Is the U.S. changing its global strategy? After all, Joe Biden has announced the end of American interventionism. First, his secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, commenting on the full withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, said that “traditional wars have exhausted America, and their age is over.”* The U.S. president then elaborated on this idea:
“As we turn the page on the foreign policy that has guided our nation for the last two decades, we have got to learn from our mistakes.. […] This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan, it’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries. […] Moving on from that mindset and those kind of large-scale troop deployments will make us stronger and more effective and safer at home.”
Biden explained the failure in Afghanistan by saying that “we saw a mission of counterterrorism in Afghanistan — getting the terrorists and stopping attacks.”
Simply put, the U.S. took on an unsolvable problem. It wanted to civilize the wild children of the mountains. But, unfortunately, they did not change, so the U.S. will no longer do this. The U.S., allegedly, is still better, more progressive, superior and stronger than everyone else, but now it will not send troops to overthrow foreign governments.
Will America really give up military interventions abroad? Can the world at least relax a little about this?
To answer this question, one must first agree on what kind of America is being considered. There are two versions — the United States of America or America as the Western world leader, promoting the transatlantic project of globalization. A nation-state or a supranational force building a world order favorable to it, based on universal liberal principles. Can the U.S. be considered a nation-state at all now? Donald Trump’s demise proves the opposite. Otherwise, the national interests and rights of the American people would not have been so grossly and openly violated. The U.S. has long been held hostage by its globalist elite, which does not intend to retreat from or abandon its ambitious global goals. So, is Biden just being cunning?
No, he says what he thinks: Right now, there is no need for the U.S.-led global interventions — it can physically defeat and occupy most countries. But what is the point in doing it? After all, America did not just want to control the world. It intended to create a “correct” world order based on those very same liberal values. That is, establishing ideological control over the world, supported, of course, by economic and military dominance. The latter is not achieved by occupation but by the presence of a power superior to any enemy and coalition.
The U.S. wanted to win the usual geopolitical struggle at the top. But, in the end, America began to lose it even at the level of simple geopolitics. Why did the globalist U.S. need the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan? To combat terrorism, to control the oil reserves and drug trafficking? No, it wanted to remodel the greater Middle East, contain anti-Western ideologies in the Islamic world and ultimately control Eurasia. What resulted from those military interventions? Exactly the opposite — the growing hatred of America in the Islamic world and disappointment in the U.S.’s unreliability by its clients and allies that preceded the Afghanistan withdrawal by about 10 years. But the U.S. has not just worsened its position at the top of global affairs. It is also weakened and rife with internal divisions. There is no time for claims to world hegemony in these conditions — the U.S. needs to retreat and heal itself.
As a matter of fact, this is precisely what Trump proposed to do. But he had no attachment to the U.S. mission of transatlantic globalism. Instead, he wanted to restore and strengthen the U.S., but not to then return with renewed vigor to construct the Tower of Babel — a liberal globalist world order. No, Trump perceives the world as a struggle between different centers of power and civilizations. But the Washington “swamp” that has removed him from power considers the world a territory destined for American domination.
Such a messianic view, a sense of Americans chosen by God, was initially inherent in the American elite formed by English Protestant Quakers. However, it was only in the 20th century that the U.S. received the appropriate opportunities. Through implementing the transatlantic project of world domination and occupation, the U.S. pushed Europe to the fringes.
By the way, in occupied Europe, primarily in Germany, the U.S. was, in a sense, doing the same thing as in Afghanistan. It was building a “correct” version of a democratic state. It did the same thing in Japan, with some success. At least, it seems so now, while Tokyo is closely tied to Washington by a strategic alliance and a military base on Okinawa Island.
But is the building of the rule of law in Germany and Afghanistan comparable? In the former case, it was only necessary to help recreate what existed before. In the latter, it was essential to impose an alien ideology. But it depends on one’s point of view. More precisely, the situations are only incomparable if we consider Sharia law and the Islamic structure of society as unlawful and wrong. After all, Afghanistan already had a legislation model, but it did not interest Americans at all.
Americans were frightened not only by Sharia law, but they also blocked the decision to reimpose King Mohammed Zahir Shah (deposed in 1973). The reimposition was going to be adopted in 2002 by the Loya jirga — the council of all Afghan tribes, the real people’s voice.
Did this happen because Americans wanted democratic elections in Afghanistan? No, it occurred because they did not understand anything about Afghan society and did not care about its issues.
Was there a messianic belief in the possibility of building God’s kingdom on Earth, through imposing the norms and way of life of one civilization on another, by transferring American rules to anywhere in the world? Perhaps. But most importantly, there was boundless contempt for the locals on behalf of Americans, who treated them as underdeveloped savages, in tune with the Anglo-Saxon “white man’s burden” throughout the centuries of colonization.
So, what now? Is America giving up such an attitude?
Of course not. It only refuses to conduct “major military operations to remake other countries,” in Biden’s own words. The point is not in the fact that medium-size military operations are still permissible. Clearly, the attitude that all strangers are savages and the main goal of global domination through remaking the whole world according to the American plan all remain unchanged. Those objectives are achievable by non-military means — political, ideological, financial, cultural, psychological (supported by military pressure). Those means can inflict huge damage on the enemy or even allow the U.S. to gain remote control over an adversary.
As such, America is bidding farewell but not leaving anywhere. At least until it becomes, or is forced to become, a nation-state, once more. Or two nation-states, perhaps.
*Editor’s Note: This quote, accurately translated, could not be verified.