In 1990 Edward Luttwalk came up with the notion of geoeconomics and Western political "science" field was hooked. If you are a political "scientists" you cannot miss the opportunity to hang on to yet another theory, in fact--you are obliged to do so, because fraudulent field of political "science" depends on multiplication of essences and doctrine-mongering for a simple reason of a paycheck and tenures, because otherwise most of those "scientists" are unemployable in any serious capacity in which one bears responsibility for consequences. And, of course, who can forget "Thucydides Gap" or "Hybrid Warfare"--a multilayered theology of a BS concocted by people who, quoting great Alexander Pushkin from his Evgenii Onegin:
So this great mind, Luttwak that is, came up with a fascinating stratagem that in modern world military power is really not that important and it is all about, speaking in a layman's lingo, about economic warfare, geoeconomics that is. Wonderful. This is expected from people who study "strategies" of Roman Empire in the age of standoff weapons, super-fast computers and nuclear power and try to apply those mysterious "principles" to the modern warfare. Not to speak, of course, about this teeny-weeny cognitive problem of Western "analysts" (at least most of those who study the world through the lens of various "concepts") which still cannot tie together a decisive influence of a modern military power, itself being a first derivative of large highly developed industrial economies, on a global economic order which is driven, with relatively short periods of peace, by the warfare. Modern Western economies emerged as a result of a warfare and warfare, sadly, remains the main tool of "running" the modern world. Enter US military power.
An embodiment and a main tool of US "rules based order" is a mighty US Navy's nuclear aircraft carrier. Together with hundreds military bases spread all over the globe, they form a foundation of what came to be known as Pax Americana, "Rules Based Order", "globalization" etc. There is NO geoeconomics without USS Theodore Roosevelt or 82nd Airborne Division, period. Never existed, because "economic warfare" can exist ONLY when it is propped up by the bayonets or, in our time, by "power projection force". In fact, US Carrier Battle Group is an Exhibit A of American imperialism rooted in economic system which can exist only through looting those who are "pacified" by means of those Carrier Battle Groups. In fact, those forces become themselves the economic entity because of the modern US economy losing its competitive edge with an astonishing speed and extortion by military means becomes the only viable method of supporting the US economically.
So, an accelerating shrinkage of the US economy suddenly creates a huge difficulty in maintaining those immensely expensive forces and the reality begins to set in.
WASHINGTON – An internal Office of the Secretary of Defense assessment calls for the Navy to cut two aircraft carriers from its fleet, freeze the large surface combatant fleet of destroyers and cruisers around current levels and add dozens of unmanned or lightly manned ships to the inventory, according to documents obtained by Defense News.The study calls for a fleet of nine carriers, down from the current fleet of 11, and for 65 unmanned or lightly manned surface vessels. The study calls for a surface force of between 80 and 90 large surface combatants, and an increase in the number of small surface combatants – between 55 and 70, which is substantially more than the Navy currently operates.
For (real) military professionals everywhere there is very little surprise in this development because, speaking in broadsides, the United States simply cannot afford such forces anymore. In fact, the US cannot afford even half of its present Armed Forces because not only the United States' real economy, that is to say industry, cannot produce anymore that number of forces (Google the fate of US tank industry), it cannot pay for them even if it continues to mercilessly print paper money. Moreover, immensely expensive carriers and their operations are not sustainable anymore because there is no effective defense against modern super-sonic anti-shipping missiles which proliferate and, even Iran has many of those, not to speak of having a very good targeting protocols in her ballistic missiles allegedly capable to hit moving targets. I, of course, am not talking about Russia, or China. So, here it is, as with the US shale oil, US military power as it exists today is not only unsustainable but it contributes dramatically to a decline of the US already shrinking real economy, it provides no strategic benefits as it used to, when many ignorant people believed in the myth of an American military power, which always cleared the road towards the economic benefits.
But you know me, I cringe when I hear (read) people waxing economic and political without understanding the nature and application of military power and how it shapes economic reality. No amount of political doctrine mongering can change a simple fact that Real Revolution in Military Affairs is here, it is now and it seems that some people in the US begin to understand that US military and economic power in present "geoeconomic", let's call it that, paradigm counts increasingly for less and less. But I told you so, didn't I?