Declining civilizations will always face superior firepower from ascending civilizations because sovereignty is only temporarily uncontested.
In the First Punic War, during the late 240s BC, the Carthaginians grew weary of the long war with Rome and made the decision to decommission much of their fleet and to release from their employ many of their mercenary sailors. This proved to be an extraordinarily ill-fated decision. They voluntarily ceded to Rome, their mortal enemy, naval superiority and mastery of the seas.
Although it would be another one hundred years before the fall of Carthage, over this period Rome continued to consolidate its naval superiority and mastery of the Western Mediterranean. This would prove decisive in preventing Hannibal from being reprovisioned and resupplied with new weaponry, especially siege equipment. The Carthaginians’ decision to cede military control of the seas made them, a naval trading power, vulnerable to Rome. It was a fatefully bad decision which set in motion the events which led to a huge military advantage for Rome and to the ultimate destruction of Carthage.
By 2008, Barack Obama’s election year, America had enjoyed air superiority since World War II, and it had been sixty years since a single American soldier had lost his life on the ground due to an attack from the air. During the Bush (GW) presidency, the country had proven that it could build a missile defense system capable of mind-boggling technological precision, capable of “hitting a speeding bullet with a bullet.”
Obama stated numerous times during his campaign that he “would not weaponize space” and that he would not deploy a “costly unproven” missile defense system.
Incomprehensibly, in 2009, President Obama cancelled the F-22 Raptor jet fighter, an act which threatened Americans’ air superiority. As the eminent military historian, Mark Helprin, apocalyptically put it, “Cancelling the F-22, the most capable fighter plane ever produced, is yet another act in the tragedy of a nation that, bankrupting itself, (is) losing its will to prevail.”
Review the other laws here:
Law #1: No nation has ever survived once its citizenry ceased to believe its culture worth saving. (Hanson’s Law)
Law #2: In battle, free men almost always defeat slaves. (Herodotus’ Law)
Law #3: Appeasement of a ruthless outside power always invites aggression. Treaties made with ruthless despots are always fruitless and dangerous.
Law #4: If a people cannot avoid continuous internal warfare, they will have a new order imposed from without.
Law #5: When a free people, through taxation, is deprived of its ability to acquire wealth and property, collapse is presaged.
Law #6: To hold territory, a state must be populated by those loyal to the central authority. When immigration overwhelms assimilation, the fall is predicted.
Law #7: With the loss of fiscal solvency comes a loss of sovereignty.
Law #8: Debasing the currency always destabilizes the governing authority.
Law #9 When a civilization accepts the propaganda of its enemy as truth, it has reached the far side of appeasement and capitulation is nigh.