The Changing World Order

Sumantra Maitra opens his article in The Federalist this way…

Albert Einstein allegedly once said that it is the definition of insanity to do the same thing over and over again, and expect different results. Nothing reflects this more than the foreign policy communities in the two Anglosphere capitals in London and Washington, D.C.

The reactions to the speeches and trip of Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Europe signifies a long overdue change in foreign policy orthodoxy, and the meltdown in commentariat circles has been a sight to behold.

He then discusses a few of those reactions from people like Anne Applebaum, Nicholas Burns, and especially Natalie Nougayrede, all of whose arguments he describes as utter nonsense. He’s correct.

He’s correct because they are positing a situation that hasn’t existed since the early 90s if it ever did. Amongst other things Ms. Nougayrede explicitly tries to equate Europe with the EU, which is not what is to be seen on the ground.

The liberal foreign policy establishment is now so vehemently opposed to Trump that they have forgotten the countries in Europe currently opposed to American isolation were also the very same countries that once opposed American overreaction.

Back in 2003, Germany and France were at the forefront of protests against the United States opposing Iraq, and sided with Russia against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Fast forward a few years, and those same countries are arguing for Russian gas in Europe while moaning about American retrenchment. One might wonder if the only thing that will please Western Europeans is Americans silently continuing to carry the security burden of Europe, while being lectured about morality by their overlords in Brussels. Except that would be unsustainable in the long term, as Bob Gates predicted in 2011.

Many of you know that while I supported the invasion of Iraq, I am troubled. Not that it was not justified, it was, irrespective of WMD. What troubles me more than anything was that once again American (and British) forces were committed to battle with no plans to win the peace that followed their success. Too many instances of this phenomenon is one of the reasons that the American people are less and less willing to commit our troops to these endless wars.

As Professor Michael Desch said, for good or for bad, the United States does not have shared interests with a certain set of countries, or even a set of common values, the way it did 50 years back. Time has changed, geopolitics have changed, and with that, the balance of power is also changing. China is a far bigger threat to the United States than Russia is, and with the terrible cost of nation-building in the Middle East, the relative power of the United States is equilibrated with other powers.

But that’s pure geopolitics. There’s another far more important aspect that is barely mentioned, at least in policy circles. The U.S. grand strategy in Europe has been a continuation of the Anglo-American strategy for the last 500 years: to ensure there’s no unified political union that can be a potential hegemon in Europe, and thus pose any future challenge.

But that was predicated in the idea that nation-states of Europe would be free. The E.U. as an institution was there to help cement peace between Germany and France, but the E.U. as a trade/military hegemon was not part of that American calculation.

Of course, the E.U. military is nowhere comparable to that of the United States, regardless of the Franco-German wish for a European army. But the E.U. is already a trade rival, and E.U. and U.S. interests differ with regard to Russia, Iran, and China. None of those is going to go away anytime soon, and the rift could continue to grow.

I think that rift will continue to grow, and if the UK manages to leave the EU perhaps very quickly. The UK, like the US, and unlike any other European power is primarily a maritime power, known and respected around the world. Part of the reason both of us have always used that Westphalian settlement was to keep from having trouble in the back yard. Philip II of Spain, Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin were all broken on it.

I think it entirely possible that the Visegrad countries will align with the US/UK, as will Poland, which has deep ties with both of us anyway. I’m no longer sure that defending Poland is any longer a strictly eastward facing matter though.

He ends his article with this paragraph, and I can’t improve on it.

Pence and Pompeo are correct in saying the world has changed and one should look at it as it is instead of how it ought to be. One can only hope the European heads of states, as well as our Anglo-American foreign policy establishment, understand this simple truth––that everything in life consists of a choice which leads to a consequence, and living under an American order or facing China and Russia on one’s own is a perfectly valid scenario.

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13 Responses to The Changing World Order

  1. Scoop says:

    Maybe we have been embroiled in WWIII since about 1975 or so . . . in some ways it is similar. Only in this war we are fighting with, words, population bombs, global initiatives, economics, ideologies and political correctness to name a few.

    Besides the obvious hatred of the US by the world we must remember that we are only another Obama away from being loved and treated as one of the fold who will surrender our place in this world for a bowl of pottage and 30 pieces of silver that we might send to Brussels, NATO and the UN.

    From a world filled with laughing and playing children to a negative population growth they have convinced us to be more concerned than ever in geo-politics that family and that is the first battle of this blitzkrieg which they have won both here and in Europe. It stops the average man in the street from concentrating on family matters unless it is focused upon financial concerns (which now almost prohibits people from marrying or having children) as they are convinced that they cannot make it in this world if they spend their money on raising the next generation.

    I think the obvious choice not mentioned in the last paragraph is the choice of allowing Europe to become, organically (by means of birthrate), to become part of the caliphate. This, of course, will put them in the arena of totalitarian states of old, but, I doubt Russia or China will be thrilled with them or actually court them. In fact, it might be that this is where the US, Britain, Russia and China might meet with equal ire and disdain for the New World Order. Hope it implodes before that happens but they are halfway there already. As soon as you have convinced your people to quit creating families and look out for number 1 (your own financial gain) you are embarking down the road desired by Engels and yet, it may very well backfire with the rising, once again, of the menace of the Islamic State.

    Liked by 4 people

    • NEO says:

      Europe is lost, I fear, at least to the german Polish border, Britain has some chance, although it is diminishing, and Russia has returned to Christianity (mostly) and they have commented that the EU is the new Soviet Union. Steyn was right, we are looking at America Alone in our childrens lifetime, unless China wins, that’s why the Pacific is so important.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Scoop says:

        I tend to agree with Steyn . . . but we better find a way to perpetuate the US and American values via a healthy reproductive process; children raised within a moral fabric, purpose and cause. We best lose our concepts of finance first and turn our eyes toward our children and their offspring as primary to our survival. Otherwise we will fall victims to this New World Order as well. All eyes are upon us though . . . as Steyn is right; we are the last best hope for this world and it would be nice to gather some support around the world for our success rather than our demise.

        Liked by 3 people

    • the unit says:

      Lots of good sense there throughout.
      As to the first paragraph, we’re in the “fog of war” and politics by other means you mention.
      Trump recently criticized for not exactly following the advice of the intelligence experts.
      Clausewitz said “Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain…. In short, most intelligence is false.”[17]:Vol. I pg. 38 (Wiki about Clausewitz)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Nicholas says:

    The picture is bleak, and I don’t rule out the possibility of hot civil wars if we don’t manage to get our houses in order. The Brexit issue is harder to be sure of, because Brits don’t have a firearms culture anymore, but I would expect conservatives in the US to fight the liberal fascists if push came to shove (I assume you guys have that expression in the US).

    Europe I expect to enter into an alliance of some form with the Caliphate (which may or may not use that term). The most likely leader of the Caliphate is Turkey, which has the best credentials with the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is fighting the MB via its military government; Iran is Shi’ite, so persona non grata, and the KSA has too much of a reputation for “decadence” and ties to the US.

    Liked by 1 person

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