The United States is quite literally descending into fascism, with the creation of a new federal intelligence agency to engage in a domestic war on terror, government-directed censorship of speech in the public commons of today (social media), and comparisons by Biden between the present moment and the Civil War -- in which millions of Americans were engaged in literal military combat against each other. Reversing this descent into authoritarianism requires identifying the threat, of course. But it also requires an affirmative statement of what the mission of the United States should be. And perpetual opposition to China and Russia ain't it!
As the American military departs Afghanistan, will American engineers and contractors play a useful role in planning and constructing infrastructure in that nation, as part of a global development policy?
After the hasty withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan—U.S. troops, except for a few security forces, were flown out in the dark of night without informing Afghan allies—this country has become, for the moment but likely not for long, the theater of world history. The news keeps pouring in: On the ground, the Taliban forces are making rapid territorial gains in the north and northeast of the country, which has already caused considerable tension and concern in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and they have captured the western border town Islam Qala, which handles significant trade flows with Iran. At the same time, intense diplomatic activity is ongoing among all those countries whose security interests are affected by the events in Afghanistan: Iran, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, to name only the most important.Read more
U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged from their four-hour summit discussion today in Geneva, Switzerland, to present to the world a “U.S-Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability,” whose brief text includes the following central commitment: “Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” That exact phrase was used by Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in their famous November 1985 summit at the height of the Cold War, in the very same location.Read more
Today in England the leaders of the Group of Seven, at the end of their three-day confab in Cornwall, issued their “Cardis Bay G7 Summit Communiqué—Our Shared Agenda for Global Action To Build Back Better.” The B3W, as they call it—Build Back Better for the World—perspective, laid out in 25 pages, is ultra-green, devoid of anything necessary to really combat pandemics and famine, or to build a modern economy. It features outright bankster swindles based on carbon markets. Moreover, the B3W is a blatant ploy against China and the Belt and Road Initiative, which is building real infrastructure across the globe. President Biden and Secretary Blinken brag about it. Who can accept any of this?Read more
The G7 meeting opened today with Prime Minister Boris Johnson proving more and more to be a buffoon. Bojo, as he is known, called on the (formerly) most advanced nations of the G7 to unite for the destruction of the world. In his own words: “We’re building back better together. And building back greener. and building back fairer. And building back more equal. Maybe in a more gender neutral, a more feminine way.” In fact, a major focus of the summit is what the controllers of President Biden have labeled the “Clean Green Initiative.” The U.S. officials who gave a background briefing on the G7 Summit openly described it as an “alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Why an “alternative?” Because, they said, it would be “climate friendly,” unlike China’s BRI, which, in addition to building big carbon-generating infrastructure projects such as railroads, dams, ports and bridges, is building coal-fired power plants all over Africa.Read more
While it may be tempting to those countries adopting a new paradigm of economy and international affairs to separate themselves from the disasters of the trans-Atlantic world—physical productivity’s replacement by financialization, accelerating inflation, and increasingly unhinged and unattainable “climate goals”—the reality is that there can be success only for the entire world, not a portion of it. This lesson, made clear by the coronavirus pandemic, applies to the world’s strategic situation and to its interlinked economies.Read more
Economists and political leaders from around the world are meeting in Russia this week for the annual St. Petersburg Economic Forum. A leading topic of discussion in at least several of the many panels was the fact that the illegal use of unilateral sanctions by the US, the UK, and the EU has reached a point that several leading countries, and in particular Russia and China, are deep in discussions about breaking out of the US dollar-dominated international financial system. In a panel chaired by the Valdai Discussion Club, titled “The Risks Sanctions Pose to the Global FInancial System and International Business,” the introduction reads: “The transformation of the dollar into a weapon carries the threat of unforeseen shocks…. The intensity and indiscriminate nature with which sanctions are deployed suggests that a targeted political tool is now becoming all-encompassing.”Read more