America is returning, says Joe Biden, meaning that under him the United States will once again play a leading role in world politics, upholding democratic values and building relationships with allies. That is, the States will again be responsible for the global world order – and the days of Trump-style national selfishness are over.
The rest of the world took note of this loud slogan – well, let's see how you do it in the new conditions. The world has changed, moreover, even before Trump's presidency, and Washington is now again trying to pretend to be “king of the hill”, despite the fact that the mountain is already crumbling. Yes, although the external situation is unfavorable for the United States, the globalist American elite does not consider any other scenario – moreover, the radical part of the establishment generally believes that the country's main problems are not outside, but inside. Because the main obstacle to the triumph of the world liberal order and the preservation of America's current position is not Russia or China, but the American people themselves. Who does not understand his happiness and his mission – and he urgently needs to explain everything:
“The time has come to tell the Americans that they cannot escape global responsibility and that they must think not only about defending their homeland. They need to understand that the goal of NATO and other alliances is to defend not from direct threats to US interests, but from a violation of that order that best serves these interests. They need to honestly say that the task of maintaining world order is endless and fraught with heavy costs, but this order is preferable to other alternatives. “
Who should explain this? “This is the work of Joe Biden and his new administration” – who writes it? Robert Kagan is an analyst at the Brookings Institution and the husband of Victoria Nuland, the new US Undersecretary of State. That is, the administration itself gives itself a directive and will now carry it out at any cost. Teaching Americans to love the American-created world order – whatever the cost.
Kagan's article in Foreign Affairs is called “Superpower. Whether you like it or not!”, And it carries one simple idea: America is very strong, so strong that it does not understand the full scale of its power and periodically wants to close in its fortress. And only this is her weakness. But you need to explain this to the Americans – and thereby save the world, liberal values and America itself.
In Kagan's view, Americans have underestimated themselves throughout their recent history: “Most of the historical tragedies of the last century were caused by the actions of great powers whose aspirations exceeded their capabilities. Americans have the opposite problem. Their opportunities for global primacy surpass their perception of their place and role in the world “.
America's misunderstanding of its power and role leads to fluctuations in the American course – it periodically tries to escape responsibility for the world order and begin to behave like a normal power:
“It meant protecting our citizens, our territory, our wealth and access to essential goods. It was not about fighting to maintain a balance of power in Europe or Asia, promoting democracy, or taking responsibility for problems in the world that did not directly concern Americans. a continentally oriented outlook still reigns today. It does not deny that the United States has its own interests, and assumes that these are the same interests that are pursued by most countries in the world. “
But the States have been not a normal power for a century now – and now they need to remain it, exclaims Kagan. And the danger lies in the fact that the States, as has already happened, will cease to believe in themselves, will begin to move away from their role – and this will create the illusion of their weakness and provoke the terrible:
“As a result, Americans often acted poorly. Their American-continental outlook on the world spawned a century of savage indifference, followed by panic, mobilization and intervention, followed by retreat and“ sitting in the trenches. ”What Americans call relatively inexpensive military the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq by “eternal wars” is just one of the latest examples of their unpreparedness for the complex and endless task of maintaining global peace and actions to prevent threats. “
And further: “In both cases, the Americans walked out the door with one foot at the moment they entered,” which limited their ability to fully control difficult situations. This “step forward, two back” approach, which is repeated over and over again, is confusing and introduces misleading both allies and adversaries, often to the point of engendering conflicts that could have been avoided through the clear and consistent use of American power and influence to bring about a peaceful, stable, and liberal world order.The twentieth century was littered with the corpses of foreign leaders and governments that misjudge the United States, from Germany (twice) and Japan to the Soviet Union, from Serbia to Iraq.If America wants the same scheme not to be present in the 21st century – which is most dangerous in competition with China – then Americans need to stop looking for ways out and accept the role that fate and their own strength have imposed on them. “
The perverse view of Kagan's “iron” logic: the Americans should not feel hesitant in their mission, because as soon as they start to twitch, this provokes opponents to adventures, and the States have to destroy them. It is unclear, however, what Kagan means by the “restriction” imposed on himself by the Americans, which did not allow him to fully control the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. Did they bomb a little? Was it necessary to use nuclear weapons? Not occupied long enough? Twenty years is not enough – let's forty? It is clear what he is really dissatisfied with: stupid Americans “are not ready for the complex and endless task of preserving world peace.” Yes, and they are again in a decadent mood: “The Chinese believe the United States is in decline, and many Americans agree. The danger is that as Beijing ramps up efforts to implement what it calls“ Chinese a dream, “Americans will start to panic. It is at times like these that miscalculations are made.”
That is, China is gaining strength – and the Americans do not react, and then, when the process has already gone too far, will they suddenly panic and strike at China? But why should this happen at all – maybe China is threatening American interests or wants to take California for itself? No, we are talking about Chinese domination in Asia – for some reason impermissible for the largest and most ancient Asian power. Inadmissible from the point of view of a 250-year-old United States? Of course not – from the point of view of that supranational Atlantic elite, on whose behalf, in fact, Kagan speaks. For her, the Americans are just a tool that must be properly tuned to fight for their own global domination:
“The hard truth is that in the real world, the only hope for maintaining liberalism at home and abroad is the maintenance of a world order conducive to liberalism, and the only force that can maintain that order is the United States. This is not arrogance, but reality based on a real assessment of the situation in the world. And this is certainly not an unambiguous good. In trying to maintain this order, the United States has resorted and will resort to force, sometimes unwise and ineffectively, with unpredictable costs and ambiguous moral consequences. possession of power. “
But how do you convince Americans to bear this burden? Scare? This is what they always did – the same Kagan recalls an episode, little known in Russia, when in 1947 (the cold war with the USSR was already underway) the Americans still refused to support Greece (in which a civil war broke out – and without any interference from Moscow) and Turkey (on which Stalin pressed after 1945 – but there was no threat of war): “Then Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg demanded that the Truman administration” scare the American people to hell, “and Acheson (Secretary of State) saw the expediency of such a policy, as he later admitted in his memoirs: “clearer than clear. When communism was the only enemy, everything mattered. Every act was an act of defense.”
But now the horror stories don't work. Russia was intimidated for several years, and it was also accused of manipulating the American elections, but still this did not greatly affect even Trump's support. Fear of China? But it also does not work very well on Americans. Demonizing external opponents does not work. Therefore, Kagan proposes to go the other way: in order to continue to support America's globalist step, it is necessary to convince the Americans that abandoning this mission will lead to catastrophic consequences. Not only for the whole world, but primarily for the United States itself:
“Their recipes suffer from unfounded optimism about possible alternatives to the US-led world order. Realists, liberal internationalists, conservative nationalists and progressives seem to imagine that the world will be fine and US interests will be just as well protected without it. so that Washington continues to play the role it has played for the past 75 years. But neither modern history nor the current world situation justifies such idealism. The alternative to the American world order is not the Swedish world order. It will not be a world of the rule of law and international institutions. or a world of Enlightenment ideals triumphing. It will be a world of power vacuums, chaos, conflict and political miscalculation. It will be a truly pathetic sight. “
That is, the world without America will slide into chaos? Who do Americans have to be to believe this? Especially after decades of interventionist policies not only failed to bring prosperity and tranquility in the world (look at the Middle East at least), but also did not make America internally stronger and more united. Quite the opposite – the longer the Americans carried their burden of world domination, the more exacerbated the internal contradictions and conflicts in the United States.
Perhaps the key is that the interests and goals of the globalist part of the American establishment and the American people as such contradict each other – and the further, the sharper this contradiction will become? And the existence of the United States as a nation state is incompatible with its role as a global “superpower”? The future of this people and their state will depend on the understanding of this by the Americans themselves – and Robert Kagan has no arguments that would force the Americans to continue working for other people's interests. Fear doesn't work anymore.