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limits of power « Previous | |Next »
May 26, 2006

It would appear that the 'Coalition of the Willing' won the battle for the control of Afghanistan but not the war. The Taliban are resurgent, are conducting a spring offensive that is turning into a strong resistance against the foreign presence all over Afghanistan, with the possibility of the simple Taliban-led insurgency to evolve into a powerful Islamic Afghan movement. An ugly aftermath looks sure to follow. It has been 4 years into the neocon project and it is still ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Iran casting a dark shadow in the background.

This should raise questions about the whole military enterprise. It does for Andrew Bacevich, who says:

For those who believe in the American imperial project, and who see military supremacy as the foundation of that empire, this ought to be a major concern: What are we going to do to strengthen the sinews of American military power, because it's turned out that our vaunted military supremacy is not what it was cracked up to be. If you're like me and you're quite skeptical about this imperial project, the stresses imposed on the military and the obvious limits of our power simply serve to emphasize the imperative of rethinking our role in the world so we can back away from this unsustainable notion of global hegemony.

Tis imperial overreach with little direction or rationale after the ballon of triumphalism has been pricked.

The overreach discloses the expansion of the American empire and the limits of American military power and the capacity of the Bush administration to shore up, expand, and perpetuate U.S. global hegemony that is dependent on Persian Gulf oil. What the Muslim nations see is empire & power; the US trying to establish relations that maximized the benefit to the United States and American society.Theirs is the narrative of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Hanoi, Haiphong, and Abu Ghraib.

Bacevich says that the crusading neoncons really:

..believed that American omnipotence, as well as know-how and determination, could imprint democracy on Iraq. They really believed that, once they succeeded in Iraq, a whole host of ancillary benefits were going to ensue, transforming the political landscape of the Middle East. All of those expectations were bizarre delusions and we're paying the consequences now.

The situation now, with respect to the imperial strategy, is that any relationship having any discord or dissonance requires a security -- i.e. a military -- response. Hence the containment of China through alliances with India and Australia.

Bacevich says that neo-con imperial strategy needs to be replaced with one of the US learning to live within its means. I cannot see that happening.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:53 PM | | Comments (0)