on it. People are nasty, perfidious, cruel, avaricious, venal and vain, just to name a few prominent qualities.
The ‘industry’ is not America. It has it’s own bottom line, not American interests, at heart. The ‘industry’ cares nothing for individual rights, or the priciples of the rule of law or anything else besides profit. Fair enough, thats what industry is for. But if you look at how corporate interests have tended to behave when beyond the reach of first world authority, the picture is usually pretty sad, at best. They have, in fact, largely behaved as a law unto themselves.
No, I specifically am not. Foreign armies are not much of a worry here at home.
You won’t find me in opposition to it. But it will hardly put a noticeable dent in illegal immigration.
I accidentally posted this too soon, and had to go back and edit in the rest. I didn’t think you could reply while I was editing, but apparently the post stays online, since I see you responded to the partial post.
They did for two centuries, being the only country allowed to trade with them.
It means space colonies if not outright extensions of America will still be dominantly Americanized in culture. Which means they’ll be far more in our orbit than China’s. Far more likely to side with us in any conflict.
Just like Australia is to Britain. Or even to us.
It doesn’t have to be “ours” to be in “our” sphere of influence.
A high ground we. will. shape., and populate with people who share ideas and history with us.
Being a first mover in this arena is an advantage for that reason.
Not to mention we rake in the early and the lionshare of the economic windfall. Only we at first will have the infrastructure to trade with the people out there.
And even after other nations develop their own “ports”, we’ll still have more of them.
To the contrary, companies need our backing to have their property rights feature any legitimacy.
A natural place for us to fill at least until such time as the colonies develop their own governance.
Culture and human behavior degenerate much more rapidly than they venerate.
Are you saying their property rights are not legitimate unless the government recognizes them? Ahhh hahahaha! That having invested the resources to acquire previously unattainable (and thetefore unclaimed) resources, they have no right to the resources without the blessing of government? And how would the government
(any government) have the means to have any say so in the matter whatsoever?
I would applaud if this became a Wild West. It ended up feeding the Zeitgiest that has informed the idea of the Rugged Individual here for 150 years.
And with no real geopolitical foe to face in Space; the natural entity people would be suspicious of would be their own Government.
Oh hell no, I’m talking about the fallout of the 1967 U.N. treaty which implies a socialist set up.
Unless an authority can back a company’s claim; neither they nor their investors are comfortable taking risks. Or really any action at all.
They need someone to sign off on the field.
As Planetary Resources states in the article:
"US and Luxembourg laws provide certainty for our industry and for our investors and allow us to focus our efforts on technology and mission development.”
They have to bring whatever material they mine back here to have any economic value.
At which point, what’s to stop another company or nation to make a claim on their commodity, on the grounds of the 1967 treaty? They need to clear this up first, and Luxembourg and the U.S. are providing pretext.
Exactly, his Party champions destructive things like abortion on demand then offer even more destructive things like open borders to flood the nation with Welfare rats to mitigate the consequences of their first destructive idea.