And there are moments when you realize it is setting:

The people of the mountain have checkmated the people of the sea. As commenter VietnamVet wrote:

The Five-eyes Oceanic Empire is dying before our eyes. UK, Canada, Australia, and the USA (let alone New Zealand) simply do not have armament or manpower to occupy Yemen to push the Houthi back far enough from the Gate of Grief at the mouth of the Red Sea to reopen the Suez Canal to western shipping. A global logistic choke point has closed. The second, the Panama Canal, is limiting ships due to the drought.

The American and UK navies both have manpower shortages. When the aircraft Carrier Gerald Ford left the region, it was already vastly undermanned:

In the face of a massive shortage of Navy sailors, America’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), has downsized, cutting the crew aboard by hundreds of sailors.

The cuts appear to be deep and dramatic. Over the past six months to a year, some 500 to 600 sailors have left the USS Ford and not been replaced. In fact, the USS Ford has shed so many crew members that the ship’s company (core crew members that operate the vessel) is now below the Ford-class Carrier Program’s original Acquisition Program Baseline objective of 2,391 billets—a goal set back in 2004 that many observers considered unrealistic.

On top of this, ships can only store so many missiles. Every missile salvo reduces the amount of time before they have to return to base. America and Britain have been sending vast numbers of missiles to Israel and Ukraine and western manufacturing capacity is vastly below what is needed to refill stocks.

Meanwhile the Yemenis live in a mountainous country and their missiles are all mobile. It is impossible to take them out just with naval power: boots on the ground are necessary: a full invasion and occupation, in fact and that just isn’t happening: the US might be able to do it by going all out, but it would have nothing left for anywhere else.

So fundamentally, the US can’t invade and it can’t stop the Yemenis from shooting missiles. It might be able to bomb a lot, but that won’t stop the Yemenis: the endured one of the longest and most brutal bombing campaigns of the last hundred years just recently.

The US — the West, doesn’t have deterrence. We can’t do anything to the Ansar Allah which will make them back down and we don’t have the ability stop them by main force.

Trying to stop them by main force has made the situation worse: now even more vessels can’t enter the Red Sea—commercial cargo lines are not going to chance being shot up.

America is a naval empire. It, like the old British empire, rests on being able to keep the shipping lines open and on using naval power (and air power) to hurt nations while those nations can’t fight back. In the 19th century the Brits would park ironclads off the coast and just pound cities, and there was nothing those cities could do in return.

This is, then, one of the key moments in the end of Western hegemony. The point at which we no longer have deterrence; at which we can no longer “big foot” other nations.

The end of Western dominance is close, very close. I can taste it, like a hint of salt on a sea breeze. The Chinese are only behind in a few technological areas. Once other nations can get everything they need from China/Russia and other lesser nations they will be free to throw off the Western order, because the new and improved missiles make “stand off and bomb” far less effective than it used to be.

They don’t have to be scared of us, and soon they won’t need us.