The fruits of American foreign policy

John Michael Greer, writing on his Archdruid Report blog, described how American foreign policy has led to Russia and China joining to create a Fortress Eurasia that is beyond the reach of U.S. military power.

Just as the great rivalry of the first half of the twentieth century was fought out between Britain and Germany, the great rivalry of the century’s second half was between the United States and Russia.

If nuclear weapons hadn’t been invented, it’s probably a safe bet that at some point the rivalry would have ended in another global war.

As it was, the threat of mutual assured destruction meant that the struggle for global power had to be fought out less directly, in a flurry of proxy wars, sponsored insurgencies, economic warfare, subversion, sabotage, and bare-knuckle diplomacy.

In that war, the United States came out on top, and Soviet Russia went the way of Imperial Germany, plunging into the same sort of political and economic chaos that beset the Weimar Republic in its day.

The supreme strategic imperative of the United States in that war was finding ways to drive as deep a wedge as possible between Russia and China, in order to keep them from taking concerted action against the US.

That wasn’t all that difficult a task, since the two nations have very little in common and many conflicting interests.

gadd600spanNixon’s 1972 trip to China was arguably the defining moment in the Cold War, the point at which China’s separation from the Soviet bloc became total and Chinese integration with the American economic order began.

From that point on, for Russia, it was basically all downhill.

In the aftermath of Russia’s defeat, the same strategic imperative remained, but the conditions of the post-Cold War world made it almost absurdly easy to carry out.

All that would have been needed were American policies that gave Russia and China meaningful, concrete reasons to think that their national interests and aspirations would be easier to achieve in cooperation with a US-led global order than in opposition to it.

Granting Russia and China the same position of regional influence that the US accords to Germany and Japan as a matter of course probably would have been enough.

A little forbearance, a little foreign aid, a little adroit diplomacy, and the United States would have been in the catbird’s seat, with Russia and China glaring suspiciously at each other across their long and problematic mutual border, and bidding against each other for US support in their various disagreements.

But that’s not what happened, of course.

What happened instead was that the US embraced a foreign policy so astonishingly stupid that I’m honestly not sure the English language has adequate resources to describe it.

Since 1990, one US administration after another, with the enthusiastic bipartisan support of Congress and the capable assistance of bureaucrats across official Washington from the Pentagon and the State Department on down, has pursued policies guaranteed to force Russia and China to set aside their serious mutual differences and make common cause against us.

Every time the US faced a choice between competing policies, it’s consistently chosen the option most likely to convince Russia, China, or both nations at once that they had nothing to gain from further cooperation with American agendas.

chinese-russian-presidents-review-chinese-troops-2014What’s more, the US has more recently managed the really quite impressive feat of bringing Iran into rapprochement with the emerging Russo-Chinese alliance.

It’s hard to think of another nation on Earth that has fewer grounds for constructive engagement with Russia or China than the Islamic Republic of Iran, but several decades of cluelessly hamfisted American blundering and bullying finally did the job.

My American readers can now take pride in the state-of-the-art Russian air defense systems around Tehran, the bustling highways carrying Russian and Iranian products to each others’ markets, and the Russian and Chinese intelligence officers who are doubtless settling into comfortable digs on the north shore of the Persian Gulf, where they can snoop on the daisy chain of US bases along the south shore.

After all, a quarter century of US foreign policy made those things happen.

Click on An Affirming Flame to read Greer’s full article.

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One Response to “The fruits of American foreign policy”

  1. peteybee Says:

    see also:

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/china-russia-marriage-by-robert-skidelsky-2015-06

    This is in Project Syndicate, a more or less pro-establishment op-ed facility that has policy commentary from prominent academics, think tank folk, even world leaders all the way up to the prime minister level. The snark in the second to last paragraph is pretty damn unusual for this venue.

    Like

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