“Washington’s biggest problem is the absence of a coherent policy. While the recently released National Defense Strategy articulated a change in the way the imperial strategy would be implemented, (by jettisoning the ‘war on terror’ pretext to a ‘great power’ confrontation) the changes amount to nothing more than a tweaking of the public relations ‘messaging’. Washington’s global ambitions remain the same albeit with more emphasis on raw military power.”
The move from military conflict against non-state actors, i.e. ‘terrorists’, to great power conflict means more military hardware, massive spending on weapons and a new arms race. Andrew Bacevich writes in American Conservative that war profiteers are popping open the champagne.
Bacevich writes the ‘new’ strategy is placed in the false caim that the US is “emerging from a period of strategic atrophy.” The claim is laughable as the US has been in never ending war with massive military spending throughout the century:
“Under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump, U.S. forces have been constantly on the go. I’m prepared to argue that no nation in recorded history has ever deployed its troops to more places than has the United States since 2001. American bombs and missiles have rained down on a remarkable array of countries. We’ve killed an astonishing number of people.”
The new strategy means more spending on weapons to prepare for conflict with Russia and China. Not bothering with reality, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis claimed, “Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare—air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. And it is continually eroding.” He described the Pentagon’s plans for ‘procurement and modernization’, i.e. the arms race that includes nuclear, space and traditional weapons, cyber defense and more surveillance.
Many areas risk escalation to full-scale war, including conflict with Russia and China:
Syria: The seven-year war in Syria, which has killed 400,000 people, began during Obama’s presidency under the guise of destroying ISIS. The real goal was removal of President Assad. This January, Secretary of State Tillerson made the goal clear, saying that even after the defeat of ISIS the US would stay in Syria until Assad was removed from office. The US is moving to Plan B, the creation of a de facto autonomous Kurdish state for almost one-third of Syria defended by a proxy military of 30,000 troops, mainly Kurds. Marcello Ferrada de Noli describes that in response, Syria aided by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah “continues victorious and unabated in its pursuit to retake the full sovereignty of its nation’s territory.” Turkey is moving to ensure no Kurdish territory is created by the US.