Τρίτη, 1 Ιουνίου 2010

PAX AMERICANA GOES BELLY UP

Those inclined to give credence to the siren song of a Pax Americana must confront reality. Though America may be the world's mightiest nation, it cannot achieve the grandiose goals of the interventionists. If the goal of universal peace under American domination is unrealizable, the attempt to achieve it has imposed heavy costs. Most obviously, the wars undertaken to secure this chimerical goal have caused death, destruction, and resentment against the United States by the people subjected to American assault.

Venitist Ted Carpenter points out the most striking feature about President Obama's new National Security Strategy(NSS) document is that there is very little new in it. True, the tone of the NSS is rather different from the Bush administration's implied preference for unilateralism, but even that change merely takes U.S. strategy back to the days of the Clinton administration and most of its predecessors. In short, the Obama NSS is warmed-over liberal internationalism.

Basil Venitis points out Uncle Sam and Fourth Reich(EU) now spend two trillion euros every year on the military, homeland security, and intelligence. There are 5,000 active terrorists in the world. This works out to spending 400 million euros per terrorist per year. Fear of terrorism drives growth in government and has led to involvement in multiple little wars and some bigger ones as well as subsequent exercises in nation building, all of which have been unconstitutional, and none of which have turned out well.

Carpenter notes the principal theme in this NSS is burden sharing. The United States, the document stresses, cannot afford to be the world's sole policeman. Washington needs partners who are willing and able to meet security challenges and help preserve global peace and prosperity.

But administrations since the founding of NATO in 1949 have emphasized the need for such burden sharing — with a spectacular lack of success. And successive generations of U.S. officials have vented their impotent frustration. President Dwight Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, warned the European allies in 1954 that if they didn't do more for the common defense effort against the Soviet Union, the United States would have to conduct an "agonizing reappraisal" of its commitment to Europe. The NATO allies treated his warning as the empty threat that it was. Their security free riding on the United States barely diminished throughout the remainder of the Cold War.

Venitis notes that socialists, kleptocrats, and warmongers destroy Uncle Sam. The failure of America's wars has been the very freedoms they sought to preserve. Propaganda, lies, and myths led America into many wars. As venitists know, war has ever been the health of the state. It is clear that wars, hot and cold, have been responsible for the enormous taxes, deficits, and governmental spending that have created kleptocracy so beloved by the social engineers and economic planners of bureaucracy. If foreign wars have been America's chief failure, its great success has been the historic peace and freedoms, the individual liberties and responsibility, to which we must now return.

Carpenter muses President Obama is likely to find his search for willing and capable allies even more futile. The already inadequate military efforts of America's European and East Asian allies have plummeted over the past two decades. Even Washington's most significant security helpmate, Britain, is witnessing a free fall in defense spending. London's defense budget for 2009 was a modest $62 billion — 2.8 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product. And given Britain's mounting financial woes, that spending level is certain to decline sharply. Indeed, the debate within the new Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government is simply about how much to cut and which weapon systems to terminate.

Matters will not improve as long as the United States obligingly takes care of the security needs of all of its allies and clients. They then have every incentive to continue free riding on the enormous U.S. military exertions and devote their resources to shoring-up their financially beleaguered social welfare states. Unless Washington changes that incentive structure by scaling-back commitments to security clients who ought to be doing far more for their own defense, nothing will change for the better. Yet the Obama administration's NSS offers not the slightest hint of a willingness to make that imperative change.

Venitis notes that we are observing the last days of the American Empire. Like ancient Rome, America is saddled with an empire that is fatally undermining its government. The trappings of empire are many: the brutal war of choice in Iraq and other foreign interventions going back decades; the militarization of space; the hundreds of overseas U.S. military bases full of swaggering soldiers who brawl and sometimes rape. At home, the growth of an imperial presidency, with the CIA as its private army, has culminated in kleptocrats' resort to warrantless wiretaps, torture, a gulag of secret CIA prisons and an unconstitutional arrogation of dictatorial powers, while a corrupt Congress bows like the Roman Senate to Caesar. Retribution looms, as the American economy, dependent on a bloated military-industrial-kleptocrat complex(MIKC) and foreign borrowing, staggers toward bankruptcy, maybe a military coup.

Given the current incentive structure and the clueless U.S. policy that makes it possible, President Obama's search for willing and capable security partners will prove even more futile than the famous search by Diogenes for an honest man in Ancient Greece.

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