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Shaping The US Global Geopolitical Future

By : Ziad K Abdelnour| 12 March 2015
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Remember George Orwell?

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Well this encapsulates the American psyche to the letter for people who are still trying to figure out what American Power really means.

While I don’t approve of the American Global Empire, I respect the intelligence and drive of those tasked with maintaining and expanding it–and they number in the millions.

Bottom Line: There is only one nation-state which can project hard power today and it is the U.S.  A missile is not power-projection, because it exerts control over nothing; it is deterrence or threat, but not power that can be projected. Only aircraft carrier groups and the ability to transport an army by sea and air to any locale in the world is power projection.

It is a fact to everyone today that the U.S. is the only great power with true power projection because it alone has hegemony over the world’s reserve currency. The U.S. skims a stupendous arbitrage profit from creating dollars and exporting them in exchange for real goods.

Bankrupt, wounded, in decline, however you wish to characterize the U.S., it holds decisive dominance in hard power. And as long as the world accepts dollar hegemony, then the U.S. can afford its Empire.

Coming to China… The only leverage China really has on the global stage today is its stash of rare-earth metals. China is busy buying up Africa, which carries a number of risks that have yet to unfold. To buy up other nations’ assets is the essence of Neoliberal Global Capitalism, but by playing within that system China is now vulnerable to the same nationalist and revolutionary forces as those opposing U.S. domination.

The major risk is the “revolutionary” forces taking power in many African nations by 2020 and expropriating Chinese properties just as any other colonial powers’ “property.” And the Chinese will be powerless to reverse those expropriations as they possess neither the hard power to conquer and re-install pliant kleptocracies or the soft power to do so by other means.

Which leads us to the most important commodity of all: Oil.

Every single business or political play in the world today is about oil. Water, you either have it within your borders or you don’t, and those sharing a river will find conflicts becoming more likely with each passing year. Same goes for soil–if yours has blown away in dust storms, you can’t import enough to make a difference. And unless you have the ability to enforce your will via power projection, then buying up other nation’s farmland is only a “solution” until they need it themselves.

Both China and the U.S. have plentiful coal, but gasifying coal or even scrubbing the sulfur from it is costly. Having plentiful costly energy is not the same as having plentiful cheap energy, and oil remains the ultimate transportable energy and chemical feedstock.

Which leads us to the Middle East.

If you want to control or influence the Mideast, then by all means take the center, Iraq; and if you want to extend your influence all the way to China, Pakistan, Russia and India, then take Afghanistan, too.

We know about the oil, but what else is in play strategically? Have you ever thought of denying that oil to others who you might want to influence?. Just choke off the Straits of Hormuz and a world of leverage suddenly opens up.

Think about it this way… The U.S. need not “control” Iraq; all it needs to do is disrupt anyone else’s grand ambitions or access to the oil. Disruption is cheaper and easier than control, as the Taliban discovered in 2001 when their control of Afghanistan was fatally disrupted by homegrown resistance.

So China has Sudan, and the U.S. controls access to the Mideast and 80% of the world’s remaining oil reserves. Which position would you choose?

I am not going to forecast as to what’s going to happen in the next 30 years because no one really knows – not even the smartest CIA analysts out there.

Just remember the First Law of Modern Warfare: The line of attack should never be the same as the line of defense.

Now would it be wiser for the U.S. to invest the trillions spent on controlling Mideast oil on domestic alternatives? Undoubtedly. But the wealth generated by oil far outstrips the wealth of alternatives, and until that profit flow reverses then the status quo in the U.S. will pursue Oil and Empire until the U.S. economy and dollar implode.

Would China be wiser to pour its energies and wealth into sustainable energy? Yes, but its status quo is too wedded to corruption, easy credit, coal and delusions of global grandeur to make the kind of commitment needed to develop clean energy on the scale China needs to continue industrializing.

As much as I see the U.S. Global Empire as a tragic waste of wealth and resources, I also see very clearly that all the Empire needs to do to continue its dominance is:

1. Stop destroying the dollar with the Fed’s idiotic, self-destructive Quantitative Easing.

2. Wait for the global demand for oil to decline, and then push the Saudis to increase supply, driving prices down to the point that the enemies of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia implode for domestic reasons.

3. Wait for China’s inherent contradictions to fully bloom.

Share your thoughts…..

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