America’s Eurasian Endgame

I have written before of the Chinese aim in this great international game:

I believe that the current world order suits China very much — their manufacturing exporters (and resource importers) get the stability of the mega-importing Americans spending mega-dollars on a military budget that maintains global stability. Global instability would mean everyone would pay more for imports, due to heightened insurance costs and other overheads. China also recognises that while America falters and struggles under the weight of its military burden, its lack of growth, and its deep debt concerns, Chinese military strength can grow at a much faster pace thanks to Chinese domestic growth, and a high domestic savings rate. They are happy that their dollar pile — China has over $3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves — can still buy plenty, and they want its value to remain as stable as possible. But above all they want to gradually diversify out of those dollars and into productive assets.

So, if China is happy with the status quo, or at least where the status quo is going, what does America want out of all this?

America wants to keep the free lunch of oil and goods for dollars and treasuries that is so swiftly evaporating. Someday soon America will have to bring more to global trade than its role as global policeman, its universities and a humungous stack of freshly-printed dollars. While some may carp about the demand created by the American consumer, consumption is not production — consumption does not bring anything to the party except dollars, and the rest of the world already has plenty of those. Some day soon, when the dollar is no longer recognised as the universal reserve currency, America will have to face up to the fact that consumer goods and oil will cost more and more in dollars — and she will either have to choose to be poorer, or to manufacture more, and generate more energy at home.

A sensible American plan going forward would recognise this, and would be developing the means and the infrastructure to end America’s free lunch — specifically, through redeveloping American manufacturing capacity and supply chains, and scaling back America’s role as global policeman. Unfortunately, I see no such thing from government, and very little from private industry. America is clinging onto the old foreign policy doctrines — that if America is powerful enough, and if she can retain its role as global hegemon and world policeman, then she will always be free to consume a chunk of the rest of the world’s production and resources, because her currency will forever be the global reserve. But that simply isn’t true — Russia and China have already ditched the dollar for bilateral trade.

Sadly, America’s foreign policy is ever-more fixated on interventionism, and maintaining the petrodollar standard.

Essentially, American exceptionalism has created a blindness to reality. Humungous debts to hostile creditors often makes an empire fall. Resource and energy dependency often makes an empire fall. Yet America just continues spending ever greater amounts on her military, and just hopes for the best. Every President since Carter has promised to reduce American oil dependency, but there has been no substance to that.

So — absent any real progress on reducing dependency — America’s endgame seems to involve taking the Arab Spring to Tehran, Islamabad, Moscow and Beijing, and having the new middle classes of consumerist Americanised zombies take out uppity creditor regimes — and replace them with Facebook-friendly State Department-endorsed place men, and adhering more closely to edicts out of Washington.

That way, America’s free lunch can go on forever.

39 thoughts on “America’s Eurasian Endgame

  1. In Australia, I noticed the negative spin on the Russian elections too. It seems they are grooming the public for “Regime” change in Russia.

    Having a Slavic background, the USA does not realise how brutal Slavs can be, and Asians just don’t have an empathy gene.

    A ground war would be very brutal. Just ask Germans who survived the Russian invasion of Berlin 1945.

    • Ground war? Are you serious? If the hard targets are China AND Russia, all the land elements of the military will do is mop up the wreckage. It’ll be Total War- the ROEs will be non-existent, and large, air-delivered ordinance will be the order du jour. Air power, naval superiority, and FAOs will make WW2 look like a cake walk. The only question will be how many Chinese/Russian submarines and land-based ICBM locations can we take out before they retaliate. It’ll be the end of the world as we’ve known it, should it ever come to that. The old “hearts and minds” mentality of the current U.S. military doctrines related to intervention and subsequent occupation will be a distant memory.

      Billy C

    • “how brutal Slavs canbe, and Asians just don’t have an empathy gene”

      I fear that’s pretty much racist, sir.

      • I am sorry, but my distant relatives on my Grandmother’s side were Tatars and I can speak from experience that they are hard emotionless people. The Chinese and other Asians have no qualms about boiling fish alive in hot oil, bashing monkeys brains in draining bear bile.

        Not all Asians are devoid of emotion so I apologise, but as a race, I can genralise.

        Untill those practices are stopped, I will stand by my comments.

        In war, there are no rules. That is why I am worried.

        • My disagreement is that these are not racial characteristics but cultural ones. Asians who move to America and Europe and integrate do not exhibit these traits.

          Of course, as a cultural characteristic it is just as dangerous.

    • Sorry, I’m not buying it. The only thing the Australian lame stream media are in on is being economic apologists for the government. I doubt I’d even Piers Akerman would go for that one. Perhaps an edict banning the publication of a shirtless Putin might do the trick?

      • Putin shoots a Siberian Tiger with a tracking device, for conservation purposes. He makes it cool to be a conservationist, and a clear warning to the mafia that the Siberian Tiger is his interest, so if you shoot them your family will be shot.

        When the Australian media spins that as a macho Putin, and misses the conservation fact, the powers to be are clearly grooming the public for a cold or possibly hot war with Russia.

        It is the oldest trick in Propoganda. Repeat often enough and people believe it as fact.

  2. hawks: yes, without a Ron Paul Presidency, essentially, America is screwed. Perhaps Huntsman (a guy who speaks Mandarin, and was ambassador to China) would also be able to calm this situation. He’s certainly less of a raging interventionist than Hillary/Obama or Romney, Newt, etc.

    • Aziz—I share your hope—but as we Southerners often say, you can hope in one hand and shit in the other; we know which one will show proven results…

      • Yeah, but I really doubt the elite on either side wants to see the global framework break down. It’s made them all very wealthy and fat. Perhaps they would be grateful for a large-scale proxy war, or maybe even a direct conventional conflict between the two (consolidation of power) but nuclear conflict is a lose-lose for everyone. Who the fuck wants to spend two hundred years in a bunker underneath Cheyenne mountain?

  3. I think history will show that the greatest threat to America was itself. When states are confronted with $20 trillion in debt and $125 trillion in unfunded liabilities, they will ponder what each of us would consider: Can I just split and leave the check for the other guys to pay?

    The original 13 colonies will have a legal case for seceding and absolving themselves, because they each have constitutions older than the nation’s. Of course, some states need a larger nation to parasite upon, like New York. New England (especially Vermont and New Hampshire) seem ripe for secessionist movements when debt collapse finally come to fruition.

    • I agree, the only risk to America is America itself. It has it’s own untouched oil for just such an occasion, and more importantly has zigatonnes of coal if it needs to. However it does not want to play that card except as a last resort. Keeping oil flowing from Saudi Arabia is what it wants until they start running out.

      • You can’t run cars — or for that matter any kind of global military operation on coal.

        I know a whole lot of new oil fields (e.g. Marathon Oil’s recent find in North Dakota) have been discovered, but it’s very difficult to bring that kind of operation online and up-to-speed quickly and easily, and until the job is done, America still has a massive potential problem.

        At the end of the day, if America had the oil and more importantly the oil and manufacturing infrastructure to provide for itself during the next century there would be no Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton sabre-rattling, no denunciation of Iran, or China or Russia, no desire to dominate Eurasia or the Pacific.

        I don’t doubt that America can make itself energy independent through both fossil fuels and alternatives, but where’s the action? Where’s the urgency? Nowhere — because the US establishment decided it was easier (and still is easier) to get a free lunch from China and Arabia.

        That’s pretty self-destructive, if you ask me.

      • You can convert coal to oil though, and at a price not much higher than oil is currently. According to some theories, it is no coincidence.

        • Same problem: to do this at a large scale you need massive infrastructural development to bring it online. These are very specialised plants. Germany has huge coal reserves, and Nazi Germany tried to do exactly this, but that didn’t save Hitler, even though he had technological advantages. It still takes time and would probably be slowed further by the various problems (e.g. hyperinflation) that would result from the kind of trade shock and oil shock a war would trigger for America.

  4. Don’t assume any conflict is part of a US plan. It’s not in America’s interest to risk the status quo of being in cahoots with the Saudis. If anything, an interruption of that by Russia or China or Iran would be the greatest risk. A nuclear Iran risks the status quo. Besides, I don’t think Obama has the stomach for confronting Russia, and a good thing too.

    • Obama is a frontman, a gifted (though hollow) orator, and a gifted fundraiser. The real operation in this administration is done through Panetta, Clinton, Holder, Petraeus, etc.

      They are acting right out of the Brzezinski playbook: attempting to divide and destabilise Eurasia, essentially because Eurasia is where all the population density is, where there is huge resources (not just oil, e.g. lithium, neodymium, molybdenum, indium, etc), and where the overwhelming majority of global manufacturing and productivity is. An alliance of the Eurasian autocracies to minimise American involvement in Eurasia is the great fear, because that would threaten America’s ability to get what it wants from Eurasia, and from the global trade web.

      My view is that this is a fundamentally fragile strategy. America should stop wasting resources and manpower trying to control Eurasia, and spend its resources and manpower at home developing the infrastructure, systems and technology to disentangle itself from the volatilities of geopolitics.

      • You mentioned the ‘Brzezinski playbook’. Is there a book which describes this philosophy? I’d like to know more about how my dear leaders think.

      • Certainly a strategy that can backfire badly. Rather than destabilize Eurasia, they could unite them instead. Clearly this explains the US overtures to India and Australia’s newfound uranium exports there.

      • Please help me to understand. I’m fairly new to geopolitics. My background in studying this issue is from the conspiratorial view of history. Our leaders (from the left and right) have been helping to build up the far east for decades, especially China. China wouldn’t be the powerhouse it is today if it weren’t for the west sending its manufacturing over there in the first place (among other actions).

        Why would be do these things? There’s no doubt this all couldn’t have been foreseen. Why do we build up our enemies and also try to tear them down? It seems to me that this is all done to provoke the third world war. The elitists in the west did the same before the first two world wars.

        Should I care anymore? I can’t get a liberal or a conservative here in Tennessee to get their head out of their butt and realize what’s going on.

        Thanks.

        • “I can’t get a liberal or a conservative here in Tennessee to get their head out of their butt and realize what’s going on.”

          If its not possible to turn the ship of State away from the iceberg–even after warning everyone on board–I see nothing wrong with you using this opportunity to profit from the coming crisis. Someone will profit, I’d prefer it is people that support liberty and free markets, such as readers of this website.

          So even though people around you have their heads up their butts, don’t feel that this is necessarily to *your* detriment. Feel free to profit from the close minded people around you, after you’ve made a solid try to educate them.

      • I don’t know if I replied to the correct post. Did you read my other post connected to this article, about the three world wars?

        Is this happening in America because so many of our leaders have secretly always been communists? Is the gun control movement to confiscate guns all about getting Americans unarmed so that China can invade and help our leaders make the world into one communist hellhole?

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