Contributed by Joe Montero
As far as the role of the United States in international politics is concerned, Last week finished up on an ominous note And the catalyst was Donald Trump’s jaunt abroad, where he gave the one finger salute to just about everyone he came across.
Trump is heading an administration that is preparing for war. There can be no doubt about this now.
In Brussels, He threw a metaphoric hand grenade inWednesday’s NATO leaders gathering, where he accused the Europeans of being too soft on Russia. Germany got a special serve, and he had a go at them for having Russian gas pumped in, when they were supposed to be applying sanctions.
Europe was ordered to take on a greater burden for NATO and increase military expenditure, from 2 percent to 4 percent of GDP. He then walked out.
The show of blatant disrespect and bullying cannot be passed off as merely the action of an unstable leader. It has purpose. American ruling circles see that they are preparing for war. What happened at NATO is not a one off. There is a pattern. The walkouts on the Paris Climate Agreement and the Human Rights Council, are part of the same pattern.
This pattern is about the United States striving to re-assert the global political dominance that it has been losing in recent times, and through this, achieve decisive influence over Europe and create an alliance against China and Russia.
One driver is the ongoing weakness of the economy of the United States and the incentive to find new sources of profit. Crucial to this, is to open the European economy to the penetration of American investment and trade. Europe Has been and continues to be the key to global dominance. Pursuing it, inevitably brings about political and diplomatic consequences.
Ambitions are one thing. What happens on the ground is another. Europe is not accepting the role of playing second fiddle. A somewhat fractured European Union finds it difficult to respond decisively and with one voice. Even so, there is considerable resistance to coming under the American wing. Europe faces its own economic and political problems, and its ruling circles seek to re-assert their own sources for new avenues for profit and their political ambitions.
Even during the hugely unpopular Trump visit to the United Kingdom, no time was wasted in creating incidents that showed disdain for protocol aimed at driving home a lesson of who is in charge.
There is also a high level of resistance to the drive towards war within the European population. This is a factor that the political leadership must take account of.
Another driver is to respond to the rise of China, both economically and politically. It threatens centuries of western dominance. In a more immediate sense, it creates a barrier to global economic expansion. The ambition is to remove this challenge by containing China.
This is being sought through diplomatic agreements, political propaganda to set up China as a threat to the world, a rising trade war and military encirclement. China is not accepting this and is responding by its own diplomatic efforts, establishing agreements with other countries, playing a key role is building an Asian and Pacific trading block, and continuing internal economic development. Establishing a closer cooperative relationship with Russia is an important component of the strategy. Russia is in Europe and this adds to the strategic importance of the continent.
The failure of other means to contain China is driving increasing reliance on military means, and it is this that is the main threat of global conflict. If it is to be avoided, the world must push in the opposite direction. It must insist that as world dominated by one or two powers belongs to the past, and that the future requires a world where all nations are treated equally and with respect. This is a world where differences are resolved by diplomatic means and not a quick resort to the gun. Such a world will look to decommissioning the huge military machines and the use of resources for far more beneficial purposes.