The coronavirus pandemic has affected not only civilians but also the armed forces, including the crews of American aircraft carriers. In other words, one of the main us military arguments is being neutralized before our eyes, and this is probably just the beginning. How will the coronavirus affect Washington’s military capabilities?
The press reported immediately about two American aircraft carriers, whose crew members were infected with a new coronavirus.
On March 24, two sailors have identified on Board the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt with a new coronavirus. Two days later, there were twenty-five of them. The ship was previously on a visit to Vietnam, where the infection apparently occurred. Now it is going to the APRA Harbor naval base on the island of GUAM in the Pacific ocean, where it will be quarantined. By then, at least hundreds of crew members are expected to be infected.
And on March 28, two sick people were found in the crew of the aircraft carrier “Ronald Reagan”. It should be understood that now there are also probably dozens of such cases. They just haven’t identified all of them yet. And although the ship is not at sea, at the base in Yokosuka, in Japan, the sailors on the bases communicate quite closely with each other. And, apparently, this is just the beginning. Thus, a new dimension has opened up for the ongoing pandemic in the world.
The United States, as the dominant force in the world, widely uses military force to achieve its foreign policy goals. There is reason to believe that this force will soon be partially paralyzed for a time. The pandemic, although temporary, is becoming a military and political factor.
Coronavirus and our military
If you count not only the large-scale open presence of troops but also covert operations, armed forces units are present in hundreds of countries around the world, in fact, in most of them. At least a platoon of special forces, at least a dozen instructors, but there is. The coronavirus pandemic in such conditions could not but become a threat to us military – with their spread in the world, it was impossible to protect everyone from potential infection.
And we can not say that our military did not prepare for this problem at all – various precautionary measures were introduced there quite a long time ago. In the troops, measures to isolate personnel from the local population were strengthened, and protective equipment and instructions for protection against infection began to be distributed in advance. Chaplains (military priests) even started a special military prayer in the face of infection. Today, with a huge spread of troops on the planet, the US armed forces have only a few hundred patients. Their number is constantly growing, but the pace is far from critical. However, the situation with sailors on aircraft carriers shows that something the Americans missed, namely: quarantine measures in the crews of ships whose members are Willy-nilly in the course of combat services are in close contact with each other and can not be isolated in significant numbers. There is no room for this on the ship, and its ability to even make the transition without the men standing watch is questionable.
In such circumstances, it would have been logical to carefully protect against the possibility of infection of personnel on the ships, but this was not done. The Roosevelt’s sailors went ashore in Vietnam, and now this has “turned off” the carrier from combat service until the end of the quarantine. The crowding of personnel on the ship hints that this quarantine will not end quickly. If you can’t stop the spread of infection at the base in Yokosuka, then soon the Reagan (or rather, its crew) will be out of action for a while.
Currently, two American aircraft carriers are serving near the Persian Gulf, “containing” Iran, in a few months for them to fit the shift period. If we assume that the crew of the “Reagan” will suffer from infection, and the crew of the ” Roosevelt “will still be in quarantine (which is quite realistic), then the United States will have only six aircraft carriers of the” Nimitz “type (the newest” Ford ” is not yet operational), including those that are under repair and reloading fuel. That is no more than three combat-ready ships for all world Affairs (all aircraft carriers can never go to sea at the same time). And it is not a fact that, given the scale of the spread of coronavirus in the United States, they will be able to recruit at least one healthy crew by then.
Understanding the risks posed by the combination of a pandemic and a worldwide military presence, US defense Secretary mark Esper banned troop transfers for 60 days, which froze the rotation of nearly 90,000 troops. At the same time, American military leaders are confident that the number of military cases will grow. And it is actually growing.
But the infection of us Navy sailors, which can temporarily paralyze their activities, and the freezing of troop transfers, may not be the only factors affected by the pandemic.
American military and American civilians
Currently, the US has become the world leader in the number of infected people. The main “vulnerability” of the American state was new York – this globalist gateway of America to the outside world. A city where the number of infected people is ten times higher than in some States, and where the population shows complete unwillingness to tolerate what is happening, unlike the population of other States. Moreover, the new Yorkers continue to spread throughout the country, spreading the infection behind them. Things are so bad in New York that refrigerators are being mobilized to store the dead. And there is no reason to believe that anything will improve in the near future.
In such circumstances, rumors are spreading among the American population about the use of the US army to ensure order in the country. Allegedly, the military will be “behind the back of the national guard” and will join in the case of serious acts of civil disobedience.
We must admit that the United States has a rich history of using troops against the population. And although for many decades nothing like this has happened, people remember, and the first panicked video with an echelon of tanks “Abrams” has already been filmed the other day in Los Angeles by random passers-by. However, this may be the normal transport of equipment. But the surprise and the fear in people is quite real.
On the other hand, the collapse of the government’s ability to treat the sick and provide for the life of the population may well cause mass riots – and America remembers this, too.
In such circumstances, preparing the military for operations in the United States itself would be a logical step. It is impossible to say for sure whether this is the case now or not, but it can definitely happen in the future. And then those parts of the US armed forces that were not severely affected by the pandemic will be shackled by operations to maintain order on the territory of the US itself, while others will survive the quarantine.
This whole situation resembles the approach to some ideal storm for the main tool of American influence in the world – military power. America, of course, will not lose it completely, even for a short time, and it will be able to give some response to the violators of its interests in any case anywhere in the world.
However, if the development of the epidemiological situation in the troops and on ships continues as it is now, and if the negative forecasts of American doctors about the consequences of the pandemic in the United States come true, then for a while the American military machine will be tied hand and foot. While still able to strike at anyone, it may temporarily lose the ability to conduct large-scale operations outside of American territory. Moreover, the return of these abilities to it will directly depend not so much on the human will, but on the spread of the disease both in the US armed forces and in America as a whole.
For the enemies and rivals of this country, such a situation can give a short time, but a real “window of opportunity” for active actions that are undesirable from the American point of view. And the worse the situation in the United States, the more extensive and lasting these actions will be.