It is commonly believed in the United States that the country has no Grand Strategy since the end of the Cold War.
A Grand Strategy is a vision of the world that one seeks to impose, and that all administrations must respect. So, even if you lose in one particular theatre of war, the fight continues in others, and finally ends in triumph. At the end of the Second World War, Washington chose to follow the directives set by ambassador George Keenan in his famous diplomatic telegramme. It proposed describing an alleged Soviet expansionism in order to justify containment of the USSR. Indeed, although the USA had lost the wars in Korea and Vietnam, it finished by prevailing.
It is very rare to be able to rethink a Grand Strategy, even if there were others during that period, in particular, with Charles De Gaulle in France.
Over the last eighteen years, Washington has been able to progressively set new objectives and new tactics with which to attain them.
1991-2001: a period of uncertainty
When the Soviet Union collapsed on 25 December 1991, Father Bush’s USA supposed that they no longer had any rivals. The victorious President by default demobilised 1 million soldiers and imagined a world of peace and prosperity. He liberalised the transfer of capitals so that the capitalists would be able to get richer and, he believed, thus enrich their fellow citizens.
However, capitalism is not a political project, but a means of making money. The major US businesses – not the federal state – therefore allied themselves with the Chinese Communist Party (the reason for Deng Xiaoping’s famous « journey to the South »). They delocalised their businesses with very low added value from the West to China, where the workers were uneducated, but their wages were on average 20 times lower. The long process of the de-industrialisation of the West had begun.
In order to manage its transnational affairs, the Grand Capital moved its assets to countries with low taxation rates, where it realised that it could avoid its social responsibilities. These countries, whose fiscal exemption and discretion are indispensable for international commerce, suddenly found themselves swept along on a gigantic wave of fiscal optimisation, even a massive fraud system, from which they benefited in silence. The reign of Finance over the economy was beginning.
In 2001, Secretary of Defense and permanent member of the « Continuity of Government ») Donald Rumsfeld, created the Office of Force Transformation, which he handed to Admiral Arthur Cebrowski. This man had already computerised the armies, and was now set to modify their mission.
Without the Soviet Union, the world had become unipolar, which is to say no longer governed by the Security Council, but by the United States alone. In order to maintain its dominant position, it was obliged to « lose some to gain more », in other words, to divide Humanity in two. On one side, the stable states, meaning the members of the G8 – Russia included – and their allies), and on the other side, the rest of the world, viewed as a simple reservoir of natural resources. Washington no longer considered access to these resources as vital for itself, but intended for them to become accessible to the stable states only by permission of the USA. From that point on, it would be necessary to destroy – preventively – all the state structures in these reservoirs of resources, so that no-one could either challenge the will of the top world power, or do without it.
Since then, this strategy has been implemented ceaselessly. It began in the Greater Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen). However, contrary to what had been announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, (Pivot to Asia), it was not continued into the Far East, due to the military development of China, but in the Caribbean Basin (Venezuela, Nicaragua).
In 2012, President Barack Obama took up the leitmotiv of the Republican Party and made the exploitation of oil and gas by hydraulic fracturing a national priority. Within a few years, the United States multiplied its investments and became the world’s major producer of hydrocarbons, reversing the paradigms of international relations. In 2018, the ex-director of the oil equipment provider Sentry International, Mike Pompeo, became the director of the CIA , then Secretary of State. He created the Bureau of Energy Resources, which he handed to Francis Fannon. The BER is the equivalent of what the Office of Force Transformation had been for the Pentagon. He set up a policy which was entirely concentrated on taking control of the world market for hydrocarbons. To do so, he imagined a new type of alliance, like those of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific region. It was no longer a case of creating military blocs like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quads), but organising these alliances around objectives of economic growth, on the basis of guaranteed access to sources of energy.
This concept was integrated into the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. It was no longer a case of grabbing the hydrocarbons from the rest of the world (Washington has absolutely no need of them), but to determine who may have them to use for their own development, and who will be deprived of them. This is a total reversal of the doctrine of the rarefaction of oil, promoted by the Rockefellers and the Club of Rome since the 1960’s, then by Dick Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group. From then on, the United States decided that not only had oil not disappeared, but that despite the drastic increase in demand, Humanity had enough to last at least another century.
Using many different pretexts, Pompeo has blocked Iran’s access to the world market, then that of Venezuela, and finally, has maintained US troops in the East of Syria to prevent anyone from exploiting the oil fields that have been discovered there. Simultaneously, he is increasing pressure on the European Union to give up on the Russian gas pipeline Nord Steam 2 and is also pressuring Turkey to give up Turkish Stream.
In 2017, President Donald Trump attempted to repatriate some of the jobs which had been delocalised from the United States to Asia and the European Union. Basing himself on the advice of left-wing economist Peter Navarro, he put an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement. At the same time, he set prohibitive Customs taxes on German cars and most Chinese products. He completed these with a fiscal reform which encouraged the repatriation of capital. This policy has already enabled the re-balancing of commerce and the relaunching of the job market.
The main force of this new Grand Strategy resides in the fact that it has not been understood by the elites of the rest of the world. Washington therefore retains the effect of surprise, reinforced by the deliberately chaotic communications of Donald Trump. If we look at the facts instead of the Presidential tweets, we note the advance of the United States after the double period of uncertainty under Presidents Clinton and Obama.
Source: Voltaire Network