Colossus 43

Obama does not make war. Definitely not. So what’s the US doing firing Tomahawk subsonic cruise missiles at Libyan targets?

According to official spokesmen, it is taking “kinetic military action”. And that only to protect civilians.

Let us, in this stifling atmosphere of pacifism and sentimentality, consider some information (from Wikipedia) that raises questions in an enquiring mind:

The numbers of US military personnel in foreign lands “as of March 31, 2008”, though it must be remembered that  numbers change due to the recall and deployment of units, show that there are more US military personnel in Germany, 52,440, than in Iraq, 50,000.

Why are they in Germany?

9,660 in Italy and 9,015 in Britain.

What for?

28,500 in South Korea (good);  71,000 in Afghanistan (we know what for) and about half as many, 35,688, in Japan.

Why are they in Japan?

Altogether, 77,917 military personnel are located in Europe [more than in Afghanistan], 141 in the former Soviet Union …

What are the 141 doing in “the former Soviet union”?

47,236 in East Asia and the Pacific,  3,362 in North Africa, the Near East, and South Asia, 1,355 are in sub-Saharan Africa with 1,941 in the Western Hemisphere excepting the United States itself …

Within the United States, including U.S. territories and ships afloat within territorial waters –

As of 31 December 2009, a total of 1,137,568 personnel are on active duty within the United States and its territories (including 84,461 afloat). The vast majority, 941,629 of them, were stationed at various bases within the Contiguous United States [the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada, plus the District of Columbia, not the states of Alaska and Hawaii, or off-shore U.S. territories and possessions, such as Puerto Rico]. There were an additional 37,245 in Hawaii and 20,450 in Alaska. 84,461 were at sea, 2,972 in Guam, and 179 in Puerto Rico.

What of the US navy?

The United States Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S. Navy also has the world’s largest carrier fleet, with 11 in service, three under construction, and one in reserve. The service had 328,516 personnel on active duty and 101,689 in the Navy Reserve in January 2011. It operates 286 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft.

The 21st century United States Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in such areas as East Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. It is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it an active player in U.S. foreign and defense policy.

See a list of US Navy ships here.

The air force?

As of 2009 the USAF operates 5,573 manned aircraft in service (3,990 USAF; 1,213 Air National Guard; and 370 Air Force Reserve); approximately 180 unmanned combat air vehicles, 2,130 air-launched cruise missiles, and 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles. The USAF has 330,159 personnel on active duty, 68,872 in the Selected and Individual Ready Reserves, and 94,753 in the Air National Guard as of September 2008. In addition, the USAF employs 151,360 civilian personnel, and has over 60,000 auxiliary members in the Civil Air Patrol,making it the largest air force in the world.

See the list and the pictures of the military aircraft here.

Weaponry – here. And a quotation:

We have achieved a level of technology in military weapons and equipment that no other nation on earth comes close to.

What of US nuclear armament? The US maintains an arsenal of 5,113 warheads.

Space dominance? The question of weapons in space has been much discussed and is not settled. Not wanted by Obama.

What conclusions can be drawn from these facts and figures?

The Cold War is not over?

China is a menace?

The US is still the Watch of the World? Patrolling, protecting, ready to defend? Defend what, specifically?

One thing is certain. The United States of America is a military colossus.

Its military might is a hard – and surely very comforting – fact.

The fact alone should be enough to deter impudent adventurer states, like Russia and Iran, and make tyrannical chieftains who think of plotting massacre, like Gaddafi, think again – unless a silly leader like Obama announces that America will not go to war.

America must not be humble. Far better that it be feared than loved.

America must remain strong. Its ineluctable duty is to awe the world.