Only rarely does the capitalist press provide even a glimpse of the real
considerations that motivate US foreign policy. However, two items which
appeared recently in the New York Times give an indication of the class
interests that dictate American diplomacy and military action.
The January 2 edition of the Times ran an editorial entitled
"The New Great Game in Asia," which
began: "While few have noticed, Central Asia has again
emerged as a murky battle ground among big powers...."
It continued, "Western
experts believe the largely untapped oil and natural gas riches of the Caspian
Sea countries could make that region the Persian Gulf of the next century."
It would be difficult, the editorial warned, for the US to prevail in the
struggle for dominance in the new Caspian Sea states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan
and Turkmenistan. Russia, Turkey, Iran and China all have historic interests and
claims in the region. And they have been joined by Japan in a scramble to
develop new oil and gas pipelines. "But," adds the Times, "the resources justify
Here, for once, the Times let
slip the veil of humanitarianism and exposed
the basic driving force behind American interventions around the world -- the
striving of US business to grab natural resources and extract superprofits from
the domination of foreign economies.
How the Times' editors conceive of this struggle is exemplified by the title
of their editorial. "The great game" was the term coined by the British writer
Rudyard Kipling to describe the diplomatic and military struggle between czarist
Russia and Britain for influence in central Asia during the nineteenth century.
No less revealing was the title of a piece by New Republic editors Jacob
Heilbrunn and Michael Lind, which appeared on the opposite page of the same
issue of the Times. Headlined "The Third American Empire," this article argued
that the US-led occupation of Bosnia
should not be seen primarily as an assertion of US leadership in Europe,
nor even as an extension of US military power into the Balkans.
The authors asserted that the major aim
of the American military deployment
in Bosnia was to exert US dominance in the Middle East, transforming the
strategic region from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf into a virtual US
protectorate: "Instead of seeing Bosnia as the eastern frontier of NATO, we
should view the Balkans as the western frontier of America's rapidly expanding
sphere of influence in the Middle East."
The article documents the thrust of American military power into the Middle
East, site of the world's largest oil reserves. Shortly after the 1979 Iranian
revolution, President Carter formulated the so-called Carter Doctrine, which
designated the Persian Gulf as "vital" to US interests and established a Rapid
Deployment Force to answer any threat to American imperialist interests there.
This force was subsequently upgraded by the Reagan administration into the
United States Central Command.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the US-led invasion of Iraq in the gulf
war enabled Washington to massively increase its geopolitical and military
presence in the Middle East, establishing a permanent military presence in Saudi
Arabia and the gulf states and creating the US Navy's Fifth Fleet to police the
If the US has been more willing than France, Britain or Germany to support
the establishment of Bosnia as a Moslem state, it is because, say Heilbrunn and
Lind, America now heads a coalition of
Moslem-client states, whose parameters
roughly coincide with the old Ottoman Empire.
The new-born American Empire
supports Feudal Dictators
[T]he U.S. intervention in Bosnia should be
viewed as establishing the western border of a
new American empire in the Middle East
encompassing the regions once ruled by the
[T]his new empire "cannot be justified as a means of
spreading democracy and self-determination... [F]eudal
dictators prevail in many U.S.-puppet states like Saudi
Arabia and Kuwait. [And now -
[The US imperialists fear] that failure in Bosnia
could undermine the third American empire before it has even
The above quote is from:
"The Great Game:
The Comeback of Brasen Empire"
By Fred Goldstein
January 18, 1996
builds Islamic Bosnia
Events in recent weeks have underscored the drive for US military hegemony in
the Middle East. Within days of the Saudi king's announcement that he was
temporarily handing over power to his brother due to ill health, Defense
Secretary William Perry was in Riyadh to pledge an increase in the strength of
US forces in the gulf. The Pentagon will beef up its air forces and deploy a
full brigade's worth of armor in Kuwait, equipment for an armored battalion in
Qatar and "preposition" ammunition in Oman.
During the same trip, Perry announced $300 million in additional military aid
to Jordan. President Clinton, meanwhile, has said he is ready to station US
troops in the Golan Heights in the event of a deal between the Israeli and
Iran, which is perceived to be hostile to US interests, is the target of
increasing American belligerence. Congress is currently discussing a plan to
tighten trade sanctions against Iran, and the House of Representatives,
according to a report in the Washington Post, ordered the CIA to mount a $20
million covert action plan to help "moderate" Iran's government.
As the Times articles cited above demonstrate, America's foreign policy--like
its domestic policy--is a class policy, whose objective is to secure the
economic and political position of US big business.
The claim that Washington
sends American youth to Bosnia, Haiti, Somalia, Iraq or anywhere else to promote
peace and democracy is the propaganda churned out by ... the
mass media for public consumption. It has as much validity as
a fairy tale.
The largest game in town:
In order to gather support for an interventionist
foreign policy in the post-Cold War era, the present
American leadership has had to formulate a foreign
policy that would combine the promotion of American
national interests with the messianic perception of
morality, democracy, and human rights-and do this in
a convincing way, as they did during the Cold War...
The Soviet Union’s disintegration resulted in a
geopolitical vacuum in central-eastern Europe,
the Balkans, and Central Asia. American governments
have not resisted the temptation to fill this vacuum
and consolidate the gains of Cold War victory. For
the United States, Eurasia is clearly the trophy of
its victory in the Cold War. More importantly, its
global primacy, according to its leading geopolitician,
Zbignew Brzezinski, will be directly dependent on how
effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent
is sustained. Brzezinski [in "Out of Control: Global
Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century"]
advocates a more forward policy around the Russian
periphery. He claims that the area, ...
extends from the Adriatic to the border of the
Chinese province of Sinkiang, and from the Persian
Gulf to the Russian-Kazahk frontier...
The above quote is from:
"Systemic Changes and Their Impact on Local Conflicts"
By Constantine Arvanitopoulos Assistant Profesor,
International Politics, Panteion University
Head of Planning, Institute of International Relations,
Having lost its economic hegemony over Europe and Japan, US imperialism
relies more and more heavily on its military might--the one area where it
retains unchallenged supremacy--to project its power. The deployment of American
forces on foreign shores has grown apace under both Republican and Democratic
Washington's use of military power is placing an unsupportable strain on its
relations with Japan and Europe. Already Japan and Germany have thrown off
constitutional restrictions on the deployment of their armed forces overseas.
France is campaigning for the establishment of a European security force
independent of US-led NATO.
The exact nature of the alliances US imperialism will form in the coming
period and precisely where Wall Street will next decide to intervene cannot be
determined with certitude. Under the impact of the globalization of production
and the increasingly frenzied struggle among the major capitalist countries for
markets and resources, class conflict is intensifying, diplomatic alliances are
crumbling and states are breaking apart. What is certain is that the world is
coming face to face with an ever more militaristic and reckless version of
The struggle against militarism and war can only be carried forward as an
anticapitalist struggle, through the mobilization of the working class as an
independent political force and the unification of workers struggles