A new list of the strongest armies in the world was published recently, based on the Global Fire Power 2021 index, in which the first three countries remained unchanged – the USA, Russia and China. Let us recall that the Global Firepower ranking uses more than 50 factors to determine the PowerIndex (PwrIndx) of foreign armies with reference to the categories ranging from military power and finance to logistics and geography. Global Firepower carefully monitors the annual defense expenditure budgets of each country on this list, which are essential to maintain a country’s defense capability. Experts have been compiling the Global Firepower rating since 2006, and it covers 140 countries of the world.
Frankly speaking, this rating does not take into account the failures of military operations of any country, especially the United States, since in this case, especially against the background of the shameful and chaotic escape of the American soldiers from Afghanistan in September, the United States would clearly rank first in the anti-rating.
In these conditions and amidst the recent catastrophic weakening of the prestige of the US Army both domestically and abroad, the White House and the media controlled by it have no choice but to promote the national army themselves. That is why at the late October meeting of President Biden he had no choice but to engage in such promotion, stating that “the American army is the most powerful in the world, so Americans should not worry about China or Russia overtaking the United States in this sphere.”
Biden deliberately did not mention that Russia and China have already overtaken the United States in their military capacity, as well as in new types of weapons. And not only in the creation of hypersonic weapons already put on alert in these countries, which the Pentagon has so far failed to test. As for the allegedly remaining power of the US Army, according to even many American media, it is clearly seen by the “sleepy Joe” in his dreams, and the problems there not only persist, but also increase every day.
According to historical and political analyst Andrew Bacevich, a retired US Army colonel and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, the United States has been conducting a failed military mission in Afghanistan for more than 20 years. This applies both to their mission to exterminate terrorist groups and to the propaganda of American “democratic values.” The US Army has not liberated Afghanistan from terrorists; on the contrary, their number has only grown. And it was mainly the civilians who suffered in the process. The failure of the operation was caused by the ineffective actions of the general corps.
And so, the other day The Washington Post drew the attention of the Americans to the fact that the US Navy “did not put things in order,” as they were again accused of corruption. As the newspaper emphasizes, this is the second corruption scandal in which the American fleet has been implicated in the past few years, although after the last criminal case, the leadership of the Navy promised to put things in order.
Confirming the poor state of the national army, the US Department of Defense recently published a new report on suicide cases among US military personnel. It provides statistics from the US Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) for the second quarter of 2021, which shows that the number of suicides in the military compared to the same period last year increased by 46%. This figure is also more than double the death toll from COVID-19 in the military. Therefore, the mental health of the American military can hardly be called sustainable, and how it threatens the world, one can only guess.
According to official data, the total amount of all types and branches of the military in the United States exceeds 1.4 million people. As of February 2021, 485 thousand people of them are directly military troops. The rest are civilian employees. According to the 500-page analytical report of the American analytical institute Heritage Foundation, entitled “Index of US Military Strength: Assessing America’s Ability to Provide for the Common Defense,” in order to comply with the current military doctrine, the armed forces need to increase the number of combat-ready brigade groups by at least a third. However, on the way to achieving this goal, an insurmountable obstacle is the lack of sources to replenish personnel. Since 2017, the US military department notes that 71% male and 84% female recruits are unable to pass the entrance testing of military commissions in terms of physical, educational and intellectual level.
In these conditions, a new legislative proposal passed by the House of Representatives of the US Congress, which obliges women to sign with the military register, in order to “strengthen the US army” at least in this way becomes understandable. This is an unprecedented measure in American history, the US media emphasize. In 2015, female military personnel accounted for 14.5% of the military personnel and about 23% of the total number of reservists. According to the latest US Department of Defense report, incidents of sexual harassment and assault in the US military increased by 35% and affected more than 26,000 US military personnel, i.e. 14,000 men and 12,000 women.
In January 2021, US President Joe Biden lifted the ban on US military service for transgender people. The first US citizen to receive a passport with a gender “X” stamp was Dana Zzyim, a “non-binary intersex” who previously served in the US Navy. Against this background, as noted by Fox News, the American authorities never cease to amaze with their actions and statements: the other day, they conferred a high military rank on the transgender official Rachel Levin, declaring him “the first four-star female admiral.”
In general, according to many publications of the American and foreign media in relation to the US army, it seems that the US army has become especially zealous in supporting the call made by US President Joe Biden from the UN rostrum in September for the international community to take collective action to protect the rights of sexual minorities around the world: “We must all stand up for the rights of LGBT people so that they can openly live in love and without fear.” And another confirmation of this was the information about a sex scandal in the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, published recently on the website of the Project Office of Reforms of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The incident took place back in August this year: two Ukrainian servicemen of the airborne assault company of the 1st battalion of the brigade complained to the command that some US and EU servicemen tried to force these two to engage in a same-sex conduct in an unnatural way.
Well, apparently, instead of the once popular image of Rambo-like super soldiers, it is such servicemen that are the new face of the US Army, and it is through them that the Pentagon hopes to restore the prestige it has lost recently…
Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.