The Rise of the American Empire

Image: Dave Meckler


As America's power wanes, the crumbling empire does its best to prevent the advent of multipolarity.

In the last five decades, the world has undergone a dramatic change: from the dismantling of the bipolar world order to the rise of the United States to the status of “sole superpower”. Lately, however, this process has taken a different turn, with the unipolar world beginning to give way to the rise of multipolarity. Even if this last movement has not been completed, it is certainly seen as a sustained process, which could only be interrupted by a disaster of cataclysmic proportions. As expected, the unipolar regime, euphemistically dubbed the “rules-based world order”, still resists, and the United States, its main promoter and beneficiary, does its best to prevent the advent of multipolarity.

However, the belligerent thalassocracy seems to be falling into the same trap as many other empires before it: that of imperial overextension. This expression, coined by historian Paul Kennedy, first appeared in his 1987 book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (Rise and fall of great powers, campus). The author used it to describe what happens to great powers when their ambitions become unsustainable by demanding resources greater than they can muster. Interestingly, he argued that the United States, which at the time was on the rise under Ronald Reagan, was already experiencing the initial stages of this phenomenon.

While such a notion could be challenged on the surface of the facts, namely, that the United States was about to reach the height of its global power, which would then culminate in the almost parallel invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the arguments Paul Kennedy's visionaries now seem confirmed by current events. He warned of the great powers' ruthless ambition for global dominance, insisting that this inevitably leads to the depletion of their resources. This may be what is happening to the political West, led by the United States. Proof of Paul Kennedy's prescience seems to be his ability to foresee such a scenario, despite the gigantic show of strength that the United States demonstrated during the last two decades of the last century.[1]

While the United States was busy destroying dozens of countries around the world,[2] the global economy was slowly turning towards Asia, with China playing a central role in this process. The colossal waste of the seemingly “infinite” resources of the United States has led the world to multiple economic crises in little more than a decade, resulting in a massive increase in general debt, fiscal deficits and a decline in current Western economic power. . With the widespread outsourcing of its production capacity – a process that the political West hoped would be guaranteed through its financial dominance – the belligerent single pole of power sought to establish a system that would guarantee its perpetual global supremacy.

This scheme, although it worked for a few decades, began to fail as soon as the political West insisted on its plan to invade Russia. Moscow, a dormant superpower since the early 1990s, became progressively more frustrated and from the moment its cooperation initiatives were not only rejected but also met with subtle or even open hostility. This forced the Eurasian giant to rethink its geopolitical approach, ultimately culminating in the February 24 counter-offensive from Ukraine. Since then, the political West has done nothing but obsessively try to mobilize its resources against Russia. It was precisely at this point that the United States ended up exposed in its imperial overextension, when trying to face, simultaneously, several global and regional adversaries.

On January 17th, the New York Times reported that the United States is now forced to transfer munitions from its secret stockpile in Israel to the Kiev regime, which is increasingly dependent on Western weapons. As the Pentagon predicts that Russia is in the final stages of preparations for a major offensive in Ukraine, that country's neo-Nazi junta will need hundreds of thousands of artillery shells and other weapons. The report claims that much of the previously secret stockpile had already been shipped to Europe and will soon be transferred to the Kiev regime. This is not the first time the United States has used weapons stockpiles abroad, as similar secret stockpiles in South Korea have also been deployed.

So much Israel and South Korea have officially denied sending so-called “lethal aid” to the neo-Nazi junta, making the matter extremely controversial as Russia may recognize it as a hostile movement. That could complicate the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, as Israel grapples with the Russian presence in Syria, while South Korea often relies on Moscow to ease tensions with its nuclear-armed northern neighbor. Both countries' involvement in Western aggression against Russia could lead to an out-of-control escalation in these areas, as Russia is highly unlikely to help countries it deems hostile. And finally, this could further erode US power projection capabilities in both regions.

Given the fact that the United States faces increasing problems in maintaining its global empire, they have more recently announced a revised strategy that is supposed to give their vassals a greater role in the various geopolitical theaters, which includes the massive program of rearmament. Japanese, turned against the opponents of the North Americans in Asia-Pacific. In other areas, such as the Middle East, Washington and Tel Aviv are seeking to form a broader anti-Iranian coalition. However, as Moscow and Tehran are forging closer ties in the face of Western pressure, Israel's understanding with Russia is becoming increasingly difficult, if not virtually impossible, which jeopardizes its own position in the region. .

As the United States' global power wanes, its reliance on regional allies and satellite states will inevitably lead to problems, as these latter will be less likely to blindly follow Washington's dictates. Israel, South Korea and others may seek to avoid bad relations with Moscow and Beijing, while the European Union may prove unfailingly slow to reach consensus on most key issues. Extremist regimes such as Kiev's neo-Nazi junta and non-state actors (i.e. the numerous NATO-backed terrorist groups such as the jihadists) will be increasingly difficult to control and will need more and more resources, further exacerbating the burden US imperial.

*Draco Bosnic is a Croatian geopolitical and military analyst, collaborates with the news and analysis portals GlobalResearch and InfoBRICS.

Translation: Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally published in InfoBRICS.

Translator's notes

[1] Translator's Note: An interpretation with absolutely similar results, but not functionalist like Kennedy's (and more specific to capitalist historical formations), was elaborated by the economist and sociologist Giovanni Arrighi, based on Immanuel Wallerstein's Marxist model of the “world system”. ”, a few years after Kennedy, in 1994, in the work The long twentieth century (Portuguese translation: São Paulo: Contraponto/Unesp, 1996). See, by the way, the article by Carlos Eduardo Martins this site. Here, what is interesting to note is the coincidence in the result of the interpretations, made from very dissimilar theoretical references, and at a time when, apparently, nothing would authorize them as evident.

[2] Translator's note: For general information on the logic behind this context see, for example, this article. For a broad journalistic illustration of its way of operating, see the book The Empire of Chaos (Rio de Janeiro: Revan, 2016), by Brazilian journalist living abroad Pepe Escobar.

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