Russia celebrated a holiday recently with a large scale military parade on Red Square. Just like the bad old days. Putins sock puppet, President Dmitri Medvedev, smiled while Putin stood stern-faced at his side at the annual Parade of Hardware.  Insiders claim that Russia’s effort to modernize its military forces is anemic and plagued with corruption. Putin and followers are plainly appealing to that voice in the Russian soul that longs for strongman leadership.

China, on the other hand, is quietly constructing a secret underground nuclear submarine base on Hainan. Hmmm. A secret underground lair. Sounds like Dr. No.  I doubt there are miniskirted nubiles with machine guns. Bummer.

Whereas Russia is fighting infrastructural inertia in its return to the platform, China is methodically ramping up its military with an economy flush with cash. With funding from its exports of Wal-Mart inventory and other Cheap Plastic Crap (CPC) marketed through its many outlets in the USA, China is moving closer to a blue water Navy and an SSBN fleet.

In the next 20 years, we are likely to see China flexing its muscle by positioning naval (carrier ?) groups and hints of Chinese submarine fleets prowling the continental shelves of the world.  Just like us.

While the USA shadow boxes with multiple terrorist threats around the world, China plods forward minding its own business and funding its own growth.

Four US presidential terms were squandered following the fall of the Soviet Union- 2 x Clinton and 2 x Bush.  US efforts to engage Russia in economic cooperation were weak at best. The highlight was perhaps the downgrading of Soviet era nuclear materials.  Instead of building friendships and trade cooperation, US presidents were distracted by faulty nation building exercises and dubious foreign adventures. Mikhail Gorbachev himself recently lamented that “… every US president has to have a war…”. 

US government needs to spend a 4 year term focused inwards. We must address US infrastructure as eagerly and aggressively as we land troops on the sandy reaches of the earth. The US needs an upgrade in electrical power distribution, bridges, its rail “system”, and its ports.

Collectively, we must find ways to keep factories and businesses in the USA. We need to reconsider the structure of the Code of Federal Regulations. Our regulatory structure is now so complex and extensive that we face the real risk of killing innovation. Our tax code is too complex and too burdensome on citizens and businesses. The government is funding far too many activities.

In short, the USA must get back to basics. The country is in a existential crisis and we need to get grounded again. We need fewer rules in our lives, not more. We need fewer people telling us how to live an authentic life. More of us need to spend a bit more time in the pursuit of happiness.