Trump has got up in front of the UN and said,
“America’s goal is not to go with these endless wars, wars that never end […] The United States has never believed in permanent enemies. America knows that while anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace.”
I don’t think many realise what a profound shift that is for the US. It is essentially an abandonment of the Carter Doctrine, a tossing aside of the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives the US has spent guaranteeing the flow of oil to itself and the world. It’s a return to isolationism.
The attack on Abqaiq was done with less than $100,000 in spending, and has caused billions in damage. Despite many similar attacks by Houthi rebels against Saudi facilities, the US did not see it coming. This is a profound failure of signals and human intelligence.
Three Aegis Destroyers costing US $1.8 billion each with Raytheon SM-2 missiles off the coast of Saudi Arabia and the 88 Patriot batteries at $5 million each - $440 million in all - didn’t see a damn thing, or fire a single shot. The drones just went around and through them. $100,000 worth of gear and operators rendered useless SIX BILLION dollars worth of gear.
Just as aircraft carriers made battleships obsolete, so have cruise missiles and drones made destroyers, aircraft carriers and a whole swag of other technologies obsolete. The US may finally get the budget cuts it so desperately needs - it may as well mothball most of the USN.
I have not seen this talked about much. The world is too busy with Trump’s non-impeachment and other trivial nonsense. The US is drifting to isolationism, and even if it wanted to remain a global power it couldn’t. What the fall of Singapore was to the British Empire, Abqaiq is to the US. Americans probably won’t acknowledge this, but then the British didn’t at the time, either.
I wrote this two years ago. Nobody’s picked up on the topic except John Robb.