American Empire Is a Desperate and Weak Power With Crumbling Credibility and Elites Incapable of Adapting to 21st Century
American Empire Is a Desperate and Weak Power With Crumbling Credibility and Elites Incapable of Adapting to 21st Century by Patrick Lawrence for Check Point Asia
Sure it has might at its disposal, but when has it last attained the outcome it wanted?
The kinetic events of the past week in Washington, Tehran, and the Persian Gulf were nothing if not revealing. President Donald Trump proved the keeper of the peace, warmongers all around him, when he aborted an airborne attack on Iran Thursday evening. The Iranians continue to act with admirable restraint in the face of incessant provocations.
More such provocations are sure to come. Trump announced over the weekend that he will impose yet another layer of “major new sanctions” against Iran on Monday. After a minor cyber-attack against an Iranian intelligence agency last week, the Pentagon has developed a list of Iranian entities it is considering for a more extensive cyber-war campaign.
But there are more fundamental truths to derive from the swift escalation of Washington’s hostilities toward Tehran. They come to four. Taken together, they offer a snapshot of an imperial power in accelerating decline.
First, Trump’s determination to avoid pointless new wars of adventure has divided Washington to an extent that is unprecedented at least as far back as the Vietnam debacle. In addition to hawkish factions within the administration and the national security apparatus, an apparent majority on Capitol Hill — liberals as well as Republicans — favors war as the principal instrument of American foreign policy in the Middle East.
This strongly suggests that Washington’s foreign policy elites are effectively paralyzed — that is, incapable of meeting a new century’s realities with new thinking. Trump’s authorization of last week’s cyberattack and his subsequent promise of new sanctions appear to be attempts to appease the swelling ranks of warmongers pressuring him to approve a military confrontation with Iran. It is to Trump’s credit that he has so far held out against those many who stand against him. It is not clear how long he will be able to do so. There is informed speculation that Trump never approved of the attack he canceled at the last minute Thursday night.