[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]
First, let’s begin with a few (apparently unrelated) recent news items:
- The latest US PR disaster in Venezuela shows that the AngloZionist Empire truly is agonizing. While this is hardly the first that that a US “special operation” goes down in an embarrassing failure, but even by US standards this latest disaster in Venezuela is painfully humiliating. Even more humiliating are the reports that Russian Special Operators helped the Venezuelans capture the US Americans.
- Then came the news that the 5th generation techno-marvel coming out of the US MIC could not even fly at sustained supersonic speeds (just as a reminder, normally the concept of “5th” generation not only implies the ability to fly faster than the speed of sound, it also implies the ability to do so (for a lengthy period of time) without even the use of afterburners, in the so-called “supercruise” mode!).
- In repeated simulations of a war between the US on one hand, and either China or Russia on the other the RAND Corporation found that “the US repeatedly “gets its ass handed to it“.
These apparently unrelated news items all have one thing in common: the illustrate how weak and ineffective the US armed forces have become over the past couple of decades. And while, for the sake of brevity, I chose just three examples, the truth is that there are hundreds of similar stories all over the Internet, all pointing to the same reality: most of the US military is in a terminal state of disrepair.
Let’s look at the various services one by one:
- The USN‘s entire surface fleet is now compromised due to its carrier-centric structure. The USN also lacks modern cruise missiles. Entire classes of surface ships are now either outdated (frigates) or have major design failures (LCS).
- The USAF flies mostly Cold War jets, often modernized, but all in all, it is an outdated fleet, especially when compared to Russian or Chinese 4th++ and 5th generation aircraft. In fact, the absolute disaster of the F-35 program means that for the first time in its history the US aircraft will be qualitatively outgunned by its likely adversaries. Even US AWACS and other reconnaissance aircraft are now threatened by Russian and Chinese very long range anti-air missiles (both ground and air launched).
- As for the US Army and Marine Corps, the embarrassing disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere prove that the US ground forces are basically only able to protect themselves, and even that not very well.
- Then there are the recently created Space Forces which exist only on paper and the US Coast Guard which is basically irrelevant in a major war.
Finally, there is the US Special Operations Command, which is not one of the service branches but only a “functional” and “unified combatant” command, but which is often thought of as a separate branch of the armed forces. These forces always look great on propaganda rolls, but the truth is that these putatively “best in the word” (what else?!) forces have yet to achieve even their first real, meaningful, operational success anywhere (at least to balance out their long history of abject failures, from Desert One, to Grenada, to Afghanistan, to Libya, etc.). And a minor firefights against a much inferior adversary do not qualify.
Now let me ask the crucial question: what does that mean for Israel?
Well, first, it means that the “poor” Israelis now have to fly with the F-35 as their flagship fighter. In most cases, I would trust the Israelis to modify/upgrade their F-35’s to get rid of at least the worst “features”, but in the case of the F-35 this is not even theoretically possible due to profound design flaws (for those in need of an “official” refresher on the catastrophic reality of the F-35 program, please read this official US government report which includes 276 “critical” deficiencies). Sooner rather than later, the Israeli F-35s will meet the export version of the Su-35, the much cheaper but high-performing Mig-29M/MiG-35 or even a Russian Su-57 and then they will be hopelessly outgunned (even if the outcome of any air-to-air combat cannot be reduced to comparing aircraft, you need a full and much more complex picture to model possible outcomes). Currently, the Su-35 has only been exported to China, but future potential operators could include Egypt, Algeria and Turkey. As for the MiG-29M/MiG-35, countries such as Egypt and Syria have expressed interest.
Speaking of Syria, so far we have seen several cases of Israeli aircraft intercepted and forced to withdraw by Russian Su-35Ss, and not a single case of the opposite. There appears to be at least one case, though not confirmed officially (yet?) of a Russian Su-35S chasing away an USAF F-22 (once the Su-35 and the F-22 are in close enough proximity, the latter has very few hopes of survival).
Can you guess what else the Israelis are going to eventually meet in the skies over the Middle-East? Possibly an export variant of the MiG-31 or even Russian MiG-31BMs (with their 400km R-37 air-to-air missiles). In fact, the range, speed, radar and weapons of this aircraft would make it possible for Russia to maintain combat air patrols over, say, Syria while operating from southern Russia.
I dwell on these aircraft because in the past, and just like the US, the Israelis have always relied on the following combination of factors to prevail:
- A surprise attack (more or less justified by a false flag or by preemption)
- The destruction of enemy aircraft when they are still on the ground
- Air superiority to protect for rotary-wing aircraft and advancing armor
True, the Israelis still have a large force of modified F-16/15/18 (14 squadrons, over 300 aircraft), but just like their US counterparts, they are rapidly becoming dated. In sharp contrast to the dated Israeli Air Force, Israeli neighbors are all acquiring more and more advanced air defense systems along with EW and battle management systems. In other words, this is a very bad time for Israel to reply on F-35s for the foreseeable future.
Right now, the Israelis are regularly bombing Syria, but with very little result other than the mantric, and no doubt therapeutic, proclamations of Jewish superiority over the Arabs. And, predictably, the Ziomedia watching folks in Israel and the West are very impressed. The Syrians, the Iranians and Hezbollah, not so much…
Just like the US MIC put all its eggs into the F-35 basket, so did the Israelis put all their national security eggs into the eternal willingness and capability of Uncle Shmuel to come and rescue them with money, weapons or even soldiers.
The willingness is still here. But the capability is quickly disappearing!
Furthermore, there are two more countries which are entering a period of severe instability which will also affect the security of Israel: Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
In the case of Turkey, the relationship between the US and Turkey is about as low as it ever has been, and there is a very real possibility that, with US sanctions and threats, the Turks might decide to give up on the F-35 and turn to a Russian aircraft, most likely an export version of the Su-35. While that would be (politically) bad news for the US MIC, it would be absolutely terrible news for the Israelis whose relationship with Turkey is generally rather bad. So far, Turkey is still an obedient member of NATO, with all that entails, but the weaker the AngloZionist Empire becomes, the bigger the chances of some kind of political clash between the US and NATO on one hand, and Turkey on the other.
As for the Saudis, they have already been actively courting Moscow because they have realized that Russia has basically replaced the USA as the number one regional power. The total failure of the US to provide meaningful assistance to the Saudis in Yemen and the inability of the US air defenses to protect the Saudi oilfield from Houthi missile strikes has convinced the Saudis that from now on, they need to talk to the Russians directly and often.
True, the US still does have the appearance of real power in the Middle East. Just take a look at this page from the latest IISS Military Balance. There are still a lot of CENTCOM equipment and personnel in the region. But try to look beyond these fancy graphics and ask yourself: what are these forces doing? what are they actually achieving?
I would submit that most of what they do is to try to impress the locals, make money (by all sorts of military contracts) and, last but not least, they try to protect themselves. And yes, the US’s “footprint” in the Middle-East is still big, but that is also what makes US forces so vulnerable to attacks. The Iranians, for example, have made it clear that they see all these facilities and forces as “targets” which, following the high-precision Iranian missile attacks following the murder of General Suleimani, means that Iran now has the means to inflict major damage on any regional force crazy enough to mess with Iran.
Of course, every time somebody writes that the USA or Israel are not invincible, there is always at least one person saying something like “yeah, maybe, but they got nukes and they will use them if they are threatened”. To this my reply is different for the case of USA and for the case of Israel.
In the case of the USA, while any first use of nukes will result in a political suicide for the Empire, no US adversary in the Middle-East has the capability to retaliate in kind against the USA.
In the case of Israel, however, things are even much more serious.
First, we need to remember that for obvious geographical reasons, the Israelis cannot use nukes on attacking forces, at least not forces anywhere near the Israeli border. Still, if seriously threatened, the Israelis could claim that another “Holocaust” is about to happen and that the “defense of Jewish blood” leaves them no option but to use nukes on, say, Iranian or Syrian targets. I submit that the worse the damage inflicted by any such Israeli nuclear strikes, the stronger the resolve of the Arabs and/or Iranians will be. That is the problem with deterrence: once it has failed, it has totally failed and there is usually no “plan B”.
Does that mean that a major attack on Israel is inevitable?
No, not at all. For one thing, both the USA and Israel can still inflict immense damage against any country, or coalition of countries, which would threaten them (and they don’t need to resort to nukes to achieve this). The fact that neither the USA nor Israel can achieve anything resembling a “victory” in no way implies that attacking the US or Israel is easy or safe. Both countries have plenty of conventional military power left to extract a huge price from any attacker.
Secondly, it is precisely because the US and Israel have a lot of military power left that their adversaries will favor a gradual and slow weakening of the AngloZionists over an open confrontation. For example, while it is true that the US did not have the stomach to attack Iran following the Iranian retaliatory missile strike, it is also true that the Iranians carefully “tuned” their response so as not to force the US to strike back. The truth is that right now neither country wants an open war.
The same can be said of Syria and Hezbollah who have been very careful not to do anything which would force the Israelis (or the US) to escalate from the current symbolic/pin-prick attacks to real, meaningful, air and missile strikes.
Right now the USA can still print enough dollars to maintain Israel afloat, but we already know that while throwing cheap money at a problem is often very tempting, this does not constitute a sustainable strategy, especially when the actual military capabilities of both the USA and Israelis are rapidly degrading. Right now, nobody knows how much longer the last openly racist regime on the planet will last, but it is exceedingly unlikely that the Zionist entity will be able to survive without the Empire to prop it up. In other words, sooner rather than later, the “Jewish state of Israel” will have no better chances of survival than, say, the “Independent State of Kosovo” or, for that matter, the “Independent Ukraine”: they are all the ugly metastases of the Empire which by themselves are simply not viable.