This article appears in the March 12, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Biden Administration: Continuing Pompeo’s Imperial Madness
March 6—The Biden Administration has made a big show of trying to differentiate its foreign policy from that of the previous Trump Administration—it has returned the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement, re-committed the United States to alliances such as NATO, and claims it will not “denigrate” American allies.
However, the new administration is in fact continuing the policy, if not deepening it, of strategic confrontation with Russia and China, a policy which President Donald Trump resisted early in his administration, but which ultimately was forced on him by the combination of British and U.S. intelligence operatives and the military-industrial complex. The policies being pronounced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan are hard to distinguish from those of Mike Pompeo and H.R. McMaster.
On March 3, the White House released an initial blueprint laying all of this out in the form of a 24-page “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance,” which infuses U.S. foreign and national security policy with geopolitics and with the “climate crisis.” Prepared by Sullivan, it was introduced by Blinken:
We face a world of rising nationalism, receding democracy, growing rivalry with China, Russia, and other authoritarian states, and a technological revolution that is reshaping every aspect of our lives.
The stated intention is to gather the world’s “democracies” into an alliance against Russia and China and their “malign” influence on the world.
Our democratic alliances enable us to present a common front, produce a unified vision, and pool our strength to promote high standards, establish effective international rules, and hold countries like China to account.
On the other hand, one must take into consideration that the Biden Administration has already announced it would continue the sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration on allies like Germany for refusing the U.S. demand to cancel the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline to deliver Russian gas to Germany and beyond. It is also the case that most nations of the world are benefitting greatly from China’s Belt and Road infrastructure investments, and have refused the U.S. dictate to “take sides” against China.
The Guidance claims that the administration will end the “forever wars,” something that President Trump also intended, but was stymied by the military leaders, who simply refused to follow his orders. From the Guidance:
In the face of strategic challenges from an increasingly assertive China and destabilizing Russia, we will assess the appropriate structure, capabilities, and sizing of the force, and, working with the Congress, shift our emphasis from unneeded legacy platforms and weapons systems to free up resources for investments in the cutting-edge technologies and capabilities that will determine our military and national security advantage in the future.
The intention is to de-emphasize counter-terror operations—to “right-size our military presence” in the Middle East—in favor of preparing for “major power” confrontation, i.e., back to nuclear confrontation with Russia and China. Forces will be redeployed for that confrontation: “Our presence will be most robust in the Indo-Pacific and Europe.”
The neoconservative policies of the Bush and Obama eras—deploying forces to “defending democracy” in regime change wars—is back with a vengeance. Authoritarianism, the Guidance claims, is “on the march,” and therefore, “we must join with like-minded allies and partners to revitalize democracy the world over.” It declares:
We will stand with our allies and partners to combat new threats aimed at our democracies, ranging from cross-border aggression, cyberattacks, disinformation and digital authoritarianism to infrastructure and energy coercion.
To combat “infrastructure and energy coercion” is a blatant admission that China and Russia will not be allowed to provide real development to the nations of the South which have been denied modern infrastructure under the policies of the City of London and Wall Street.
Nor will the criminal sanctions policy be abandoned, in which the U.S. has assumed the sole right to ignore the international laws formulated by the UN after World War II, in favor of imposing unilateral economic and political sanctions upon anyone and any nation we choose:
We will coordinate the use of economic tools, leveraging our collective strength to advance our common interests [clearly linking economics with geopolitics]. We will work together to impose real costs on anyone who interferes in our democratic processes.
Indeed, the Guidance states openly that the U.S., and the U.S. alone, makes the rules:
By restoring U.S. credibility and reasserting forward-looking global leadership, we will ensure that America, not China, sets the international agenda, working alongside others to shape new global norms and agreements that advance our interests and reflect our values. [Emphasis added.]
Secretary Blinken, in previewing the Guidance on March 3, also asserted this imperial dictum:
China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system—all the rules, values, and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to, because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the American people. [Emphasis added.]
2018 National Defense Strategy Remains in Place
Colin Kahl, Biden’s pick to be Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, widely considered the third most powerful position in the Pentagon, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 4 for his confirmation hearing. The written answers he provided in response to policy questions provided to him in advance indicate that the Biden Administration’s policies towards Russia and China will retain precisely the geopolitical basis underlying the strategic documents of the previous administration:
I believe the “2018 NDS” National Defense Strategy, designed under Gen. James Mattis [the general who refused to follow Trump’s orders to get U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan], accurately identifies strategic competition with China and Russia as the primary challenge animating the global security environment. The continued erosion of U.S. military advantage vis-a-vis China and Russia, in key strategic areas, remains the most significant risk the Department must address. I assess China is the top priority and pacing threat for the Department, given its increasing scope and scale of military modernization, its aggressive behavior, and its potential as a systemic competitor across multiple domains.
Further, on Russia, Kahl, a long-time associate of Biden who served as his National Security Advisor from 2014 to 2017, stated that U.S.-Russian relations may be at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War:
If we are unable to re-establish Russia’s understanding of and compliance with international norms and acceptable behavior in the international arena, the relationship will continue to decline. Russia’s behavior indicates it seeks to undermine and overturn the rules-based international order established during the post-World War II period. From its blatant disregard for the sovereignty of its neighbors, to using chemical weapons to murder dissidents around the world, persistent cyber attacks against its neighbors and Russia’s contempt for the international rules of the road makes Americans less safe. Over the past four years, it has expanded its military footprint abroad, largely by taking advantage of crises. This strategic orientation is largely incompatible with the principles of democratic societies governed by the rule of law.
This comes from a leader of the country which has military bases in 80 countries around the world, some without the permission of the hosting sovereign government.
Green New Military Deal
One area clearly distinct from the Trump Administration is the total adherence to the fake-science behind the Green New Deal, applying it fully to the defense posture. From the “2018 National Defense Strategy”:
We will move swiftly to earn back our position of leadership in international institutions, joining with the international community to tackle the climate crisis and other shared challenges. We have already re-entered the Paris Climate Accord and appointed a Presidential Special Envoy for climate, the first steps toward restoring our leadership and working alongside others to combat the acute danger posed by rapidly rising temperatures.
We will make the clean energy transformation a central pillar of our economic recovery efforts at home, generating both domestic prosperity and international credibility as a leader of the global climate change agenda. And, in the coming months, we will convene the world’s major economies and seek to raise the ambition of all nations, including our own, to rapidly lower global carbon emissions, while also enhancing resilience to climate change at home and in vulnerable countries.
The document does not specify whether or not unilateral sanctions, or even military force, will be imposed on any nation which rejects the suicidal shutdown of fossil fuels and carbon-generating industries and agriculture.