Make no mistake, I love America. Even with all of our selfie sticks and deep-fried twinkies, I love this country. But I have to give credit where credit is due, and I have to seriously consider if Russia, and Putin in particular, has bested this country in the realm of geopolitics, for now. The petrodollar hegemony is under siege, GMO’s and trade deals are being rejected, the EU is in danger of disintegration, and our allies are turning to Russia. One of those allies is Japan, who has recently invested in the Russian oil project in the Irkutsk region of Eastern Siberia. Wary of an aggressive China, Japan has recently set off on a course of rearmament and military revival, rather than relying on the US as a guarantor of protection. Relations between the US and Japanese Okinawa have soured to the point that the US has agreed to move its base to a remote location, away from a local populace deeply angered over a history of criminal conduct involving members of the US military. The US wore out its welcome in Okinawa.
Due to a severe backlash against the refugee and migrant policy in the EU, which may have been the primary cause of the Brexit referendum, Turkey and its president, Recep Erdogan, were forced to capitulate to the Russians and end their effort to remove Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria. With the possibility that much of Europe could severely limit the amount of migrants and refugees entering their countries, Erdogan was facing the grave scenario of Syrian war refugees entering Turkey for asylum and having nowhere else to go. A massive influx of refugees staying in rather than passing through Turkey would have severe economic, political and social ramifications. Very shortly after Erdogan’s reversal of policy, a (possibly rushed) coup attempt failed to unseat him. Officially blaming the US, power to the Incirlik Air Base and thousands of US Airmen was cut off and no flights were allowed to take off from the base for two days. Last night, thousands of Turkish police officers have surrounded the base for a “security check” after local police were told of a second coup attempt. Nothing was found, but it is clear that the base, and the US, is no longer welcome in Turkey.
US military bases are crucial to the projection of American power. With the ability to quickly form a military response, the US is able to establish and enforce treaties and agreements, protect allies, and deter rivals. When local opinion turns against the US, the military base and its inhabitants are often the first target of protests and enmity. The situations in Turkey and Japan, and the fact that this scenario is no longer an isolated incident, suggests that the foreign policy of the current administration has performed poorly.
The Obama administration belongs to the Trilateral Commission school of thought, with Zbigniew Brzezinski being the expert on foreign policy and a key founder of the group. There are clear parallels between current policy and Brzezinki’s policy during the Carter administration
- an aversion to unilateral policy and overt warfare
- a preference for covert armament and proxy wars, technological superiority and manipulation, and political and media pressure
- alliance building, support for the EU and control over Eurasia
- and most importantly, the abandonment of (Kissinger’s) balance of power strategy, as per Presidential Directive 18 on U.S. National Security, for a globalist, supranational hegemony led by Western financial elites, technocrats, and intelligence agencies.
Nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state. – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: The Technetronic Era, 1971
It should be noted that Brzezinski does not hold any official positions in the administration, and he has even criticized some of its decisions including the arming of rebels in Syria. Brzezinski even admitted that the US is “still the strongest, but we’re not necessarily the most respected or legitimate,” in 2014. This point, legitimacy and respect, is the linchpin of Brzezinski’s style of foreign policy, and the key failure of the Obama administration in implementing it. With the exposure of NSA surveillance, technological superiority and legitimacy are threatened. Due to unpopular economic policies and underhanded trade deals, our alliances and friendships are threatened. The policy of regime change, dubious support of “moderate” Muslim radicals in Syria, and drone warfare collateral damage degrades our reputation as a facilitator of peace.
There has been a schism in the leadership over these issues. Henry Kissinger, the purveyor of the balance of power strategy (AKA detente), has tacitly shown displeasure at the current state of affairs. In February, Kissinger met with Putin as the West was imposing sanctions and denouncing the Russian slow-mo invasion of the Ukraine. Kissinger even met with Donald Trump in May, answering Trump’s requests for help developing foreign policy.
“America first will be the overriding theme of my administration,” Trump said last month in a speech at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel, where he also called globalism a “false song.”