(LifeSiteNews) – It is widely suggested that the Chinese-Russian meeting which recently concluded marks the assertion of a new era in global power relations. On the diplomatic, economic, and strategic fronts, the United States is confronted by a spectrum of conditions which amount to the end of the American dominance of world affairs.
In this four-part series I will examine how far these claims are justified. We will compare the conditions enjoyed by the United States at the fall of the Soviet Union, and consider how the capture of U.S. foreign policy by a “secret state” has resulted in the dramatic loss of power and prestige for the world’s most populous and powerful Christian nation.
Russia and China: Partners in a new global power
With Putin declaring “new levels of cooperation” with China, it is clear the unlimited partnership between these two nations, which was promised immediately prior to the invasion of Ukraine, is continuing to develop. Russian news service Tass reported on March 21 that a joint statement signed by Presidents Putin and Xi declared the intention of Moscow and Beijing to “promote a multipolar world order, economic globalization and democratization of international relations, to promote the development of global governance in a fairer and more rational way.”
These claims are not restricted to Russian or Chinese outlets. The Financial Times advised its readers on the March 30 to “prepare for a new multipolar currency world.”
A globalist agenda
Professor Stephen M. Walt of the Harvard Belfer Center for International Affairs claims that the Biden administration is “striving for a unipolar order that no longer exists”. In a piece published on March 7, two weeks prior to the Sino-Russian summit, he argues that “America is too scared of the multipolar world” to admit its existence. This refers to the Biden Administration’s aversion to reality – a mentality which is practiced as a kind of virtue among people, such as the neocons themselves – who insist on an ideology against the hard evidence of the real world.
Criticism such as this, from geopolitical analyst and professor of political science Francis P. Sempa in RealClearDefense, indicates that the people in charge of U.S. foreign policy seem to be unable to recognize that things have changed (emphasis added):
The Obama administration pursued, and the Biden administration continues to pursue, a globalist agenda that prioritizes multilateral efforts against climate change; promotes nuclear disarmament; and seeks to transform our armed forces into a “woke” military concerned more with race, gender, and “white nationalism” than being prepared and equipped to win wars.
The Biden administration is staffed (as Obama’s was) with elites who appear to be committed to a “disinterested globalist” or “internationalist” agenda. They seem to believe that they are as much “citizens of the world” as they are citizens of the United States.
But more fundamentally, there are far too many members of the U.S. foreign policy establishment who act as if the U.S. unipolar moment never ended; who act as if we can dictate the outcome or impose our will on international events and other nations’ policies; and who refuse to accept that we live and operate in a multi-polar world similar to the 19th century when prudent statesmen sought peace, stability, and a balance of power instead of promoting democratic ideals.
This is because the neoconservative mindset is incapable of acknowledging its own mistakes, or ever stopping to count the cost of its disastrous interventions.
Foreign Policy magazine, noted for its long-standing favorable coverage of the forever-war neoconservatives, issued a frank warning on the same day: “The U.S. must adapt to a multipolar world.”
Building a legacy of disaster
The financial news is often – not always – refreshing for its relative lack of an ideological prism. It seeks to prepare investors for an emerging global trend. The admission of Saudi Arabia to the Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization, along with major gas and oil deals brokered in Chinese currency, is fueling the realization that the status of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency is no longer unquestioned.
How has this happened? This is the story of how the people of the United States were betrayed by a faction of foreign policy fanatics, whose capture of the institutions of power has resulted in a dramatic reduction of American prestige and power.
Three decades of mismanagement, diplomatic incompetence, and economic recklessness have squandered a unique opportunity in history, occasioned by the collapse of the Soviet Union, for a world order inspired by the values of the largest and most successful Christian nation on earth. The American people, and those of their allies in the West, deserve an explanation. What happened to the greatest nation on earth, and in whose name were the actions taken which led to this?
Once upon a time in the West
Formerly the United States dominated world affairs from the position of an unassailable hyperpower. At the fall of the Soviet Union, which surprised the experts with its sudden departure from their plans, several key factors were identified as signifying a new era of a single global authority invested in the United States.
The U.S. was the sole superpower. It was the world’s largest economy, with an unrivaled industrial base. Finally, its military might was massive, capable of fighting two simultaneous major wars, and with a strength which overmatched that of the ten closest competitors combined.
The United States was faced with a choice – what would it do with this golden opportunity?
Four visions of the unipolar moment
The RAND Corporation has since the 1960s advised the Pentagon and the U.S. government on issues pertaining to its military strategy.
In November of 1990, RAND published US Grand Strategy for the 1990s and Beyond. Recognizing a possibility for peace, it began with an optimistic summary which would never be realized:
The changes of 1989 imply a transformed US global role, from leading a worldwide alliance against other power centers to helping other countries make the world a safer and a more prosperous place.
This was written by Thomas J Hirschfeld, who died in 2012 after a long career with the US State Department. Specializing in arms control and negotiations with the Warsaw Pact, he later became a senior analyst for RAND, and then for the United States Navy at the federally-funded Center for Naval Analysis.
Hirschfeld saw four future options for the U.S., which he named:
- The Only Global Power
- Collective Security
- Arsenal of Democracy
Collective Security was a move to balance national U.S. interests with international cooperation.
Arsenal of Democracy was a rebooted Nixon military posture – support for regional powers when required, backed by technological advancement in the U.S. This meant there would be virtually no short-term U.S. unilateral action abroad, with priorities returning to the U.S. domestic agenda.
Disengagement presented a return to a 1930s military posture, with the business of nation building – and “regime change” – left to those capable of achieving it in their own countries. It was a realist, if optimistic view which nonetheless guaranteed the maintenance of a peerless, and scalable, U.S. military.
To adopt The Only Global Power position would be to ask what the force projection capabilities would be for the United States, and to maintain military power accordingly, in order to enforce and sustain a global empire. This was a choice which would leave no “peace dividend” to be spent at home in the U.S.
As we now know, the neoconservatives won, and their requirements demanded a global military capability – whose exorbitant cost continues to rise, as capabilities fall. See the example of the $1.7 trillion dollar F-35 multi-role fighter program, which has delivered planes which do not work.
Hirschfeld’s vision of the options for the United States was framed by a career which had seen him involved at the highest level of realistic military analysis and negotiation with the then competing superpower of the Soviet Union. He had seen the possibility of mutual destruction at close range, and had worked to limit its emergence through a diplomatic prism which placed the interests – and security – of the American people at its center.
In the words of the March 1990 US National Security Strategy Paper, this means helping to protect the safety of the nation, its citizens, and its way of life.
In choosing the Global Power route, the neoconservatives turned one massive, and fortunate victory into a succession of defeats. This is an ideology which aimed at the capture of American power and the transformation of the very idea of America.