My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media


Blog powered by Typepad

« Don’t Spam, Don’t Spy; Ask Permission and Satisfy - Musings on media, advertising and big data | Main | Reality Check on the Election: Ignore the noise: Hillary's likely opponent to be Trump (with Rubio as VP) »

February 14, 2016


Stephen Reed

Online straw polls show Donald Trump the winner by at least the same margin as in the previous 8 debates. These results suggest that the enthusiasm of Trump supporters is undiminished.

Given the attacks Trump made on Jeb Bush's brother George W. Bush, there should be some interesting fireworks next week when the popular ex-president comes to South Carolina to campaign for Jeb.


No analysis of Hillary Clinton? Come on Tomi! Why did she fail?

Wayne Borean


Hadn't been paying attention to the news last night, so I found out that Scalia died here. That will put an interesting spin on the race. The 'Hard Right' will scream is anyone that they don't regard as sufficiently 'Conservative' is nominated to the Supreme Court. It doesn't matter that they are a minority, like a spoiled child they have to get their way.

As an aside, Doonesbury has a Trump strip this morning.

Back to SC. Been there, lovely state. People claim to be Conservative. They aren't.

What they are is extremely religious, within a very narrow definition of religious. The son of a friend was in SC on a mission, met a wonderful girl, went back after his mission was over to propose, and she accepted. Her father freaked out, and threatened to shoot him because he is the wrong sort of Christian.

I'm not saying her father is a bad guy. Never met him, but I suspect he tries his best. This is based on meeting his daughter who is a really well spoken, polite, and incredible woman. She wouldn't have gotten that way if her parents were horrible nasty people.

But they do tend to have very parochial views of the world. Many of them vote Republican for religious reasons, and don't understand Conservatism at all.

Which gives Rubio and JEB a problem. According to many 'Mainstream' Christian denominations, neither Rubio, JEB, nor Carson are Christians. Trump so far has faked it well enough to pass. I don't know about Kasich.

The religious angle should make this interesting.


@Wayne, the GOP has a majority in the Senate. While it's true that a Democratic senate cleared the nomination of Anthony Kennedy in February 1988, that was only after they scuttled Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork in 1987 (in what was mostly a vicious personal attack led by Ted Kennedy). There were more moderate Democrats back in those days, as well. The Senate can simply deny their consent to any of Obama's selections, and it's perfectly valid under Article II. The Senate isn't simply a rubber stamp. Harry Reid blocked many of Bush's appellate court selections even when the Democrats held a minority in the Senate, and especially after the Democrats gained a majority.

Trump was attacked, but for once he said something I agree with. The Iraq War was a mistake, and GOP candidates should be willing to admit it. It's ancient history now, as was Obama's decision not to seek an extension of our status of forces agreement in 2011, but the first "mainstream" GOP candidate who acknowledges that would gain a lot of general election credibility.

I got the feeling that Trump was looking past South Carolina, where oddly, George W. Bush is still popular and is campaigning on behalf of Jeb. He's far enough ahead in SC where he's thinking about March 1 and beyond. Even if he loses a few points, he's still likely to win.

Wayne Borean


I always liked George W. myself. He may not have been the best president, but he wasn't the disaster that a lot of people claim he was. I suspect in another twenty years his legacy will be viewed more positively. George W. had to deal with the fallout from Bill Clinton's presidency, just like every president has to do with his predecessor's legacy. No president can win.

As to a minority, I meant the 'hard right' not the Republican Party as a whole.

Yes, the Senate has the right to turn down Obama's nominees. That could however be suicidal. What if Obama picks a conservative judge like Richard Posner? Posner is well respected. Any attacks on him for not being sufficiently conservative could blow up in their faces.

As to Trump and his statement that the Iraq war was a mistake, I've pointed out in the past that Trump is a damned smart guy. His stance on the Iraq War was probably planned out months ago, aimed at the General Election. That's why I think he might do far better than the current polls indicate.


A question for fellow U.S. citizens:

If you don't like watching Trump's ABC World Trump News, Trump's NBC Nightly Trump News, Trump's CBS Evening Trump News, where do you tune your tv? (PBS News Hour has too much trumpishness now, as well).


@Wayne, there is no way Obama is going to nominate Richard Posner or anyone within a 1000-ft pole of Anthony Kennedy on the political spectrum. Obama has no interest in preserving the 5-4 conservative majority (actually 4-4-1 before Scalia's death), or even making a 4-3-2 court (4 liberals, 3 conservatives, and 2 swing). Chances are he'll nominate a hard liberal as a political move. Here is a good read on it:

Technically, Obama could make a recess appointment before next Monday, but I doubt he'd do that since it would likely hurt the Democrats in the election. After that, the GOP will be sure to prevent themselves from falling into technical recess before the end of SCOTUS' current term. The new term starting in October doesn't matter, since the Senate session ends before the SCOTUS term does, meaning any recess appointment wouldn't be part of any controversial decision in the next Court.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Speaking of the election (so far), here's some more humor :)


More humor:


The GOP is such a pilar of stability and trust. It is clear the GOP will instill confidence in independent voters that they are the party in which hands the future of the USA will be safe.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

I am truly flabbergastered. I am beyond words. I just saw the Gallup poll which said only 49% of Americans today believe that the US military is the strongest in the world.

What the F*ck. How utterly incompetent are American media to have had this happen? The US military is - by unprecedented degree - the most powerful and dominating in human history. Its superiority is greater than the Roman Empire at its peak, or the British Empire at its peak, or Hitler's Nazi Germany at its very brief peak of 1942-43, or the Soviet Union shortly after it had invaded Afghanistan at its peak. There has never ever EVER been any military as utterly crushingly totally at every conceivable way, being as dominating as the USA is today. Its incredible advantage from the turn of the millenium has only grown. There is absolutely no threat to the US militarily (I'm not talking about the nuisance of a couple of people killed by terrorists, that is not a military threat).

The world's two next most powerful militaries are Russia and China. The USA could take on BOTH and keep a hand tied behind its back - and EASILY WIN. Without any of the USA's vast array of very powerful allies. Gosh its bizarre. I am truly without comparisons. Its not as much as Nokia dominated the mobile handset business at its peak in 2006. Its so much more. Its like gosh, what Microsoft was to the PC industry in the 1990s. Thats what the US is militarily in the world today. I am utterly stunned. Yes, I could believe that say 20% of Americans were so misled to think that (Fox viewers, fooled by the military-industrial complex that wants the USA to buy even bigger stockpiles of weapons, on top of its overwhelming arsenal) but half of Americans? This is simply madness. Simply madness. Imagine someone saying in 1996 that yeah, Microsoft is not the most powerful OS provider in the computer world haha. Thats how ludicrous this is.

I'll write a short essay about it as I'm so beyond myself

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Millard Filmore

@winter: "The GOP is such a pilar of stability and trust."

The spectacle of the primary season must be making the news in Europe. Are there any hints of reaction coming out of European governments? Amusement? Concern? Indifference?

Cruz joyfully accepts the endorsements of pastors that want to stone gays to death. Trump has declared his intention to commit war crimes. Is anyone getting nervous yet?


"Are there any hints of reaction coming out of European governments? Amusement? Concern? Indifference?"

Governments are quiet, too dangerous to meddle in foreign elections.

But the people have no such hessitations. In general, Tomi represents the majority opinion in the population and press very well. Although I have heard it expressed less politely.

Tomi T Ahonen

So a few observations about US gosh.. dominance is such a weak word here but I can't think of a better one

..military power. So first, lets have a war. The way to defeat an enemy's military in modern war is air power. We could talk about tanks or assault rifles or littoral combat ships but lets do air power. Because no army in the past 80 years who lost the war in the air, was able to win at sea or on the ground. Air power is the first determinant of who wins. The Japanese empire lost after they lost the war in the air, the German superpower lost its edge after the allies defeated it in the air, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in several wars thanks to first winning in the air, Saddam Hussein's mighty army was defeated for the air, the British retook the Falkland Islands first winning the air war, etc. When the Soviets lost their air power advantage after nearly 10 years in Afghanistan, they were forced to quit the war.

So we can agree that air power is obviously incredibly important. Who has the biggest air force? The USA. Who has the second biggest air force? The USA also (what?) Yes, an air force larger than Russia's or China's (the two which are next in line) is sitting in Arizona 'mothballed' - as UNWANTED but TOTALLY MODERN warplanes, that the USA has bought too many of, and has then parked in Arizona at the 'bone yard' to await possible emergencies or also, to be sold to friendly nations. That is not old obsolete planes. The jets parked in Arizona include the front-line jets used currently by some of the richest of US allies such as Japan, Australia, Canada, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Jets that often are TOO ADVANCED to be sold to some of USA's friends like Pakistan or Taiwan. The second biggest air force in the world, is a junkyard spareparts airforce that American taxpayers have paid for (going massively into debt under W Bush's idiotic budgets). Yes, the SPARE air force that the USA has, could alone defeat China's or Russia's air force (and therefore also, ANY OTHER NATION).

What does the USA then fly? The very very latest jets. Its not just that the USA has the world's largest air force (BY FAR) but it also has the most ADVANCED planes (BY FAR) that are BY FAR the most lethal. The USA has BY FAR the most PILOTS (incredibly expensive to train) to fly those planes (including enough pilots to also fly the junkyard planes). The US Pilots get BY FAR the most advanced training both in the largest number of incredibly advanced simulators but also LIVE flights at TWO dedicated 'Top Gun' flying schools - where America's allies get to send occasionally some of their best pilots to come also and train. The USA is the ONLY airforce that has bought RIVAL airforce jets for ITSELF just so it can train its pilots to fly against the opposition... This is madness, its that much superiority.

So the most advanced jets with the most trained pilots. How about the weapons? THE most advanced (and most expensive) weapons, of course. Ie the most deadly warplanes in human history. And then we get to the AVIOINICS. The radars, the electronics scramblers, the infra red gear, the secure communication links etc - AGAIN by FAR the most advanced tech flying. The USA is the only air force that flies a dedicated airborne radar jamming combat jet. All other air forces put some jamming pods onto their jets, to convert a fighter jet into a part-time jamming plane. The USA flies many squadrons of planes dedicated to do nothing else except make the enemy go blind. All modern anti-aicraft systems, whether missiles or guns fired by jets, or anti-aircraft systems on the ground (missiles and guns) are targeted by radar. Jets are too fast and maneuvrable to be targeted by human hand-eye-coordination. And if you make the radar go blind, he can't hit you.

The US air power has the most planes AND has the technological advantage. Most wars, one side has more numbers, the other side has the technological edge. The USA has both. But its also ahead on every conceivable measure of how to use that asset. The USA has airborne flying radar planes. These are incredibly expensive military gear that has no guns or missiles. Its flying only to see the battlefield and guide the other jets to attack the enemy and not shoot down your own planes accidentially. Many air forces have them. The USA Navy alone - has more airborne radar planes than ANY OTHER AIRFORCE. And the US Air Force has the most - and the most advanced - such planes ever made. Then if you're fighting in the air, airplanes have to come down to the ground to be refuelled. That means they are not fighting. And they are vulnerable. Well, one solution is to build custom airplanes that severe as airborne tanker planes. Big fuel trucks that fly in the air. Yes, other airforces have them too. The US miliatry has more airborne TANKER planes than the rest of the planet's air forces - combined.

But lets forget that the US has the worlds' largest air force that also has a huge technological advantage and every conceivable war warfare toy ever created - and more of all of those too, with the best pilots and the best weapons and the best avionics with the best training - this all is so last millenium.

I don't know if you knew, but air warfare has gone from the fourth generation to the fifth. A generational shift means the older planes are obsolete if forced to fight against the newer generation. The fifth generation combat jets have a particular nasty trait - they are invisible to modern radar. This means they cannot be shot down by modern weapons (future weapons will eventually defeat this). Its called 'stealth' technology. A stealth fighter or bomber is invisible to radar, so it cannot be targeted. Period. The world's only air force that operates whole squadrons of stealth warplanes (and has launched already four different types of them) is the USA. The Russians and Chinese are only working on their first prototypes. The only other countries that have some stealth warplanes in very modest numbers - are America's allies. That is only one jet fighter type which the USA has more than the rest of the world combined - and its the 'cheaper' stealth fighter. The USA alone has also the far superior 'more expensive' stealth figther which literally was too expensive for any of even the richest of USA's close allies.

But if you want air power, its not just that you want to shoot down the other side's planes, you also want to bomb the shit out of your enemy. The world's only stealth bomber planes - yes, are flown by the USA. The USA is so far ahead on this technology, that the USA has already retired one whole TYPE of stealth combat plane (parked it in Arizona, ie a plane so advanced no other country has ever created anything like it).

The USA can today, if it felt like it (gosh, imagine President Trump on an angry day) fly over ANY other country's air space including Russia and China - and go bomb their big cities to rubble - I don't mean by nukes, I mean just traditional old-style bombs - and no enemy could do anything about it - but no other country has this ability. Nobody else. Ever. The USA can literally go punish anyone at will, with essentially no damage to its own force if it so desires. And no other military has this power. This is unprecedented in human military history.

(gosh.. I can't believe it.. Gallup survey. I am stunned). Ok, let me post this and do a bit more

Tomi Ahonen :-)


"I just saw the Gallup poll which said only 49% of Americans today believe that the US military is the strongest in the world."

I "meet" many Americans online who believe what they want to believe and are hostile towards information that questions their believe. To me, it looks a lot like these people are totally faith based.

In this case, they WANT the USA to be weak because how can 8 years of Obama not have lead to a decline of the USA?

Tomi T Ahonen lets do a few other angles

If you don't like to talk jets, lets talk then about the single most powerful weapon system ever invented. The most expensive weapon by type. The most destructive platform ever created to wage war with. The aircraft carrier. A mobile airport. If its big enough and designed to maximize the potential, an aircraft carrier can operate literally a total air force in about 80 combat aicraft. For comparison, the Finnish Air Force flies a total of 56 combat aircraft. Norway flies 63. Netherlands 74. Malaysia 67. Mexico 81. South Africa 50. So one US aircraft carrier has essentially the same total air combat capability (if only counting airplane numbers) as many major countries' total air forces. Except that the US Navy planes are again, cream of the crop. For example the Finnish Air Force flies the F-18C Hornet. A great warplane (made in the USA for the US Navy). But the US Navy has moved on from that plane and now flies the F-18E Super Hornet, which is bigger and more capable (and more expensive).

So back to aircraft carriers. A floating airport for a portable air force, as big as some countries' total airforces. So yeah, obviously the country with the most carriers is.. the USA. The nation with the most advanced carriers.. the USA. The nation with the BIGGEST carriers (some nations have carriers literally that small that they only carry a dozen planes) is the USA. And so, in terms of ships that can operate airplanes, the US Navy has the most. Who has the second biggest fleet of those types of ships? Not the Chinese or the Russians. Not the Indian navy or the French or British. The navy with the second most flat-tops is.. the US Marines. The US Marines (their fourth branch of the military that includes the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; the fourth is the Marines). The US Marines have ships which on any other navy would be called aircraft carriers, but for embarrassment of how powerful they are, the USA calls these ships assault ships - as they also are built for that purpose - they also carry landing craft - and the US Marines are that military force in the US organization, that does the landings if needed. Fine. But they also carry helicopters, and hybrid planes that behave a bit like a helicopter and a bit like an airplane (the V 22 Osprey), and the Marines also fly jets off their carriers. Mostly still the older British Harrier that fought in the Falklands War but the Marines are just starting to get the US replacement to that jet, a yes, stealth fighter called the JSF the Joint Strike Figther, the F-35 aka the Lightning II.

Let me make this point very clear. Of the world's aircraft carriers, the US Marines' carriers are among the largest. The latest, the America Class has a displacement of 45,000 tons so apart from US Navy's giant carriers (about twice the size) only two other carriers on ANY other Navy are larger than these carriers of the US Marines. Russia's Kutzentsov class carrier (one with Russia, the other sold to China) is the only ship other than US Navy's carriers that is larger than the Marines's America class - 'which is not a proper aircraft carrier' haha. The Indian Navy's larger carrier, Vikramaditya is of the same displacement (ie size). The French Navy's only carrier, the British Navy, the Spanish Navy, the Italian Navy etc - all have carriers smaller than this class by US Marines. How many carriers do the US Marines have? Nine. The Russian fleet operates ONE aircraft carrier. The French operate one aircraft carrier the Chinese operate one. The US Marines have NINE.

And then there are the behemoths. The US Navy's Gerald Ford class has a displacement of 100,000 tons. The US Navy is currently the only navy that operates nuclear powered aircraft carriers (this is the third generation of those which have kept on getting bigger). In total the USA operates ten of these 'proper' aircraft carriers. TEN. (Plus the nine that the Marines have). The British Royal Navy is about to take into service its first of two nuclear powered aircraft carriers, the Queen Elizabeth class. She will have a displacement of 65,000 tons. She flies 40 aircraft. So when BOTH British carriers are counted together, they fly as many combat planes as one Gerald Ford class US carrier. The French, the Brazilians.. the other large navy carriers have about 40 aircraft. As do the US Marines in their nine ships. But the US Navy carriers alone - and only they - carry twice that number. Twice the airplanes, twice the portable death delivered. These are the most expensive total weapon systems ever made, costing 10 Billion dollars a piece (the US Navy's big carriers). And to add the air wing will nearly double that cost. That one ship and her aircraft cost more than the total annual military budget of say Canada or Spain or Indonesia. And the US Navy has 10 of them.

So yeah. The US Navy has 10 carriers (also the biggest in the world, carrying the most airplanes which also are the most modern and advanced warplanes onboard any carriers). The US Marines yes, have the second largest fleet of carriers at 9. Who has the third biggest fleet of aircraft carriers? Its not who you think. No, not the British Royal Navy. Not the French, not the Japanese, not the Chinese, not the Russians or the Indian or Brazilian navy. The third largest collection of aircraft carriers afloat today is.. the USA. WHAT ? YES. About 8 or so older carriers are still afloat in the USA, some as museum ships others as just 'spares'. Most of these are that recent, they are MORE modern than some of the 'flagship' carriers on other fleets today like Brazil, or the British. And they are DEFINITELY bigger than anything anyone else has. And the US has 8 of those, 'just in case'. If you count the total capacity of aircraft that a fleet can carry, these older 8 US retired carriers have more airpower - than the navies of the rest of the world - combined. YES. The US could suffer a total worldwide naval disaster, in that its total US navy all 10 carriers were sunk. Then a further catastrophy of the US Marines 9 carriers were ALSO sunk. The USA has so many more carriers still left, it could defeat ALL NAVIES of the WORLD Combined - and most of those carriers are by the way with US allies so they aren't about to threaten the USA in any case haha.

Can you see how ludicrous it is to say the USA is not the strongest military on the planet. The US Marines can put to sea an air force so enormous, on its 9 ships, to count 320 combat warplanes - it could fly more warplanes than any AIR FORCE of the world, except for 14 countries - including more combat planes than the British Royal Air Force. (This is excluding all the extra planes the Marines have, that are NOT stored on the carriers but are saved onshore)

Now take the US Navy. In just its 10 carriers the US Navy alone can fly 800 combat planes. That means the US Navy (without the US Air Force and without the US Marines) alone - just on airplanes afloat - not counting those stored on land - could defeat every single AIR FORCE in the world except for Russia, China and India. With India it would be a close call in numbers and the US Navy would obliterate India's Air Force when quality is added into the calculation.

If we take a real war-time situation, the USA is not about to fight a war against Britain or France. So lets take Russia. The Russian navy can put one carrier at sea, which can carry 40 warplanes. The US Navy has 10, the US Marines 9 more, and their total airpower is 1,160 warplanes. Now who is gonna win? This is before we start to count things like the performance of the planes, like how far they can fly or what kind of destructive weapons they can carry (US naval planes operated from carriers are unmatched, again). The same math goes for China. One carrier and 40 planes. Same for Brazil, one old carrier and 40 very old planes.

These are simply the most lethal weapons of war ever created. The USA has the most of them, and the largest, with the most advanced and deadly weapons onboard (and most of those too). Do we want to do the Army and Marines next. No. I think you get the picture. Or actually, no you don't. Its FAR MORE in USA's advantage than these numbers suggest. I have to write one more comment.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

So one more thought.

The one thing every general fears (and every sane President or ruler) is a sneak attack. An enemy launches a surprise attack without giving you warning. Like Japan attacking the US fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Or the Arab states attacking Israel in the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Or the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan in 1979. Or Saddam Hussein attacking Kuwait in 1990. And similar to Pearl Harbor for Americans, we in Finland were attacked by sneak attack without declaration of war in 1939 by Stalin's Soviet Union. Its the worst case for any commander. And the history and theory of war has known the value of surprise as far back as Sun Tzu the great Chinese war strategist who wrote his timeless strategy book literaly 2,500 years ago.

Well. How is the US military might? The USA is the first country in human history of war, to ever be immune from surprise attack. There have been spy satellites since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik to space in 1957 but all other spy satellites were camera-and-film based. It meant, that the pictures were taken, and then the satellite (or its film cartridge) had to be brought back to earth, to be seen. The satellite would circle the planet for a couple of weeks, taking tens of thousands of pictures, then the film was brought back to earth and developed, so the spies could see what the satellite camera had seen. This is not a way to detect secret attacks. You might be three weeks behind on your alert (as the USA learned with the Soviet Union's secret surprise attack against Afghanistan in 1979, totally took the USA by surprise).

Well, Ronald Reagan did many things to drastically increase the military capability of the USA and one of his legacies is the Keyhole class of spy satellites and its current Kennan series. What KH-11 Kennan can do - is to take REAL TIME video images from the sky. As the satellite encircles the whole planet, it means it can see (at some point in time) everywhere and best of all - nobody has to wait for film to be brought to earth, the video is live, like TV screens or computer screens are live for us at home.

The Soviet Union threw the towel when the Kennan was revealed (some pictures of Soviet ships being built were once shown to illustrate how powerful the US capability was). A Satellite launch costs about a Billion dollars and the Soviets just said they could no longer afford to keep up that race, and they unilaterally ended sending up their Zenit film-based camera spy satellites. Soon after that, the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union ended soon thereafter. But the Kennan remains.

Understand there are no weapons on that satellite, only a camera. Yet it is the second most expensive piece of military hardware EVER made, costing only slightly less (unit cost plus space launch) than a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. And no other nation can afford to operate even one. Have a guess how many the NSA (National Security Agency, the spy agency that operates the satellites, its not the CIA) has. Not one, not two or three. They have currently FIVE KH-11 Kennan Keyhole spy satellites in orbit.

These are so powerful they can yes, read a licence plate of a car as long as its is on an angle that is visible to space. Or they can actually read the top headline of a newspaper from space, if the newspaper is set on a table facing the sky. If you've ever played with Google Earth and seen the extreme resolution - that was the first Keyholes fourty years ago. Today's KH-11 does about 10 times better resolution than the best views you can get on some Google Earth images. And remember - this is all in real time.

So if any enemy like - hahahahahahahha Venezuela or Iran or North Korea or Cuba - hahahahahhahaha 'enemy' only in the sense of the Republican party trying to cozy up to the military-industrial complex and put their Fox propaganda out that the USA is somehow weak hahahahahahahahaha - but yeah, if one of the USA's enemies including say Russia or China - wanted to move a fleet to go invade Hawaii or Guam - or do a sneak attack in some way - the USA can see that all happening in real time long before the enemy generals on the ground (or Admirals at sea) have their toys in order. Every SINGLE tank moving by an enemy can be counted from the sky. Every single ship afloat (not submarines) can be counted and their direction easily seen where they are headed, etc etc etc.

Never in human history of conflict, has one nation had the ability to be beyond a surprise sneak attack. This has NEVER existed in human military conflict. No other nation has this ability. Only the USA. But it can see EVERY potential enemy and EVERYTHING they are getting up to do, as they are doing it, so there will be no surprises.

Now, obviously I am talking about military activities, not terrorism. Terrorism cannot defeat the USA, it can maybe kill some dozens of people sometimes, and if things go bad, even some hundreds or even in a worst case, thousands. That is not losing a war. That is not even serious damage to a nation of 330 million people except to its pride. The Syrians have five million in exile running away from their war. That is real trouble, not a couple shooting up an office in California. The (second ie Bush-Cheney) Iraq War left 600,000 civilians dead. That is what real loss looks like. So I am talking about military strength, not the propaganda nonsense of a terrorist incident.

So the US is the first nation in history to be unable to be caught by sneak attack. It is the only nation to operate real time video surveillance spy satellites - no other nation can afford even one, the USA currently flies five in orbit. The USA has more of the most powerful actual combat weapons ever made, aircraft carriers - than the rest of the world's navies combined - and the USA has also the largest and most powerful of these by type. And if you want start to tango, the way to win wars is air power. The USA is the only force on the planet that operates meaningful numbers of stealth planes - of several types in squadron strengths. The only other nations that operate a handful, operate only one type and none have even one squadron flying - and those are all of course US allies flying an American stealth plane that the US has tons of.

There has never been a time in human history that one superpower has been as dominant militarily as the USA is today. I am not talking even about how much the USA spends (ie overspends) on its military or how massive is its military basing advantage or its unprecedented alliances. The USA is more dominant as a miliatry power today than the Roman Empire was at its peak or the British Empire at its peak or even briefly Nazi Germany at its short-lived peak or the Soviet Union at its peak about when it invaded Afghanistan. The notion that the USA is not the strongest military power (with its huge lead only GROWING yearly) is as ridiculous as saying a tiger cannot defeat a sheep. Or that a crocodile cannot defeat a chicken. I find it utterly bizarre that the US voters have been brainwashed this bizarrely on such an open-and-shut case. I mean, Fox News doesn't have a 50% viewership haha.

So here endeth the lesson. Gosh, there has never been an empire that was more dominant militarily than the USA is today. And of course idiot Republican Presidential candidates keep selling their ridiculous position that the USA should spend MORE to expand its massive lead. The USA could cut its spending in half - and still its ADVANTAGE would GROW compared to ANY RIVAL. (note just on spending, the USA spends more than the 7 next strongest military powers - combined - half of which are US allies)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


@Tomi, we've had Democrats for 15 out of the last 23 years. Heck, it was the GOP sequester that kept defense spending relatively in check for 3 out of the past 4 years. So it's not just the GOP that supports our massive defense spending. Part of that is that the US is essentially the guardian of the EU, Japan, South Korea, and the rest of the Anglosphere.

Anyway, we are vulnerable to certain kinds of terrorist attacks. A successful EMP by a rogue state (e.g. North Korea) could cripple our electric grid for months. Since we are even more dependent upon electronics than we were during the Cold War, we are actually more vulnerable to that sort of attack than before.

All that said, the GOP isn't in a position to pull an October Surprise. Obama could do that, but that would be unlikely to help the Democratic nominee. Part of the allure of military spending comes down to plain old Keynesianism. That's why Democrats don't do much to reduce defense spending, either. Military technology is a rare sort that we don't "outsource" to other countries the way we do other technology (including most consumer technology). A military base employs a lot of people, many with otherwise limited skills, and is more socially acceptable to the working class than an outright handout.

When you stop to understand another culture, rather than just mock us as stupid and behind the times, things make more sense.


Plus, winning wars isn't about bombing cities to death. Ending the Cold War came down to crippling the USSR's oil-based economy by starting an arms race just as oil prices collapsed. Our economy is more diverse. China is the largest current somewhat adversarial country who is capable of developing a powerful military. They are currently overreliant on contract manufacturing, but unlike the USSR appear to understand that, and are trying to diversify. They arguably are already ahead of the US in hacking skills (or at least the willingness to use their skills). It's not a factor of building more missiles, but instead one of building better intelligence and making better use of all the data that is pouring in from existing surveillance capabilities.


Anyway, back to domestic politics, Saturday is a big day. It's Sanders best chance of an upset before March 1. Hillary's already trying to downplay Nevada's importance, much to the chagrin of Harry Reid (who fought hard to get Nevada named one of the "early" states because of its demographic diversity). Hillary won the popular vote there in 2008, though Obama actually came away with 1 more elected delegate. On the GOP side, Rubio is trending up and Cruz is trending down in the RCP average. If Rubio can top Cruz for second, he can quickly become the "anybody but Trump or Cruz" candidate that the Establishment rallies around.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati