States and state systems have a life cycle just like human beings, say experts like Ibn Khaldun. In fact, one can determine that phenomenon on one’s own even without the likes of Ibn Khaldun. Even a brief glance at all the states throughout recorded history can confirm this “cycle of life” very clearly.
This brief introduction refers to the current situation of the US, the largest and most powerful state in the world today, which has established its hegemony in the four corners of the earth and is now doing its utmost to preserve it.
Empires are born at a certain point at the discretion of history, then they flourish through using of internal and external dynamics fertilely and when the knell sounds, no matter what they do to survive, they will die out. We know this from the Babylonians, Sumerians, Romans, Persians and our own empire, the Ottomans. So we can easily draw some conclusions relating to the current situation of US imperialism.
Where is the British Empire ‘on which the sun never sets’?
We shall begin our analysis by pointing out that the fate of the British Empire of 1945 is very similar to that of the US today trying to maintain the status quo today.
The British Empire ‘on which the sun never sets’, despite having won two world wars, began to lose everything and everywhere it held, and very rapidly starting in 1945, and in the course of twenty-thirty years transformed into a small European island country subordinated to the US. Nowadays it is trying frantically to prevent the only island it has from splitting into 4. This historical development by itself is a fact that shows that empires and modern imperialists, in due course, no matter what they do, will not be able to resist the course of history and will disappear into the mere pages of history.
But historically, the difference in length between the life span of a human being and that of a state has long been misunderstood, especially by the Left, and should be recognized as the main reason for the loss of revolutionary energy over time and disappointments.
It is more than fifty years since Mao Zedong called US imperialism a “paper tiger”. In the 1960s and 70s, when he made his prescient analysis, the US was an extraordinarily powerful giant running roughshod over the four corners of the globe, no doubt. He was for this reason despised by those who believed US hegemony to be invincible. But history and practical life have unfolded exactly as Mao Zedong predicted. Today, it is almost a given that the US is in decline on all continents and that even within itself it is heading towards disintegration.
Why the US needs to shift gears all over the world?
The last four decades of the US have been marked by the administrations of the Neo-Con Republicans under Reagan, Bush the father and Bush the son, and the Neo-Con Democrats under the aggressive hawks represented by Clinton, Obama and now Biden. In this long period of time, the US has only experienced a period of dissonance under Republican Trump. In these short 4 years of Trump’s presidency, the Neo-Cons in a state of certain bewilderment had the opportunity and also the obligation to analyze the new circumstances of the US and the world. This process has also created a very shaky and problematic political environment in the US domestic politics. The traditional Republican neo-con circles saw themselves united with the neo-con hawks in the Democratic Party in a new alignment. Liz Cheney, the daughter of the biggest neo-con Dick Cheney, led them. In just four years Donald Trump and the American nationalists have come together, albeit not on a very clear political base, to form a very influential opposition to the neo-conservatives. In the very first months of Trump’s presidency, these united neo-con circles tried to uncover a link between Trump and Russia with ‘Russian Investigation’ in order to neutralize him. But millions of dollars of research expenditures failed to deliver any tangible results and the issue was simply forgotten. Nevertheless, the neo-cons pressured Trump until the last day of his presidency, and indeed obstructed the implementation of Trump’s programs, such as the reduction of the US military presence worldwide, the minimization of US spending on NATO, and even questioning the very existence of NATO.
The Biden administration has been pure neo-con rule
In the 2020 presidential elections, as a result of manipulations and electoral incompatibilities that are still being discussed, the Biden administration was brought to power as a pure neo-con administration. And from the very first day they started to implement almost everything that the neo-cons have not been able to do for years, with great haste. Since the neo-cons have only 4 years ahead of them, they faced the challenge of implementing their most important agenda until the 2024 presidential elections. As the first two years of these four were already occupied by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, the neo-con circles had to concurrently implement their programs all over the world and achieve success.
The main reason why the US has shifted gears over the last year is both that they are running out of time and that the alternative polycentric world policy forces led by the People’s Republic of China are growing stronger each day.
Only 18 months left to Biden
For the last two years, the common enemy of both Democrats and neo-conservative Republicans has been former President Donald Trump. Usually, when former US presidents leave office, they return to their farms and assume the role of wise old man with vast experience. Unlike them, Trump has never retreated from the forefront of US politics in order to implement the radical elements of his political agenda that he was not allowed to do during his first presidential term, and by announcing his presidential candidacy for the 2024 elections two years in advance he made it clear that he will remain the nightmare for neo-conservative.
November 5, 2024 is already promising to be a very important election date in US history. Since the neo-cons think that Biden is a suitable candidate in terms of controllability, they can do all their efforts to ensure the candidate of the Republican Party not to be Donald Trump. To this end, they want to block Trump’s presidential candidacy by bringing in the Republican Governor of Florida De Santis and some other former Trump officials whom nobody knows. It is already apparent that they will continue their investigations, be it the Secret Federal Documents allegedly found in Trump’s house or the tax evasion of Trump companies. The Trump camp, in turn, seems keen to keep the shadowy rumors about Biden and his son Hunter Biden in the spotlight to counter-balance during 18 months heading towards the elections.
‘Explosive’ problems within the US
The struggle between the “globalists” and the “nationalist-Americanists” is likely to deepen, as Biden’s and Trump’s policy choices and programs differ significantly also on the US domestic policy. In particular, the people have increasingly protested the billions of dollars of aid packages that the US, with a population of millions in poverty, has been providing to Ukraine over the last year, and these voices are likely to become louder. The US, unable to provide security in its own cities, solve the illegal immigration problem and provide adequate relief in every natural disaster is funneling money from the American people to Ukraine -tens of thousands of kilometers away from its people. This is already drawing protests from both Trump supporters and the Democrats’ own grassroots. These protests are likely to intensify as the war drags on. As Trump’s chances of winning the elections are increasing, Biden and the neo-con hawks feel obliged to implement all of their aggressive plans in almost every part of the world at once. Therefore, since they see that their century-long hegemony is being shaken almost everywhere, from the South China Sea to Taiwan, from South Korea to the Philippines, from Iran to Brazil, they are adopting aggression policies in order to retard this tendency or at least to survive it with less damage. As for Türkiye, suffice it to point out the aggression against world leaders such as Erdogan, Urban, Xi, Putin.
What could be the followings US moves
The US seeks to maintain its presence mainly in the South China Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean, Poland and Ukraine, the Philippines and Australia, South Korea and Japan, in order to impose the above-mentioned aggressive policies on the world. The US, together with the partners in Europe, has some certain ‘plans’ for them. The latest example of this was the British BBC documentary on Indian Prime Minister Modi. The US considering Modi’s ‘balance’ policy, somewhat similar to Erdoğan’s, contrary to its own interests, has designs on bringing the Congress Party -similar to the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Türkiye- and its president Rahul Gandhi to power. This is what we had already observed in Delhi and Mumbai during the electoral process a few months ago.
Since the US sees the South China Sea as vital, the foreign policy and naval buildup are centered here. Its efforts in this region can be summarized as organizing countries such as Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam as much as possible against the People’s Republic of China, or at least keeping them neutral.
Is the South China Sea the main area of struggle in the world?
In addition, the US aims to strengthen its traditional allies Japan and South Korea against the People’s Republic of China. For these reasons, the US is encouraging the armament of these countries with billions of dollars in aid or sales and is trying to position them against the PRC.
Due to the situation in Ukraine, the US seems to have Europe under its control, of course for now. Germany and France have largely sided with the US and dragged the rest of the EU in this direction. Thus, the US effort in Europe seems to have succeeded, for now. But Europe’s relations with the US are hanging by a thread, in the face of economic difficulties caused by the war in Ukraine and increasing popular unrest. This is precisely why the Neo-Cons are determined to do everything they can for world hegemony before the 2024 elections. Because under Trump presidency, the US would soften its relations with Europe and Eurasia and a new paradigm would shape international relations. The Neo-Cons have 18 months left and we think that their aggression, which is a kind of “suicidal psychology”, is driven by this haste.