Rising and Declining Economic Powers: The Sino-US Conflict Deepens
… US Responses to Imperial Decline: Saving the Empire Sacrificing the Nation – Washington has pursued at least six responses to its decline:
- The long term, large scale response of Washington to its declining position in the world economy and its declining political influence in several regions is to extend and reinforce its global military base networks. Beginning in the 1990’s it converted the former Warsaw pact countries – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, etc. – into NATO members under US military leadership. It then extended its military reach by incorporating the Ukraine and George as “associate” members of NATO. This was followed by establishing bases in Kyrgystan, Kosova and other statelets of the ex Yugoslavian republic.
- The new millennium witnessed a series of prolonged wars and military invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan culminating in massive base building and recruitment of local mercenary armies and police: Further abroad the White House secured seven military bases in Colombia, expanded its military presence in Paraguay, Honduras and signed bilateral military treaties with Peru, Chile and Brazil, even as the US was expelled from its military base in Manta, Ecuador. While the US was expanding its global military presence in Asia and Latin America, China replaced the US as Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile’s major trading partner. While the US financed a vast mercenary army in Iraq, China became Saudi’s main petroleum export market. The US global military expansion did not lead to a parallel or commensurate increase or recovery of global economic power. On the contrary as the military expanded, its economic reach further declined.
- The White House’s second response to its global economic decline has been a very active, well funded campaign to create client regimes. Most of this effort involves financing local elites, NGO’s, malleable opposition politicians and ex-patriots residing in the US with ties to Washington and its intelligence agencies. The so-called “color revolutions” in the Ukraine and George, the tulip rebellion in Kyrgystan, the ethnic breakup of Yugoslavia, the de facto partition of Iraq and the establishment of a Kurdish “republic”, the promotion of Tibetan and Uigher separatists in China oligarchs in eastern Bolivia and the military build up of Taiwan can been as part of this effort to extend political domination in the face of global economic decline.
- Yet global client building has been a failure on two counts. The clients have pillaged the economy, running down the public treasury, and immiserating the population, leading in some cases to their overthrow by force or ballots. Secondly, the clients are more of a cost drawing on loans and handouts from the US Treasury rather than contributing to US global economic aspirations. Costly client building, supporting local satraps, undermines economic empire building. Meanwhile, Chinese investments in manufacturers and its concomitant demand for new materials and foodstuffs has led to a larger and more profitable presence even in the US client-states. While US backed client states rise and fall in quick succession, China’s market based presence experiences steady growth.
- Under the direction of a highly militarized elite, including influential Zionist policymakers, Washington has moved inextricably into multi—trillion dollar wars of colonial occupation in the Middle East and South Asia, under the mistaken assumption that “shows of strength” will intimidate nationalist and independent states and buttress the US economic presence. On the contrary, the wars have decreased US influence, increased local nationalist and pan-Moslem rejection especially in light of Zionized Washington’s unconditional backing of Israeli colonialism. More than any other move to bolster the empire, the prolonged colonial wars have massively mis-directed economic resources which, theoretically, could have revitalized the US global economic presence and increased its competitive position via China, into non-productive military expenditures.
- Colonial wars to restore imperial power, we have noted, were tried and failed by the European powers shortly after World War II. The US, likewise, internally weakened by Wall Streets pillage of the productive economy and by its multinational corporations large scale transfer of capital overseas and outsourcing of work – mainly to China and India - is least able to restore and profit from overseas colonial empire building. The irony is that half a century ago the US opted for market dominance against the European colonial model of empire building. Now it is the other way around. Europeans and China pursue hegemony via the market, while the US adopts the failed military based colonial model of empire building.
- Clandestine operations, namely “coup mongering”, has become a method of choice for reverting nationalist populist regimes in Latin America, Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere. In each case, Washington failed to restore a client regime causing a boomerang effect: the targeted governments radicalized their politics, gained support and became further entrenched. For example, a US backed coup in Venezuela was reversed, President Chavez was restored and proceeded to nationalize major multinationals, and spur Latin American opposition to free trade agreements and military bases. Likewise, US backing for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent successful defense by Hezbollah strengthened its presence in the pro-US Harriri regime.
- The US unconditional embrace of the racist colonial militarist state of Israel as its principal ally in buttering colonial wars in the Middle East, has in fact had the opposite effect: alienating 1.5 billion Islamic peoples, eroding support among former allies (Turkey and Lebanon) and strengthening Zionists policy influentials advocating a ‘third military front’ – a war with Iran, with its two million person armed forces.
US Strategies to Undermine, Weaken and Outcompete China as an Emerging Imperial Power: … (full long text).