by Danny Haiphong
Washington’s hyper-aggressive rhetoric is backed up by a Pentagon budget that promises never-ending war for the foreseeable future. The world will pay a horrific price. U.S. wars “no longer stimulate a recovery of imperialism’s economic base, but rather exacerbate crisis.” As a result, Washington’s worldwide warfare “has ignited global chaos to the point where economic development of any form is difficult to manage.”
Pentagon Request of 582 Billion in 2017 another Indication of Imperialism's Desperation
by Danny Haiphong
“US imperialism's wars are now exclusively projects in destruction.”
During presidential election cycles, political issues become magnified and manipulated by corporate politicians for their electoral aspirations. Rather than being moments of opportunity to push the struggle for social transformation to the left, election periods often confine the political debate even more tightly to the dominant narratives of the two-parties. This is evident in the silence that can be heard across the US on Washington's agenda of global warfare. President Obama made it clear that war was going to be a staple of US imperialism's continued survival in his last State of the Union address. Predictably, the Pentagon followed up on Obama's words with a request of $582 billion for 2017.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter previewed the budget request as a declaration of endless war. Carter announced plans to militarily surround Russia along its European border, continue funding for so-called moderate "locals" (terrorists) in Syria fighting the Islamic State, and invest in measures to contain North Korea's nuclear capabilities. The speech outlined the dominoes that must fall for US imperialism to expand its dominance and profitability. Iran's growing influence in the Middle East region was cited as a major point of consideration in the budgetary request in the long march to war with Russia and China. Fittingly, Russia and China were labeled Washington's "most stressing competitors.”
The Pentagon budget comes in the midst of intensified US imperialist warfare all around the world. Washington recently announced plans to expand its military presence in Libya, as the destabilized state has fallen ever deeper into crisis since the Jamahariya was overthrown in 2011. This came just days after Ash Carter announced that Iraq would see "boots on the ground" in the form of the 101st Airborne Division. These escalations alone burst asunder the lie that President Obama’s wars are "smart wars” that prevent the use of combat troops. Yet, regardless of the form of war waged by US imperialism, the multiple crises of the system only seem to worsen.
“President Obama made it clear that war was going to be a staple of US imperialism's continued survival.”
The days when global capitalism was able to recover from crisis are over. While war has always been the primary means for capital to secure new markets and expand profits, US imperialism's wars are now exclusively projects in destruction. The benefits of war go exclusively to a tiny clique of capitalists that control the system. War no longer stimulates a recovery of imperialism’s economic base, but rather exacerbates crisis. George W. Bush's wars sent thousands of American troops into Afghanistan and Iraq to plunder and destabilize the region. These wars left a sour taste in the mouth of the exceedingly impoverished US populace, prompting the ruling class to hire a more effective evil in Barack Obama.
For the last seven years, Obama has picked up where Bush Jr. left off. During this time, the Obama Administration has killed thousands across the Middle East and North Africa through the expansion of Bush's drone program. Obama’s authorization of the NATO massacre of Libya and the proxy war in Syria murdered hundreds of thousands more, by way of US-sponsored jihadist terror. Ukraine was additionally turned into a sanctuary for fascism. Lastly, the Obama Administration set its sight on Africa by turning the continent into a military battleground for AFRICOM, US imperialism's primary means to deter African countries from mutual trade with China.
These are just a few of the many interventions spearheaded by Obama to rectify US imperialism's economic and political crises. Yet war has not stabilized the world capitalist economy, as recent dips in oil prices indicate. Instead, US imperialist war has ignited global chaos to the point where economic development of any form is difficult to manage. Furthermore, Obama's wars have been unable to thwart the deepening ties between Russia and China, all of which threaten US imperialism's aim of full spectrum dominance.
“War has not stabilized the world capitalist economy.”
The Obama Administration and its ruling class masters have presented the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) as the remedy US imperialism's woes. Twelve countries have signed onto the agreement, which gives multinational corporations the ability to sue sovereign governments if their laws interfere with profitability. The TPP's primary goal is the isolation of China and, with cooperation of Europe, the further strangulation of Russia on the economic stage. US imperialism requires hundreds of billions, if not trillions in federal aid to maintain the power to shove such trade agreements down the collective throats of nations. As Obama said in his last state of the Union address, "We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined . . . No nation attacks us directly, or our allies, because they know that’s the path to ruin."
But ruin is all the US imperialist system is good for in this period of crisis. The 2017 Pentagon budget reflects the endless war that is to come under the continued rule of US imperialism's end stage. Still, war remains largely outside of the discourse and activity of activists, organizations, and movement politics in the US. This presents a deep challenge to the struggle for social transformation in the US. Solidarity and internationalism must be part of the broad strategy of this generation's struggle against the exploitation US power structure. Without the peoples of the world on our side and vice versa, the new world that is in birth will be confined to infancy.
Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at[email protected]. His work can also be found athttp://gianalytics.org/en/authors/danny-haiphong and has been published in CounterPunch, Center for Global Research, and TruthOut.