Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Q: IS THE US JUST WEAKENING IRAN WITH MORE SANCTIONS TO MAKE IT EASIER TO WAGE WAR WITH?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Ironically, despite its admirable efforts to weaken its perceived (and mostly fictitious) adversaries, the US has been more adept at weakening itself than at weakening others.
The US has gotten progressively weaker with each war because of its own foolish actions. The progression was reflected in the retreat from former positions and strategies, ie, from the draft, to volunteer army to proxies to mere bluffing.
The Korean war was lost despite the genocidal slaughter of roughly 3 million mostly unarmed non-combatants, but this defeat left the US smarting in its pride and eager to save face in another conflict. Vietnam.
Vietnam made the American people war weary and sick of the killing, in part because of shocking atrocities like Song My and the use of a false narrative regarding the Gulf of Tonkin, and consequently, the US found it politically impossible to draft young people to fight, and was forced to rely on volunteers thenceforth.
After the shameful tactics in Iraq, based on a false WMD story and thousands of lives lost, and in part because the conflict unleashed by the US indirectly gave rise to ISIS, the US found it politically difficult to put American boots on the ground and was forced pretty much to use proxies from then on.
Now that the Syrian conflict is winding down and Americans are seeing that there was no rhyme nor reason to the war, Americans have started to sense that US wars are becoming essentially obsolete and it is now virtually impossible to actually prosecute a war at all by conventional means. The result is that the US is reduced to bluffing, as when Trump threatened to destroy N Korea, then Venezuela, and now Iran, but did absolutely nothing in the end, even despite the successful missile strike that destroyed much of the Saudi Aramco facility, gouging deeply into US prestige, and despite Israel’s constant haranguing the US to either strike Iran or provide cover allowing the IDF to do so.
Thus it turns out that Trump is not divinely inspired after all. The Bible didn’t say he was anyway.
This helplessness is primarily because an uexpected factor emerged, ie, Russia. It was Russia that backed Trump down in Syria when it said it would not interfere with the US missile attack but would reserve the right to destroy any platform (naval vessel) from which a missile would come that might hit a Russian asset; then in Venezuela, when Russia sent a nuclear-capable Tu-160 bomber to that country, and then in Iran, when a missile destroyed the aforementioned Saudi Aramco oil refining plant and the US was powerless to retaliate after a Russia envoy casually mentioned to Israeli officials that Iran is a Russian ally. Oops!
Now, Russia, China and Iran are conducting joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman, warning foreign ships to stay out of their way. In the back of the minds of Pentagon, NATO and Israeli leaders there lurks the spectre of Russian hypersonic missiles that no known defence can intercept. Military leaders are walking around in a daze, confused and helpless and spouting machista warnings that emphasize their impotence.
Neither the US nor any Western ally has dared to raise a finger against the aforementioned naval triumvirate in the Gulf of Oman. The US and its satellites know that if they should try to interfere with these drills, they would have hell to pay. And the West knows that it is down to bluffing — nothing more than huffing and puffing targeting the voting faithful. This military impotence is mirrored by the financial impotence of the Fed, which, following a repo market crisis, is down to money printing, having lost the ability to sell Treasury bonds – that is, having lost the trust of its former clients and the ability to raise prime rates for fear of a collapse. The entire US Establishment is on its knees, held up only by empty jaw flapping, which perhaps enough of the gullible public still half believe. Or perhaps not.
Thus, both militarily and economically, and in terms of trust, the West is going bankrupt before our very eyes, and only God can save us now – from our wretched selves.