That is the title of a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on November 4th. The column focused on the fading American military deterrence in the world and the increasing military influence of China.
“This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” Navy Admiral Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said two weeks ago at a conference. “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested” for “a long time.” When the Admiral was asked just how bad it is, he responded, “As I assess our level of deterrence against China, the ship is slowly sinking. It is sinking slowly, but it is sinking, as fundamentally they are putting capability in the field faster than we are.”
Going down slowly isn’t much comfort as he further added, it won’t matter “how good our commanders are, or how good our horses are—we’re not going to have enough of them. And that is a very near-term problem.” Last month, US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday warned that China could take Washington and the world by surprise and invade Taiwan as soon as this year. And just last week Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China will be preparing for war which can only mean that China is getting ready to invade Taiwan. The moment that happens, because of the U.S.’s alliance with Taiwan, America and China will be at war. China knows this, but America’s declining military influence on the world stage has emboldened Xi Jinping to strike. An alarm bell should have gone off last year when China tested a hypersonic missile that flew around the world and landed at home. It means China can now put any U.S. city or facility at risk and possibly without being detected. What’s worse is the fact that the test took the U.S. completely by surprise and that it surpassed America’s own hypersonic capabilities. Japan has also acknowledged that it is preparing for an attack from China.
And if that is not enough, while this is going on, North and South Korea are getting closer to war. In recent days, North Korea launched 30 “test” missiles and declared that the launches were simulated strikes on South Korea and the United States. In the meantime, Russia and Iran have formalized a military alliance to aid one another as needed, with Iran providing attack drones in Russia’s assault on the Ukraine. Further, Russia is reportedly preparing to test fire its RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile for the second time, which possesses enough fire power to destroy an area the size of Texas. The U.S. does not have anything comparable.
I say all of that to remind you of the words of Jesus “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” (Matthew 24:6–8)
Everything is playing out just like Jesus said, which is all the more reason we must set our houses in order, steep our minds in God’s Word, and fully engage in God’s work—making the most of our time.
And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!
For God’s Glory Alone,