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The United States has justifiably been described as a nation of optimists. The last century has seen triumphs for its people, such as recovery from the Great Depression and victory in World War II.
By the end of the Cold War, the U.S. stood as the world’s only superpower—defined as a nation or group of nations with a robust economy and long-reaching military capabilities.
Even American feature films—a world-renown export—often revolve around the theme of a hero saving the day, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Everything works out in the end, thanks to American ingenuity and valor.
But to remain sensible even those with the sunniest dispositions must eventually acknowledge dark clouds on the horizon.
A chorus of voices inside and outside the U.S., growing louder and more insistent, labels the nation’s military campaign in Iraq a failure. A frustrated President George W. Bush now weighs the likelihood of achieving his objectives, at home and abroad, during his last two years in the White House. And a shaky long-term economic picture unfolds.
What are the implications of a declining America?
The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that began in March 2003 provoked immediate opposition from some, with several traditional allies refusing to join the coalition force. But the initial invasion, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime and the establishment of a new government were relatively smooth and speedy operations. And Mr. Hussein’s capture in December of that year was an important symbolic victory.
However, a military that was reconfigured in the 1990s—designed for short-term commitments—was not ready for a prolonged stay to combat terrorists. And U.S. leaders underestimated the deep roots of hostility between Iraq’s Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. America has now been at war in Iraq longer than it was in the Second World War.
As the months pass, the death toll of soldiers and civilians mounts. For example, on November 23, as Americans traveled in record numbers for Thanksgiving, a “barrage of car bombs, mortar attacks, and missiles battered the Shiite Muslim slum of Sadr City…killing more than 160 people in the single deadliest assault on Iraqi civilians since the start of the US-led invasion.
“The capital was placed under curfew…after the highly orchestrated attack…which threatened to unleash yet another cycle of reprisal killings and push the country closer to all-out civil war.
“Plumes of black smoke, and anguished screams, rose above a chaotic landscape of flames and charred cars, witnesses said. Bodies lined the streets where relatives searched for their loved ones. Strangers helped the wounded reach hospitals overflowing with victims.
“Angry Shiite residents and militiamen from Sadr’s Mahdi Army, wielding guns and rocket-propelled grenades, roamed the streets…vowing revenge against Sunni Arabs.
“‘Our bellies are full of blood,’ declared Ibrahim Tabour, a resident. ‘We’re going to fight the terrorists until the last breath.’
“The attacks in Sadr City, Baghdad’s largest Shiite district, killed at least 161 people and wounded 257, according to an Associated Press tally. By nightfall, violence had spread to other Baghdad neighborhoods in retaliatory attacks across the city, even as politicians and senior religious clerics appealed for calm” (Washington Post).
The Gulf War of 1991, from the first Apache strike to the victory parade in Washington, lasted less than five months, and the fighting was over in less than two months. It was an overwhelming victory both in the air and on the ground. Contrast this with the prolonged policing, multiple tours of duty for combat divisions and thousands of roadside bombs seen in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Add to this the effect of a media that pursues headlines at all costs, and the political influence that accompanies them. Daily reports of military losses demoralize the nation. Imagine if this had occurred during WWII, in which more than 6,600 Americans perished in just one day at Normandy!
It appears the American people do not have the stomach, the patience or the attention span to tolerate this war for much longer.
But why does decisive victory elude the world’s second-largest military?
One huge reason is that American forces are now overcommitted and under-funded: “Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, in mid-August clearly signaled just how bad the situation has become when he refused to put an Army budget on the table.
Former “Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had told Schoomaker that he had to come up with a spending plan that provided approximately $114 billion for fiscal 2008 – a $2 billion cut from 2007. Schoomaker’s response: ‘There is no sense in us submitting a budget that we cannot execute…a broken budget.’
“He said it would cost an additional $17 billion just to work through the huge backlog of broken and worn out Army tanks and Bradleys and Humvees at Army repair depots.
“Meanwhile, the Army is so bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq that only two or three of its combat brigades, fewer than 10,000 soldiers, are ready and able to deal with any new crisis elsewhere in the world.
“None of the other brigades that have returned from combat duty for a year at home are ready for combat: Some of them have only half their allotted number of troops and none of their fighting vehicles.
“Schoomaker has told the Pentagon and the White House that the Army needs $138.8 billion in 2008, 41 percent more than the current budget of $98.2 billion. So, either Congress ponies up the money or the administration will have to scale back demands on the force that’s carrying virtually all the load in Iraq and Afghanistan” (The News Tribune).
How did this come to be?
As America gradually slips from its position as the world’s lone superpower, other nations are preparing to take its place. Yet these, as with all governments of men, will eventually meet their downfall.
Nonetheless, the world will soon see the arrival of the ultimate superpower—one that will never decline nor disappear into the pages of history. Its strength and effectiveness will be witnessed on every level.
• Government: Led by an executive branch that will remain free of bureaucratic red tape, this future supergovernment will administer decisions without any political maneuvering. Government leaders will not have to run for office—which means no more abusive attack campaigns, “pork barrel” lawmaking, filibustering, or courting by lobbyists.
Instead of creating laws in an attempt to legislate every minute aspect of people’s lives, all laws, statutes and ordinances will be universally founded upon the way of give.
With corruption among judges nonexistent, all judgments will be carefully rendered with fairness and equity—and without personal or political biases.
• Education: Illiteracy will be a thing of the past, and language barriers will be brought down. Education will be free for everyone, as all school systems will receive equal funding and teachers will receive fair wages while meeting high standards of excellence.
• Housing: Homelessness will no longer exist. Instead of overcrowded cities of row homes and cramped apartments, each family will have homes with enough land to provide for their basic needs.
• Defense: This future superpower will be protected by an invincible military—utterly loyal to the government it will serve. Thus, coups will never be a threat.
• Economy: No more recessions, depressions, skyrocketing inflation or dramatically fluctuating unemployment rates. Third and fourth generations of families receiving welfare assistance will be unheard of, and everyone—from blue collar laborers to chief executive officers—will be taxed across the board at the same rate: 10%. Imagine, no more complicated government tax forms to fill out!
• Law and Order: No more backed-up court systems or frivolous lawsuits. Since prisons will not be needed, criminals will no longer live year after year at taxpayers’ expense. Sentences will be rendered quickly, but fairly, and never again will the innocent go to prison for a crime they did not commit.
• Environment: Smog, disappearing wetlands and forests, urban sprawl, superfund sites, global warming, endangered species—these and all other environmental problems will be solved from the very start.
• Health: All foods will be pure, free of pesticides, hormones and steroids. Instead of farmlands being worked year after year without a break, they will receive a rest every seventh year, a great benefit to the soil.
Also, prescription and over-the-counter drugs will no longer be regulated—since these will no longer be needed! Instead, the true principles of health will be widely taught and applied!
Considering that all the troubling matters other nations face will be solved by this soon-coming superpower, it’s only natural to ask: How will this happen—and when?
To learn more about this incredible world-ruling supergovernment, read our book Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View!
America no longer has the will and unity of purpose to lead the world, and it no longer has the resources either. The nation still enjoys incredible prosperity, with the world’s largest economy in terms of gross domestic product and purchasing power. Its stock market continues to reach new heights. However, all is not well in the nation’s overall economic outlook.
The dollar’s value has been falling since 2002, and “may continue to decline for the next two to three years at an annual rate of about 10 per cent against the euro, pound and the Japanese yen. The dollar can’t rise because of the huge US trade deficit…The statistics are a bit alarming. The US sent $US218 billion…more abroad in the second quarter than it brought in from other countries. That current account deficit was just a little less than the record $US223 billion deficit in the fourth quarter last year.
“Because Americans continue to import more than they export, and because foreigners stay willing to hold the dollars they earn this way, foreign holdings of US Treasury securities on September 30 totaled more than $US2 trillion. Foreign investors are financing not only the US trade deficit but also the US budget deficit. The budget deficit in fiscal 2006 was $US248 billion.
“The trade deficit might shrink but the budget deficit will climb because of recent tax cuts, war spending and shrinking government revenue from a slower-growing economy.
“In the worst case, foreigners would lose confidence in the dollar and start dumping it. A quick, steep drop in the US currency would be inflationary — increasing the cost of imports. The Fed would ratchet up interest rates to curb the rise in prices…the worst would happen only if the US did something to scare foreign investors, such as erecting barriers against increasing imports from China.
“For the time being, there’s nothing to worry about, as long as foreign investors remain as complacent about US spending habits as Americans are” (Bloomberg).
In addition to currency trade deficit, both the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting Office have acknowledged that America’s $9 trillion national debt cannot be sustained for much longer. And the housing market—seen by many as the lone crutch propping up the economy—is cooling off. Whether this will end in a soft landing or a jarring crash remains to be seen.
The prosperity that America enjoys is made possible by its creditors in Japan, China, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea, etc.!
The following proverb will eventually reach the average American’s door in a more vivid, literal way than he can now imagine: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Prov. 22:7).
The outcomes and press coverage of recent U.S. conflicts—Bosnia, Rwanda and now Iraq—have been uncertain at best and humiliating at worst. This has America’s enemies smelling blood. The leaders of Iran, Venezuela and other nations feel emboldened to “stand up” to America. Witness Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s letter to the American people, in which he attempts to capitalize on the divided state of U.S. politics.
He and others recognize America’s vulnerabilities, in both hard and soft power: “The military reality on the ground in Iraq severely constrains U.S. options around the world. That, in turn, constrains U.S. diplomacy. Diplomacy without even the distant possibility of military action is impotent” (Stratfor).
Another vulnerability is the size of the armed forces relative to its tasks: “…Iraq is eating up…options by eating up the Army. This is the first major, extended ground war the United States has fought in a century without dramatically increasing the size of the Army. World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam all brought massive increases in military size, mostly through conscription. The Bush administration…maintained the force roughly as it started, and now that force is broken” (ibid.).
The world’s perception of Americans, filtered through the degenerate lens of Hollywood, does not generate goodwill among many nations—in fact, it hurts the cause. The media’s products and portrayals practically scream that the average American is mainly concerned with accumulating possessions, “keeping up with the Joneses” and being entertained. He does not particularly care about whether democracy spreads through the Middle East. After all, the war is not happening in his backyard.
But Americans cannot live in ignorant bliss indefinitely. The success of a superpower breeds comfort and softens the character of a nation. At the same time, it leads to envy and hatred among the less powerful, so that more and more of the wealth generated by that success must be spent to protect the nation from those who resent it.
This resentment now seethes in the hearts of avowed adversaries abroad—but resentment also grows among American citizens who hold the historical values of the nation in contempt. The president is the focus of venom and ridicule, and is shamelessly undermined even by others in public office.
As stated by columnist J.R. Nyquist, “If the country…cannot function without appeasing the empire of the perpetually resentful, then the country is finished” (Financial Sense).
The power vacuum in Iraq, which some pundits believe should be filled by NATO, Europe, Russia, China or India, is a microcosm of the global vacuum that is developing as the United States becomes increasingly ineffectual on a number of fronts. Difficulty in Iraq is one symptom of a larger problem: a general malaise in the United States—a decline of power, prestige, influence and resolve.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and the balance of power between nations is not a zero-sum game. One nation’s strategic, tactical and diplomatic losses are another’s gain. Make no mistake: A new superpower—or superpowers—will arise. It is only a matter of when—and who.
There is a Being who is sovereign over these events, and who knows where they will lead. The God who inspired the Bible declares within its pages, “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:9-10). Here the Eternal makes plain that He brings His prophecies to pass. In one of these prophecies, referring to the United States and certain other nations, He states, “I will break the pride of your power” (Lev. 26:19). This punishment is the result of these peoples’ stubborn dismissal of His spiritual laws, the core of which is the Ten Commandments.
Keep reading this magazine for forecasts and reports proving that God’s counsel “shall stand”!