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Coronavirus: Is the Usa Slipping as Greatest Power as Us Navy Captain of Nuclear Carrier Pleads for Help for His Crew

Updated on March 31, 2020
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MG is a senior air warrior who has seen combat and is an alumnus of the Staff College and a writer on military matters.

USS Theodore Roosevelt
USS Theodore Roosevelt

Background

The United States has dominated the world for the last 100 years. The US domination commenced during World War I when it joined the war on the side of the allies against the Central Powers. There was no looking back after that and the United States went from strength to strength and at the end of World War II, it had reinforced itd position as the world's number one superpower.

Backed by a strong military the US also developed a massive industrial complex. American goods began to dominate the world. Things began to change in the sixties and seventies. Due to rising wages in America, the cost of production of items increased and the think tanks of the American industry realized that in case they were to improve the bottom line they had to outsource their goods to a country that could manufacture cheap for them.

During the next two decades, America began to rely more and more on China which while professing to be a communist state was, in reality, a totalitarian state that was far from the worker's utopia envisaged by Karl Marx. The state herded workers into factories and paid them much lower wages as they began to manufacture goods for most countries of the world.

The captains of American industry and the political leadership of America failed to realize that putting their eggs in the Chinese basket was akin to suicide. For a short time, there was a rosy dream. I have a feeling that the American political leadership also thought that they could partner China and share world leadership with them. When I think about this, I cannot help stating that I could die laughing on a bed of nails because the idea of a democracy partnering a naked dictatorship looks something unreal. Looking for short profits the American think tank did not notice that the trade with China had become one-sided with billions of dollars of the balance of payments in favor of China.

It is to the credit of President Trump that he decided to put brakes on China and began to levy tariffs and duty on their goods. Sometimes everything does not happen by the script and in came the coronavirus. This virus which came from China has completely infected America and over 150,000 people have tested positive and nearly 4000 died.

The Chinese played their cards adroitly and kept the virus secret for a few weeks till it became unmanageable. They allowed visitors from the epicenter Wuhan and China to travel all over America and Europe and these travelers spread the virus. It's a disconcerting thought that almost 3,500,000 Chinese visitors visited the United States in 2019.

China by strong-arm tactics has controlled the virus and as per reports, even Wuhan is no longer under quarantine. The same cannot be said of America where the Americans president has admitted that there could be more than a hundred thousand dead.

The ancillary industries have suffered and the unemployed American worker is now wondering what to do. In the meantime, the nuclear-powered strike carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has reported that scores of sailors on board have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The carrier has a complement of 4000 crew. This is a massive number and a virus among them is nothing short of a calamity. The carrier is currently docked in Guam and is part of the US fleet that carries the American flag to all corners of the world.

Lock down time
Lock down time

Battle Efficiency

The commander of the aircraft carrier is captain Brett Crozier. He is a no-nonsense sailor and he has written a letter to the Pentagon in which he has stated that scores of people on board have tested positive. He has also added that " we are not at war and as such sailors do not need to die."

The letter with its contents has come as a bombshell to the Pentagon and the US president busy as he was with other aspects of controlling the virus has to face the new facet that has opened up.

Capt Crozier has recommended that it is important that the entire crew is quarantined.The logistic problems are like a nightmare as one will have to decide how to quarantine 4000 personal. Who will replace these men on the carrier? if that is not done the carrier will lose its potency and the cutting edge it gives American power.

In any warship where there are thousands of personnel to man the watch and other duties the sailors usually live in confined spaces and it is impossible to isolate sick individuals. This is precisely what has happened to Theodore Roosevelt. In his letter written on 30th March, Capt Crozier has said that the disease was 'ongoing and accelerating.''

The Pentagon appears to be nonplussed but at the same time has realized that decisive action is needed. Removing personal from an active duty nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks is an extraordinary measure but there appears to be no choice in the matter.

The San Francisco Chronicle which was the 1st to report this sensational news has also said that at least hundred sailors are infected.



Layoffs surge
Layoffs surge

Last Word

What has happened to Theodore Roosevelt can happen to any other warship. The Americans have 10 supercarriers and we are not yet aware whether any of them are infected. We must remember from the example of cruise ships that had become infected on the high seas. The possibility of the infection spreading to US Navy warships is very real.

Effectively the virus has blunted the cutting edge of the US Navy which is the principal flag bearer of American might round the world. In addition, the US is in recession and the dependence on China is palpably clear from a press conference of President Donald Trump. In that press conference, the President did not berate China but mentioned that he had had a call from President Xi and it was a very friendly conversation. He went on to add that he was grateful that China was buying American pork and other products even in the time of this crisis. The line is clear that America is still going to be dependent on China to take its chestnuts out of the fire.

Once the virus goes away and God forbid more than 100,000 Americans die and industry and jobs are at a premium, the only way the Americans can think of staying afloat is with the help of China. This is a disconcerting thought and I am sure many Americans won't be happy with this idea and some may even contest it. As we say how a man looks is told by the mirror and people who are outside America can see the complete picture of how over the last two decades the Americans in every field from the South China Sea to trade have capitulated to China.

One fails to appreciate the American obsession that Russia is a danger. The bigger danger is China which after this virus is looking forward to taking the leadership of the world. God save us.


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