Foreign Policy Journal
Mar 31, 2014
by Jim Miles
„… It was a different world two decades ago. The Soviet Union under Yeltsin’s had capitulated to the west and the slow march away from a democratizing state began. The west had ‘won’ the Cold War and had it within its range to make a global ‘peace dividend’ with promises to not extend NATO into eastern Europe. The U.S. economy, although already on the path to serious economic debt problems, had worked side by side with China for a new era of global prosperity, at the same time that the economic tide in Russia was all about asset stripping and the rise of the oligarchs…
One group ( in USA) had in mind to determine what kind of peace it was to be: the participants in the Project for a New American Century, headed by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. Among their many stated ideas was the concept of “full spectrum dominance” within which Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz were advocating for “first strike winnable nuclear war.” There were to be no new rivals to U.S. dominance on land, sea, air, or space and U.S. economic and political dominance of the world was assured…
Plans that were ready, and processes that were moving slowly, immediately went into fast forward after the 2001, 9/11 events. Regardless of its initiation, 9/11 created the impetus and propaganda necessary for a new generation of militaristic actions around the world operating under the general rubric of the “War on Terror.” It launched an era of surveillance and authoritarian laws that have greatly diminished the democracy status of the U.S. and its allies. Financially, it marked the beginning of an era in which global finances became dangerously debt ridden as the costs of the wars added to the consumptive debt of a highly leveraged global economic system…
Global peace was not at hand, and the ‘long war’ settled into the normalcy of daily propaganda, biased mainstream newscasts, and the supposed ever increasing wealth of the western nations. Democracy and freedom were exported from the barrels of many guns and rocket launchers… In spite of its military hardware, the U.S./NATO alliance stalled in Afghanistan and Iraq. Its ‘victories’ as with Yugoslavia and Libya came at the end of long and severely damaging aerial bombings, leaving behind broken promises, broken people, and broken cultures.
The poor financial status of the western countries became increasingly more evident, reaching its apogee with the 2008 economic collapse that threatened all major U.S. and EU financial corporations. The save was made from the power of the petro-dollar, the world’s reserve currency, which was printed up in the many trillions of dollars by the US Federal Reserve system in order to bail out the essentially bankrupt banks and financial institutions upon which the U.S./EU economy depended (at least for the powers that be).
Still powerful, still belligerent, the U.S.’s plans/ideals as controller and comptroller of the world have not been realized. There are many factors that have stopped their dominance, too many to recount and enumerate here, but they can be summarized into two general categories.
- First, is the political-military resistance of a reinvigorated Russian state, reacting strongly to increasing pressures towards its containment and eventual disintegration. Within that resistance is a strong political will, a no-nonsense recognition of its own vital interest, and increasing resource and financial power within its relationships with EU countries and with the world’s largest state, China.
- Secondly, and fully related to the above, are the changing circumstances of the value of the U.S. petro dollar, the rise of China as an important economic player, and the large financial problems—essentially enormous unpayable debts—domestically and externally for the U.S. Add to this the increasing awareness of the power of the BRIC nations and their search for an alternative to the petro dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and the U.S. position becomes very untenable.
All this comes to a head with the U.S.’ instigation of the coup in the Ukraine, from which Russia recovered the Crimea. Those actions follow on Russia’s actions in relation to Syria and Iran, demonstrating that the ‘new’ world order is not exactly what it was supposed to be. What happens next is still highly speculative, but short of initiating a nuclear war, the
- U.S. will have to adjust to the now multi-polar world that is emerging. Their global military dominance is fine against smaller, much weaker countries, but has met its mutually assured destruction match with Russia… “
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle