Pat Buchanan, for all my respect for him, shows tiredness and lack of imagination when writes today about this proverbial Suez Moment for the United States. Of course, he is entitled to it and I myself used this expression when writing of America's decline. Pat writes:
Three decades ago, historian Paul Kennedy used the term “imperial overstretch” to describe what happens to great powers when their global commitments become too extensive to sustain. This happened to the British at the end of World War II when, bled, broken and bankrupted by the six-year war with Germany, she began to shed her colonies. In the fall of 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden, Churchill’s foreign secretary, was ordered by President Eisenhower to get his troops out of Suez under an American threat to sink the British pound. The British Empire was finished.
That is all true and there is no better eyewitness and chronicler of British imperial demise than Corelli Barnett. But each overstretch, and each decline is different. Pat got one thing right about Soviet demise:
The USSR then disintegrated along ethnic and tribal lines into 15 nations. Its diversity tore the Soviet Union apart.
It wasn't Afghan War which doomed the Soviet Union. But Pat's "history" was always fuzzy, to put it mildly, and he demonstrates it again by presenting this rather bizarre interpretation of it.
Indeed, NATO was formed and its war guarantees were issued to Western Europe in 1949, seven decades ago. War guarantees to South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Australia were all issued from 1950 to 1960. These commitments to go to war for other nations were issued when Stalin was in the Kremlin, a 400,000-man Red Army sat on the Elbe in Germany, and Mao and his madness had just come to power in Peking. How long must we sustain all these alliances and soldier on in the “forever wars” of the Middle East? Do we Americans still have the national unity, sense of purpose, and disposition to sacrifice for the cause of Western civilization we had in the early days of the Cold War?
Pat is a peculiar man and if very inaccurate with his numbers since in 1945 the number of Soviet troops facing West, in Germany alone, was 1.5 million, in 1949--the year of NATO's establishment--this number grew to 3 million. I wonder why did it grow, wink, wink. I guess Russians were a little bit queasy about this "democracy" thing. As per "sacrifices for the cause of Western Civilization", I am not sure Pat really lives in a real world anymore. If there were "sacrifices" they, certainly, come across as fully unnecessary and, in fact, grossly harmful when one observes today the current state of the Western world and principles on which it operates. Chimera of "democracy" and "human rights" was needed for the realities of the Cold War 1.0 and, at some point, many did believe in it, yours truly included. Once the Soviet Union was no more and the Sword of Damocles of "Soviet global conquest" disappeared, the mask started to come down. It cam down in full in 1999 with West's gang-rape of Serbia.
Encore with attacking Iraq which had nothing to do with 911 fully demonstrated full hypocrisy and insanity of the empire and all that was accompanied with what seems then as a "positive" development of House Resolution 4444 China Trade Bill in May of 2000 and next, 2001, year China's ascendance to the World Trade Organization--all of it enthusiastically supported by GOP and Clinton Democrats. So, for the US which was dramatically more powerful than British Empire, at least on paper, the "Suez Moment" started around that time. This IS the start of disintegration of the United States and of the aggregate force of sins of the past, from Vietnam to segregation, starting to catch up with the US. Tragedy of 911 was an important symbol but it had primarily a psychological, if not psychiatric, effect. Economically and militarily the United States started to decline even before that. By the end of Obama's Administration the United States was thoroughly deindustrialized, militarily not-impressive and growing in leaps and bounds in terms of incompetence of her elites across the full spectrum of ideological preferences. So, in all, because of the America's size and importance globally, there was no single "Suez Moment"--it is a process of about two decades in making and warnings about America's decline have been heard from many quarters ranging from Orlov, The Saker, me, Patrick Armstrong, Daniel Davies among many others for many years.
Those warnings were issued not because we wanted Empire to survive, but precisely because of a grave danger Empire posed for the American nation which was being dismantled from within since wrongly perceiving itself a "victor" in the Cold War 1.0. So, as of 2018-2020, especially after international disgrace of America's election process, the United States does not exist as such. It ceased to exist and the country which we have today here is some geographic location in which what used to be known as the United States of America existed. Andrei Raevsky today was to the point when wrote a piece titled:
But then again, we all warned that the death wasn't coming--it was already here. And what we have today is a corpse. Yet, recall the last four years and ask yourself a question--the nation which for 4 years was being fed an utter BS of Russiagate and no one even faced a single charge of perjury, lying and treason, speaks volumes about "health" of such a nation, doesn't it? 20 years in historic terms is a very short period of time. The United States self-destructed in a matter of an hour, if not a minute, when compared to the time-scale of human civilization. So, there you go--another one bites the dust. The Saker, however, is still semi-optimistic, or philosophical, when concludes that:
Things will only begin to really change when a new generation of US leaders will begin look at themselves and at their own responsibility for the catastrophe which has now happened.
I can only add that one must learn lessons but present crop of America's "top people" is not capable of doing so. They lack in every department required for true leadership. New generation must emerge, but we all know that "thingy": bad times give rise to good people, good people give rise to good times... and on, and on, and on. So, if you ask me about America's Suez Moment, here it is: 1999-2020. This "moment" also saw a meteoric decline of the American "elites" into psychosis and dumbfuckery not seen in many generations.
In related news, as Laurent pointed out in the other thread, Russian MoD ordered 6 corvettes for Pacific Fleet with only 2 of them being pr. 20380, while 4 being pr.20385--Oniks and Zircon carriers. There is a lot of news coming out of Russia nowadays re: Russia's technological development. This report by NTV is in Russian but it gives an excellent view of Zvezda shipyard and Catherine the Great (Ekaterina Velikaya) newest ice-breaking supply multipurpose vessel being floated, including her impressive Russian-made azipods, not to mention the fact that Zvezda's portfolio for today is 50+ vessels, all of them ranging from major size vessels to super-tankers and LNG carriers.