Not too far from truth if we keep it up. Bonus: Still more seaworthy than the 7th Fleet.
Mike at Cold Fury looks at how our military stands regarding readiness, and looks at the lies we tell ourselves about the nation.
"America is the richest nation in the world. America is the most free nation in the world. The American military is the strongest in the world, is effectively invincible, and will always be so. Slashing its budget can therefore do no real harm, and there is no chance of anyone daring to take advantage of any erroneous perception of decline and weakness on our part."
We are the richest nation in the world, any way you'd care to measure that.
But we've spent ourselves deep in a hole, and mortgaged our present and future.
Debt is slavery, and chaining us to everyone else won't save anyone when we all start to slide into the hole.
We are the freest country in the world, by any measure whatsoever.
I've seen the competition, and you can have them.
But we're far less free than we were twenty, let alone seventy years ago and more.
And we keep heading the wrong way on that, every day.
And we do have the most powerful military in the world, period.
We spend more per annum than the next dozen armies.
But we are not therefore invincible.
We have been shrinking by leaps and bounds under the studied neglect of four presidents, and the distance between our potential enemies and ourselves has closed apace.
In 1990, we were King Kong, alone atop the Empire State Building, and no one in the world dared touch us.
We now have all the admirals and generals we had then, every single one, but only 1/3 as many E-7s, E-5s, or E-3s as we did then.
We now have an army and navy nearly as small as what we had on hand around the Great Depression.
And the armed might we wielded as recently as 1990 was barely a patch on the machine we dismantled in 1946, after doing the heavy lifting to win two world wars.
That's what happens when you cut defense spending precipitously, plow the money into stock bubbles, housing welfare, etc., and in the process crash the economy hard twice.
And after all that quantitative easing, we're headed for a brutal third crash that will make 1929 look like a church picnic.
And between the two bubbles, we squandered a serviceable but barely adequate military on adventurism and asinine you-break-it, you-bought-it "nation building" in two of the most illiterate and utterly worthless sh*tholes on the face of the earth.
We traded a family cow's worth of military power for the magic beans of Middle Eastern democracy, and we don't even have a beanstalk to show for it afterwards. Just a dead giant.
But we burned out the troops, burned up their airplanes, wore out their weapons, and mothballed our rusted navy, because affirmative-action generals like Colon Powell never read Alfred Thayer Mahan.
What you see now is what happens when you entrust leadership to idiots, in an organization dedicated to the Peter Principle as a promotion tool.
Militaries cost money and brains, and both Congress and the Pentagon have been short on both for decades. And there's no easy fix for that, either place.
But the tests will come, ready or not.
The only good news is that the country has a president up for the job for the first time in 40 years.
But that's a thin nail to hang our hat on.