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SPACE FORCE OR SPACE FARCE? Can declining US military dominance be restored in space?

Losing Military Supremacy

Andrei Martyanov

New book calls US strategic planners “myopic”

Martyanov’s must-read book is the ultimate Weapon of Myth Destruction (WMD). And unlike the Saddam Hussein version, this one actually exists.”
— Pepe Escobar, AsiaTimes
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, USA, August 21, 2018 / -- The US has just announced that it intends to create a unified combatant command, known as the U.S. Space Command, by the end of 2018. But what can be expected from a space force that critics are already calling an “unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavor” when US strategic planners—despite their compounded annual budget of roughly US$1 trillion—have masterminded a decline in military dominance of the five US earth-based military commands?

This decline first became publicly apparent with a string of military announcements that began with Putin’s landmark March 1, 2018 speech in which he talked about “a new generation of missiles,” Russia’s new weapons systems and his country’s advanced military preparedness.

Then on May 9, after Russia again celebrated its annual March of the Immortals, commemorating its World War II fighters in a war in which it suffered over 20 million casualties, President Trump trailed along behind with inane plans for an American military parade, though the US military has not had much to celebrate recently.

Can US strategic planners be counted on to play a winning card in space?

A new book by former Soviet military officer Andrei Martyanov, Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning, addresses the many failures in US strategic planning and sheds light on the true measurements of military power.

In a review titled “The Real Reason Why the US Must Talk to Russia,” recently published in AsiaTimes/Hong Kong, Pepe Escobar writes:

“Martyanov goes all the way to explain how the latest Russian weapons systems present immense strategic – and historical – ramifications. The missile gap between the US and Russia is now ‘a technological abyss,’ with ballistic missiles ‘capable of trajectories which render any kind of anti-ballistic defense useless.’ Star Wars and its derivatives are now – to use a Trumpism – ‘obsolete.’”

But Losing Military Supremacy provides much more than a dense technological analysis, or a run through corruption or cost over-runs.

As Military analyst The Saker notes:

“Martyanov takes a systematic and step-by-step approach: first, he defines military power, then he explains where the myth of US military superiority came from and how the US rewriting of the history of WWII resulted in a complete misunderstanding, especially at the top political levels, of the nature of modern warfare. He then discusses the role ideology and the Cold War played in further exacerbating the detachment of US leaders from reality. Finally, he demonstrates how a combination of delusional narcissism and outright corruption resulted in a US military capable of wasting truly phenomenal sums of money on “defense” while at the same time resulting in an actual force unable to win a war against anything but a weak and defenseless enemy...”

Martyanov is uniquely equipped to make such an assessment. Born in Baku, USSR in 1963, graduated from the Kirov Naval Red Banner Academy and served as an officer on the ships and staff position of Soviet Coast Guard. In the mid-1990s to the United States where he currently works as Laboratory Director of a commercial aerospace group, and is a frequent blogger on the US Naval Institute Blog.

It’s not just that the Russian military has surged ahead at far less cost, Martyanov contends. Drinking their own propaganda Kool-Aid has left American strategic planners badly out of touch with their own and Russian history, as well as contemporary geopolitics and global re-alignments. This impairs their strategic future planning ability, and of greater concern, raises the possibility of their making faulty and narcissistic assessments and taking mistaken actions.

And that could be a threat to us all.


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