" ... the US not having a useful next-generation air superiority fighter jet is a major problem. You see, the way the US military operates, if it can’t establish air superiority over a theater of operations, it can’t even show up to a fight."
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Editor's note: Orlov speculates here that Mattis must wear dentures, based on his diction. It so happens we published a piece today with video of Mattis's comments referenced in this article, and we have to concur, it sure does sound that way.
On January 19, 2018 General James “Mad Dog” Mattis held forth publicly on America’s new and improved National Defense Strategy. He mouthed quite a lot of words, but the executive summary is actually just two points:
1. The War on Terror is no longer a thing. Since terrorism is now a much worse problem around the world than it was when the War on Terror was first announced after 9/11, it certainly hasn’t been won. Another problem is the prodigious amount of treasure, life and limb that has been squandered on this worse-than-futile pursuit.
Americans are now going to do what they always do after a military misadventure: declare victory, go home, and cower behind two oceans hoping that their misadventure doesn’t follow them home. America’s new message to all the numerous victims of terrorism is “Suck it up.”
2. America’s new enemy is Chinarussia—a very large Eurasian country. The US depends on Chinarussia for a great many things and can’t possibly afford to go to war with it, but what’s a poor bankrupt country to do when nothing works?
Previously, the US was able to successfully play China and Russia against each other (after Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon were given an opening by the very foolish Nikita Khrushchev, who alienated Mao Zedong with his attack on Joseph Stalin’s legacy). But now “Divide and conquer” is no longer a thing either; the new thing is “unite your enemies while making them laugh.”
Uniting China and Russia took quite a bit of American effort and is more or less a fait accompli. Making them laugh was even harder, but I feel that Mattis did a good job.
What’s so funny? Here’s Exhibit A: Mad Dog’s eyebags. They are yooge!
If you set out to develop eyebags that big, there are two ways to go about growing them. The first is to eat lots of salty snacks. This causes the body to retain water, filling various flaps of loose skin, such as the ones under the eyes. The second is to drink lots of liquor. The alcohol thins the blood, producing a similar effect.
Now, for reasons that I will soon make clear, I find it doubtful that Mattis is one to eat lots of mini pretzels, so my working hypothesis is that Mad Dog’s motto is “put a little vodka in your gas tank.”
Speaking of gas tanks, his eyebags made me think of the external fuel tanks on the F-35.
This, by the way, has turned out to be an altogether useless plane. It was supposed to do everything anyone wanted in a jet but after well over a trillion (with a “t”) dollars spent on its development it has proven to be a huge disappointment. What’s more, about half of the ones built have defects that will probably never be addressed well enough for them to fly combat missions.
One of its problems is that it doesn’t have the range it needs; hence the external fuel tanks. They give it a more useful range, but they also destroy its stealthy qualities. It might be possible to jettison them in mid-flight, though; or maybe they just fall off by themselves. Could be a bug or a feature—who knows?
Likewise, Mattison could jettison his eyebags and still stay liquored up 24/7. Here’s my grooming trick for Mad Dog: he should get the Pentagon to procure for him a crate or two of Preparation H, at $500,000 or so a tube.
He should judiciously apply it to his eyebags an hour or so before each public appearance. Better yet, he should have one of his staff fluffers apply it, in case he doesn’t drink enough and gets the shakes, because you don’t want to get that stuff in your eyes. Preparation H is very good at shrinking swollen tissues wherever they may arise. Look at George Soros: his eyebags are fully deflated.
Soros is definitely a Preparation H man.
First problem solved.
Meanwhile, the problem of the US not having a useful next-generation air superiority fighter jet is a major problem. You see, the way the US military operates, if it can’t establish air superiority over a theater of operations, it can’t even show up to a fight. And in squaring off against Chinarussia showing up would be key, because the Russians and the Chinese would be perfectly happy to keep all of Eurasia and maybe Africa to themselves while letting the Americans nurse their eyebags all the way over on the run-down, unfashionable side of the planet. To appear sufficiently threatening, the US has to continuously get in everyone’s faces by maintaining lots of Eurasian military bases and by holding lots of military exercises.
The US also likes to keep a war or two going at all times, and to do that the US military has to follow its recipe for what it calls success: take over the airspace, bomb the enemy into submission, and only then send in a few grunts for mop-up operations and to secure the area. The grunts have grown few in number and low on morale, having had lots of limbs blown off while patrolling previously secured (and re-secured, and re-secured…) areas, and so the emphasis is on aerial bombardment (as in Raqqa and Mosul, which the Americans have turned into rubble-strewn wastelands suffused with the stench of death).
The first step—taking over the airspace—is essential, and the F-35 fiasco makes it highly uncertain. Even if the bugs can ever be worked out well enough to send it into combat, the Russian SU-35 fighter can literally fly circles around it, making it a bad idea to deploy it wherever there are any Russians or Chinese around.
Other new Russian air defense systems, such as the S-400, which is selling like hot cakes, can effectively seal off large areas against any US incursion.
Without a way of establishing air superiority, the US won’t be able to get up into Chinarussia’s face. Therefore, the new US National Defense Doctrine has no teeth.
Speaking of teeth, observe Exhibit B.
I don’t think Mattis has any teeth either. He has dentures, which rattle around in his mouth as he talks. This accounts for his mumbling and lisping. I’ve observed this phenomenon on numerous occasions when visiting retirement homes. This, by the way, is why I think that his eyebags are puffy because of vodka rather than crunchy, salty snack foods: crunchy foods don’t work well with dentures.
Here’s my advice for Mad Dog: he should get the Pentagon to procure for him a crate or two of Fixodent, at $500,000 or so a box.
He should also think about retiring. It’s a bit late in the day for him and the US military both. He ought to be rocking his soul in the bosom of Abraham, not attempting to formulate cockamamie national defense doctrines.
In any case, second problem solved.
Third, I would like to also fix the real problem. I would like to propose an alternative US National Defense Strategy—one that will actually work. It is remarkably short and simple, being composed of just seven words:
“Keep to your side of the ocean.”