Thanks to Geopolitical Experts George Friedman  Peter Zeihan  Kevin Rudd
Yves Smith
  John Mearsheimer  Sam Wilkin   Compiler W. Antoniotti 4/17/19   Return to Geopolitics 

Prelude: Follow the Money

1. Politics at Yalta

2. Post WW 2 American Led Prosparity, Stability,
and Negative Populist Reactions

3. Considering Past Mistakes

 


Prelude: Factors Indicating
a New International Order

1. Stability Ends, U.S. Dominates

2. US Liberal Foreign Policy Hegemony Ends

3. Responding to China: A Plan

Epilog Trump's Foreign Policy

Prelude: 1. Follow the Money

Capitalism Requires Sound Money

The Gold Standard rules geopolitics until the 20th century.
Until then, Brittan had all the gold and ruled capitalism. The US grew economically, took control of gold, and after WW 2, ruled capitalism. Economic growth created pressure on US gold reserves so, in 1970, she gave up partially backing the dollar with gold.

A Dollar Standard was created by the US because she had enough consumer and business demand, financed by debt, to supply dollars for world trade. Dollars came back to the US as foreigners bought US assets and debt. The Euro was created as a multination currency controlled by Germany. She kept a tight reign on inflation. Members who did not manage budgets soon got into trouble. This coincided with a few European bank controlling worldwide dollar trade flows using Euro's, not dollars, as collateral. But contracts required payment in dollars and the banks, wanting to maximize profit, had borrowed dollars very short term. They were in trouble when the Great Recession created a need for dollars and rolling over dollar loans became impossible. The FED, as lender of last resort, created dollar obligations which were loaned to the world's financial community. Germany believing in austerity, force debt repayment on failing countries and banks. Populism resulted. Note: FED owes the dollar obligations to the Treasury and may or may not repay them. Since 1776, a strong US economy has allowed her to refinance debt. Cost is Interest Payments.

2. Beginning of a Post War
 International Geopolitical Era

1648 Peace of Westphalia
Sovereignty of participants over their lands, people, and agents abroad was established.

Broken by European Colonialism

1941 Atlantic Charter 
No spheres of influence allowed, territorial self-determination required

First problem came immediately as Soviets did whatever it took to keep Communists in charge of the buffer state Poland.

The US responded with the Truman Doctrine. Eventually U.S./Britain sponsored covert activities would try to slow Communist advancement. One such activity was the September of 1953 GB/US sponsored Iranian Coup to keep control Iranian oil/profit.  Unintended consequences followed.  First came the seizure in 1979 of the Tehran U.S. embassy by Militant Iranian students. Then, 20 years later, the 9/11 Trade Center attacks made many American feel insecure.

Continuing Problem

The US would try to maintain its sphere of influence throughout Latin America and stop Russia and China spheres of influence. Both groups made the world their spheres.

3. 1973-2003
Neoliberal State Development

dominated world politics

Adoption Would Maximized Human Welfare?

Iraq's Economic Restructuring Agenda was issued in September of 2003 by Paul Bremmer of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Many felt these dictums were illegal under the Hague and Geneva conventions so an interim sovereign government  was created. It required many neoliberal economic requirements. Key among them were 1) Private Property for everything but oil 2) Free Markets with unlimited Foreign Direct Investment/Ownership 3) Unregulated International Trade 4) Unlimited Profit Repatriation. Entrepreneurship was fostered by guaranteed Intellectual Property Rights and a conservative Flat Tax.

A 1973 U.S. orchestrated Chilean Coup had set up a new government to follow neoliberal Chicago Boys privation advise with similar requirements except copper resource ownership would not change.

Unites States controlled IMF development programs follow similar guidelines in support of the US International Trade Hegemony. But more was involved as independent leaders like Thatcher in the early 1970's  and Xiaoping in the late 1970's also embraced neoliberal economics. Then  Germany required similar neoliberal economic requirements in response to Great Recession budget and banking problems.

European Populism resulted.

4. US Hegemony 3?

Hegemony 1 was designed to meet Cold War needs by dominaing global manufacturing trade. Domination, with it extensive profit and extensive worker wage gains, began to diminish because of Tiger Country competition.  Liberals did not support labor, instead union buyback enhanced US ability to compete because of slow wage growth.

To protect profit, conservatives expanded neoliberal political activities. First goal was controlling the Supreme Court by financing conservative law students to create a pool of for choosing conservative federal judges.

Business turned away from local less profitable US manufacturing and invested in overseas production. They also expanded into corporate financing activities. Chairman Greenspan took charge of the lender of last resort Federal Reserve.  Keynesian dominance was being  replaced by neoliberal free unregulated market economics.

Hegemony 2 made Wall Street more important than Main Street as conservative presidents Reagan, Bush I and II combined with business friendly Clinton. Obama was Wall Street friendly. Neoliberalism economic dominance was complete. The stage was set for the public to pay for inevitable market failures caused by Less Financial Regulation. A Great Recession was followed by a European Financial Collapse. The FED created money and paid the entire cost.

Hegemony 3? Will US dominates in the a world of political populism.

 

Post WW 2 American Led Prosparity, Stability, and Populism

Centuries Always Consist of Eating, Drinking, Loving, Hating

Source History Repeating: Why Populists Rise and Fall video

1-1 Great Wars Led to New International Order

1-2. Six Weeks Changed the World

1-3. Nationalism Was Back

1-4 Why Populist Win

1-5 The Future of International Relations

1-6 End of Two Myths

1-1 Great Wars Led to a New International Order

A. New Boarders Especial in the Middle East  

B. Europeans Faced the Moral Abyss because, as the most civilized people, she had killed 100 million people.

C. Nations must be controlled before they destroy each other.

D. Multiple International Organizations were needed to create
a unity not created by the League of Nations and Munich Political Organizations-NATO, European Union ...
Financial Organization- IMF, World Bank...

Success resulted as there was a 70 Year peace.
Moral Justification was provided by this success, organizations  represented no one.

1-2. Six Weeks Changed the World

A. Russia invaded Georgia on 8/8/08
1. Political Organizations did nothing ending 1991 political assumptions

2. Russia was back and there is going to be trouble

B. Financial Organizations failed to stop Lehman Brothers
and resulting Great Recession

C. Self-Ruling Technocrats failed because they did not understand:

1. U.S. [politicians] allowed experienced financial crisis technocrats
to hand out the pain.

2. Europe, needing approval of many national central bank,
has not handed out pain.

3. Germany wouldn't forgive loans and Greece did not want to pay loans.

 


The Creation of a New International Order Dr. George Friedman, Geopolitical Forecaster 20 min video
 

 

1-3 Nationalism Was Back

A. Unemployment of 20% was not German pain and
low 6% unemployment in Germany was not Greek success.
Reality had changed, they returned to being two different countries.

B. Polarization was dramatic within countries as
Technocrats who ran the government and finance were fine
except where austerity force government layoffs.

C. European Union was usurping the future
of those absorbing of 20% unemployment.

D. Not only did technocrats fail to see the problems,
they attacked politicians trying to protect the people,
the nation and they limited liberal central authority solutions.

E. Hatred, anger and outrange had to be dealt with.

1-4 Why Populist Win
History Repeating: Why Populists Rise and Fall video

A. Mainstream Elite Establishment Failed and Must be Punished
US Financial Crisis Unpunished, Bank Failures in Europe
B. New Communication Creates New Power Source
Those in Power Unable to Keep Control
Examples
1. Printing Press - Protestant Reformation
2. Radio - Hitler
3. Cassettes - Iranian Revolt
4. Fax Soviet Union Dissolves
5. Social Media - Philippine Revolt. Brexit, Trump, Flash Mobs
C. Leader to Protect People from Failed Elites Needed.
Campaign against system
People feel like responsible revolutionaries
Liberals and Conservative may combine to combat system
D. Elites try to impeach leader rather than fix system failures
E. Sundry
Populists Tend to Win When Turnout is Low
Brexit was an abnormally with very high turnout
Populist Conservatives are good a building Coalitions
Populism was more prevalent before WW 2 and only has recently returned
Populist are not policy dependent because key is anti system messages

1-4 Future of Geopolitics

A. The 21st century will be politically volatile,
more like the 19th century than the second half of the 20th century.
B. World is no longer "hard wired" to a liberal international order.
C. The French Revolution and Enlightenment were correct.
The nation state is needed to bind people together.
D. World will revolve around nations
1. US with 25% of the world economy, even when acting stupidly,
still must be considered.
2. Russia, dependent on oil prices, will again continue her decline.

3. China will begin more normal economic growth but must deal with
a billion poor people.

4. Germany is trade dependent in stagnating world,
continues mercantilism, will not lead.
5. Japan has third largest GDP, a stable society, a strong Navy
and is the Asian power.
6. Russia who faces an equal Turkey, hopes for coexistence,
and hopes not to react.
7. Poland is fastest growing European economy and must be considered.

1-5 End of Two Myths
A. Multilateral Organizations Solve All of Problems.
B. Harvard Graduate Manage Organizations Solves Problems.

Considering Past Mistakes

Like 1914, West Not Managing Social and Economic Change

Source by Yves Smith  Summarized by Walter Antoniotti

Europe enjoyed nearly 100 years of peace.

One reason was the 1815 Treaty of Vienna had given top priority in negotiations over how various territories were to be ruled.

Second, the new liberal order, powered by the Industrial Revolution was producing improved apparent domestic prosperity reducing the attractiveness of war.

Third, British and European states territorial ambitions and colonial land grabs offered more upside with less risk of manpower and treasure.

By Anatol Lieven. a professor in the War Studies Department of King’s College London and a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC. See Anatomy of American Nationalism republished in September 2012. Originally published in The National Interest on December 22, 2018; cross posted from open Democracy

Peace ended with World War 1 in which some 16 million Europeans died, two great European countries destroyed, and others crippled was recently celebrated. This year may be the last of 29 relatively quiet years before the world’s major powers once again moved into deep and structural mutual hostility.

WW 1 engendered the scourges of Communism and Nazism. It led to a Second World War and the near destruction of European civilizations.

Nothing the political and cultural elite who were swept away for leading their countries into war could potentially be worth the potential lost.

Western allies portrayed the war as civilizations against German barbarism. Today one can certainly say the British and French systems were better than the German; but one must admit that an Algerian subject of the French Empire or an African subject of the British Empire might have a different perspective. Also, the Russian Empire made a pretty odd member of the supposed alliance for democracy.

The 1914 barbaric threat to European civilizations was the ruling establishments.   It came from decades of social and economic changes which generated hatreds and tensions building within European societies.

Before 1914, the European conservative elites encouraged aggressive nationalism to divert mass support away from socialism. To preserve the old European order, they moved in a most disastrously direction.

Today, the new cold war against China and Russia represent grave threats being generated by the conservative western establishment. A new geopolitical direction, it is comparable to that taken in during the early 20th century.

 

This new cold war is serving as a distraction from vastly graver threats. Western political elites are unwilling to address threats which would involve radical changes to their ideological positions. Their obsession with their own righteousness and civilizational superiority is leading to the moral civilizational fantasies that had helped bring on the 1914-18 disaster. This is liable to engender the distortion in judgment which, in the blindness of crusading frenzy, destroys nations and civilizations.

Ironies involved with the US leading a new “league of democracies” against an “authoritarian alliance” include the anti-Chinese participation of Vietnamese communists, murderous Filipino authoritarian populists, and above all Indian Hindu neo-fascists. Authoritarian and cultural nationalistic member Poland is bitterly anti-Russian. Add France in 2022 if she elects a president from the National Front. 

Diverting domestic discontent into external hostility rarely works because the factors that created the discontent remain unchanged. Does anyone who has interviewed the “Yellow Vests” in France seriously think that they are acting as they do because of manipulation from Moscow? Does anyone who has seriously studied the crisis of the white working classes in the USA believe they have voted for Trump because they have been swayed by Russian propaganda?

A More important link between Russia and America is the rise of Putin and Trump. Another is the rising death rate among working class males since the 1990’s in Russia and recently in America. In addition is the diseases and addictions fueled by economic, social and cultural insecurity and despair. In Central America a far more terrible version of these pathologies is driving millions of people to seek US asylum. This is driving U.S.  radicalization. Yet total US aid to Mexico in 2017 was less than that to is Ukraine or Egypt, and a fraction of that to Afghanistan. Does any truly responsible national establishment neglect its own neighborhood in this way?

Climate change threatens damage greater than anything the Chinese or Russian governments could or would wish to inflict. Yet media-politically generated hysteria over a minor Russia/Ukrainian clashes in the Sea of Azov could overshadowed close US-Russian co-operation to block the latest UN report on climate change.

There are real threats from Russia and China (notably trade) where the USA needs to push back. But these are limited issues which are negotiable or containable. They do not justifies restructuring western national geopolitical strategies and institutions around a new cold war. .

If Khrushchev had not transferred Crimea from the Russian Soviet Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1956, everyone would recognize the Sea of Azov as Russian, and this issue would not even exist. In the South China Sea, the USA is pushing back against China in the name of an international Law of the Sea which the USA itself does not recognize. If the Chinese were ever so mad as to use their position in the South China Sea against US trade, the US Navy could block Chinese trade to the whole of the rest of the world.”

Serbian nationalist triggered WW 1. Most British soldiers who died in the First World War had ever heard of Serbia or of Sarajevo. In the name of God, let us not make this mistake again.

Prelude: Factors Indicating a New International Order

"Source The Creation of a New International Order
Dr. George Friedman, Geopolitical Forecaster 20 min video

1. The 21st century will be politically volatile,
more like the 19th century than the second half of the 20th century.

2. World is no longer "hard wired" to a liberal international order.
    
3. The French Revolution and Enlightenment were correct.
The nation state is needed to bind people together.

4. World will revolve around nations
a. US with 25% of the world economy, even when acting stupidly, still must be considered.
b. Russia,
dependent on oil prices, will again continue her decline.

c. China
will begin more normal economic growth but must deal with a billion poor people.
d. Germany is trade dependent in stagnating world, continues mercantilism, will not lead.
e. Japan has third largest GDP, a stable society, a strong Navy and is the Asian power.
f. Russia who faces an equal Turkey, hopes for coexistence, and hopes not to react.
g. Poland is fastest growing European economy and must be considered.

5. Old Mistakes
1. Multilateral Organizations Solve All of Problems.
2. Harvard Graduate Manage Organizations Solves Problems.

See The Next 100 Years

Related Materials

1. America First' has won, by Robert Kagan at NYT.

2. Saving Liberal Democracy from the Extremes, FT's M. Wolf

3. The Far-right Book Every-Russian General Reads

See Trump's New Political Era?

 

 

1) Stability Ends, U.S. Dominance Continues Option 1

2018 Begins A New International Order
Peter Zeihan on Power and Global Disorder in 2018 22 min video11/8/18
See book videos The Accidental Superpower
   The Absent Superpower

Index

Preface:
Peter bases his analysis on the US no longer maintaining global order
which only existed to win the now over for 25 years Cold War.

Index

1. Designing a US Foreign Policy

2. Friends and Family Plan

3. A Strong U.S. Position

4. Requirements for Success

5. Expected Global Conflicts

6. Very Recent Changes

1-1 Designing a US Foreign Policy

Determining what we want requires

Fixing the Political Party System at a time when political parties are in a reinvention process
which last happened in the 1930's. It took 12 years.

Have a Conversation on replacing the Breton Woods trading system
which was designed to win the Cold War by fostering world trades.

Set a Foreign Policy Goals

1-2 Friends and Family Option 1
Earn agreement of countries that are cultural and politically similar to US.
Canada, New Zeeland, United and probably Mexico

Earn agreements from a next group countries needing little maintenance
France, Japan, India, Thailand and some other southeast Asian countries 

TAKE IT or LEAVE IT message to Germany, China, Russia, Korea and say

1-3 A Strong U.S. Position

1. Largest strip of high-quality arable land in the world

2. Most Navigable Water ways in the world

3. Control best parts of a continent with moats on either side

4. If US trading system breaks down, US suffers the least! but

5. Trade is how we subsidized the Global system so getting NAFTA correct is important.

6. US delusion of China being the next super power,
    given she has only managed to hold together for 300 years, is amusing.

1-4 Requirements for Success

Geography that is productive and protected from outside forces
U.S very good , Georgia very bad

Economically Favorable Demography for high growth with
younger members spending, mature members earning and investing
US doing well as baby boomers had kids, the Millennials
Financial burden of the US relatively small baby boomer demographic will end
China, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain
have the highest tax paying work force they will ever have.
Only Spain and GB are not past the point of Demographic regeneration.
The others are "terminal countries."
Few countries, maybe the French and New Zeeland have a favorable demographic

3. Ample energy to fuel the economy as dependency put a governor on grown

Doing this analysis was reported in Accidental Superpower.

1-5 Expected Global Conflicts

Nuclear armed Russia, a seriously terminal country is our biggest fear
and we should keep relations reasonable positive.
She is an economic and demographic tragic disaster and
will probably  not exist as a country within 40 years.
Bush 2 and Obama's Russian relations were criminally mishandled

Withdrawing as world's protector means little need to
contain China, that is Japans concern
contain Iran, that is Turkey and the Saudis concern

Nukes will be used but not against us as no one is close
to our equal except Russia, which is a US concern.

Korean nukes are only a delivery problem,
there existence is a South Korean/Japanese worry

Potential Conflicts
Persian Gulf between Iran and Saudis
Eurasian Fringe War with Russia vs. Germans, Poles, Scandinavians and Brits
Naval conflict between China, Japan S Korea and Taiwan as they try to keep themselves
fueled as middle east and Russian supplies become harder to come by.

1-6 Very Recent Changes

Happening faster because Obama did less than expected,
almost as if he did not want to have conversations with people.

Near the end he new how important factors were Interconnected.
How China's economy worked
Why Russia interfered with the election system,
Solar energy needs a backup
What a good tax policy would look like

Obama did not care enough to have related policies.
He had understanding but no policy.
With Trump, no understanding but a commitment some policy
Which is worse?

US has forced a acceleration of adjustments by world players
Brexit as the European Union disintegration accelerates
Chinas need for rapid growth while US still managing World security
Xi tries to cooperate as without free trade, china fall apart.

 

2) U.S. Liberal Foreign Policy Hegemony Ends Option 2

2-1 Definitions
Liberalism:
Focus on individualism and makes room for social contracts.
All have inalienable rights, it is universalism.
Nationalism:
Focus on social group, tribalism, make room for individualism.
Realism:
Focus on the state, the top of the geopolitical food chain.
Balance of Power is realist's only concern, political system is irrelevant, a black box.
Liberal foreign policy to spread liberal democracy not possible.
Defensive Realists
feel competitive geopolitics, limits aggression, perpetuate status quo.
Against force in Vietnam because balance of power was not at stake.
Nationalism, "the" most powerful geopolitical doctrine, made US Vietnam success problematic.

2-2 Unipolar World
Collapse of Soviet Union
created a Unipolar World.
U.S. Liberal Foreign Policy
has three goals.
Spread Liberal Democracy
by toppling dictatorships.
Build Open International System.
Expand International Institutions.

2-3 U.S. Liberal Geopolitical Hegemony Advantages
Human Rights generally protected
Interstate conflict, terrorism are less prevalent.

2-4 Failures of Liberal Foreign Policy
Perusing a Liberal Hegemony throughout Middle East
after the Iranian confrontation was won failed because of Nationalism.

Zone of Liberal Democracies created by expanding NATO eastward
soured important positive relations with nuclear superpower Russia,
who will be needed to balance the power that is China.
Problems created by the West in Georgia and Ukraine resulted in Russia reentering geopolitics.

Driving both Russia and Iran toward China is not appropriate policy.

Liberal foreign policy toward China ignored balance of power concern creating a Goliath.

National Security State is needed to fight for Democracy around the world has
led to the bypassing of Congress and the degradation of individual liberties.
A Foreign Policy aimed at creating a Liberal Hegemony has failed.

2-5 Realist Grand Strategies
Isolationism to avoid foreign entanglements
Offshore Balancing
uses regional powers to check potential hostile power.
Selective Engagement limits US engagement to events affecting security and Prosparity.
 

3. Responding to China: A Strategic Plan Option 3

source Latest from Kevin Rudd

1. Preface

U.S. Government Not Designed for Governmental Grand Strategies
a. Separation of powers requires compromise
b. Many want limited government
c. Private Sector Renewals solve problems

Recent Exception After WW 2
a. The Long Telegram described a very aggressive Soviet Union.

b. Result was a 40-year multi-administration coordinated policy of containment.
c. It worked-The Cold War ended peacefully

Containment Success
a. Fragility of Soviet Economy and Society Caused Implosion from Within
b. China is very different.

Trump Would Say We Have a Strategic Policy

1. National Security Strategy issued in 12/2017
2. National Defense Strategy issued in 1/2018
3. Future of US Defense Manufacturing Industry issued mid 2018

2. US Strategic Plan

Era of Strategic Engagement Over Replaced by Strategic Competition

a. Engagement-you engage and one side backs down.
b. Competition is more adversarial but no guidelines given.
c. Rules to be determined

3. Washington's Latest Attitude Toward China Not Positive.
a. Makes any kind of convergence of societies difficult
b. Move toward McCarthyism in U.S. and Australia is not good Foreign Policy.

4. Geopolitical Factors for Next Four Years
a. China under Xi Jinping "will resist any forces: economic, social, political, or foreign
    which in any way challenge the long-term survival of the Communist Party.
b. Strong-man, long-time party member, assistant Vice Premier
Li_Keqiang
    has moved toward markets rankling conservative politburo bureau members.

 

Epilog: Trump’s Foreign Policy

Brookings Institute: Thomas Wright

Trump  visceral foreign policy instincts date back three decades. He has long rejected

1. US security alliances as unfair to the taxpayer,
with allies of conning Washington into defending them for free.

2. Trade deficits are a threat to U.S. interests rejecting virtually all trade deals
that the United States has negotiated since World War II.

3. Admires strongmen around the world: in 1990, for example,
he lamented Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev had not cracked down
on demonstrators as Beijing had in Tiananmen Square one year before.

Phase 1 was that of constraint from his inauguration until he grew frustrated
at [things like] McMaster’s arguing to keep troops in place.

Phase 2 began in 9/17 with the unilateral action began to bypass
the formal deliberative interagency decision making process and
announced the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Soon he ended the Iran nuclear deal, imposed tariffs on friends
and rivals alike, renewed his criticism of NATO  keeping  troops in Syria.
Most famously, he decided to meet with Kim in Singapore without
consulting his national security cabinet and  made the unilateral
decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A new empowering team began  2018 with the removal of Tillerson, McMaster,
and Cohn over three-weeks  with their replacements—
Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and Larry Kudlow—all having personal loyalty to Trump.
Then UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s departed then the Mattis’ resignation on December 21. 

A recent positive development from the administration
was welcomed by many foreign policy experts.
Recognized that Russia and China posed to the U.S.-led
international order and affirmed the importance of alliances.

National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy
1) moved focus from terrorism to great-power competition.

But Trump seems uninterested and his remarks introducing
the strategy with a single sentence about rival powers
with a plea for the importance of cooperation with Russia.

2) A transactional approach, it places little value in historical ties.
It has no permanent friends and no permanent enemies.
It favors Authoritarian governments that often offer such swift concessions
and are easier to deal with them than with democratic allies.
For example, Saudi Arabia was able to reduce the price of oil
to appease the president after the president sided with it
following the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

3) Leverage is used to gain an economic advantage
Examples 
1) Trump’s team entertained Poland’s bid to pay for a U.S. military base in its country
2) has pressured the United Kingdom to pursue a hard Brexit so that the United States
could pocket concessions in talks on a bilateral U.S.-British free trade agreement.

" Paradoxically, the advent of a more unified and predictable U.S. foreign policy is likely to
weaken American influence and destabilize the international order.
A deeply divided Trump administration was the best case for those who believe in
the United States’ postwar strategy, defined by strong alliances, an open global economy,
and broad support for democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.
Because Trump was never going to change his worldview, his administration
had been marked by either division or agreement on his terms.
We now have the latter
. Thus begins phase three—
the impact of a unified Trump administration on the world.

Editor's Note:

Because Trump's methods put much of the foreign establishment out of business,
trusting this and similar Trump articles is difficult. As a result,
 I include few opinions reporting mostly historical activities.

 
 
 

 

This entry was posted in Doomsday scenarios, Economic fundamentals, Europe, Guest Post, Income disparity, Politics, Russia on January 17, 2019 by Yves Smith.