“America First!” This was propagated by US President-elect Donald Trump. “America must lead the World Again,” the Democrats are now demanding. Newly elected US President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have set it out in two policy papers.
The most striking thing about these essays is that the United Nations (UN) never exists in both. In return, they repeatedly assert that “America is ready to lead again”. For “the international system that the United States once so carefully constructed” is in danger of falling apart – “coming appart at the seams”; this is because of Trump’s four-year rule.
“Country Defense” as Global Warfare
The future President Joseph R. Biden published his world policy ideas in March of this year in the magazine “Foreign Affairs”. Title of his presentation: “Why America must lead again”.
The second paper has now been published by Hillary Clinton in the same magazine. It outlines how Biden’s global leadership claim could be implemented militarily more cost-effectively. Title: “A national security offset”. Clinton writes that one of the top priorities is modernizing the U.S. military. Specifically, less money for expensive, old-fashioned weapons systems such as the 11 US aircraft carriers, heavy battle tanks or the F-35 super-fighter jet. Instead, billions of dollars invested in new, modern submarines and the Long-range B-21 Raider bomber.
This bomber project was commissioned by the then-Democratic US government at Northrop-Grumman in 2015 for development costs of USD 23.5 billion. The B-21 will overcome any air defense, Clinton boasts. And what it previously presented, generally euphemistic, as a defense, now comes as what it is: “Long-range conventional attack”, to german: conventional attacks over (world)wide distances.
“Defense” as a military “intervention” to assert “US interests” worldwide: this is a tradition in Washington – from Korea to Vietnam to Iraq. Currently, Clinton calls “the skies and seas of East Asia”: “The superiority of the USA is no longer assured.” That is why, as US Secretary of State, she has negotiated an agreement to station 2,500 Marines on a US base in Australia directly on the South China Sea.
U.S. Democrats sway around the U.N.
The US Democrat means “defense” means the use of submarines and long-range bombers around the world. What does not prevent them, however, from lamenting the “over-militarization of US foreign policy” as a “bad habit”. But where Clinton calls for increased efforts for diplomacy and disarmament, this has (literally) a purpose in advance – to “strengthen the military position of the United States.”
Moreover, diplomacy and disarmament should not be promoted within the framework of UN organizations, which Clinton never mentioned – and certainly not for the benefit of the entire international community. But specifically to secure US dominance and to advance global power against Russia and China. Literally: “US-alliances are an asset that neither China nor Russia can match, allowing Washington to project force around the world.”
Biden’s worldview focuses on “friend and foe”
All of this fits with Biden’s worldview, as he outlined in his policy paper last March. This picture consists of “friends and foes” – friends and enemies. The US is the strongest military power in the world. As their “commander in chief”, he will ensure that this remains the case. But who exactly are these enemies (foes) who threaten US security? The new US president specifically mentions North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela. Are these states planning attacks on America?
Biden wants to end the “endless wars” of the United States worldwide. But with commandactions (“strong and smart smaller-scale missions”) locally support “willing partners against common enemies”. The US should also “sit at the top of the table” in diplomacy and determine the rules for everything – “shape the rules of the road on everything”. Against the enemies of the United States, these allies and democratic friends would have to rally around them.
The principle of “divide et impera” thus also holds up the new US President. As one of his predecessors, George W. Bush, put it, every government in the world must decide whether it is for or against the US. “Are you with us – or with the terrorists?”
The “world currency” US dollar also serves as a means of exerting pressure to enforce this black-and-white policy. However, this “lever” is becoming increasingly shorter and weaker. Russia and China, for example, have been steadily but steadily dismantling their dollar reserves for some time.
USA not “at the top of the table” - but not at all
The now-created Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership RCEP in Southeast Asia, in which 15 nations from China to Vietnam and Japan to Australia have joined forces with a total of 2.2 billion people, also escapes the dollar power of the US. What’s more, as a self-proclaimed “Leader of the World,” the US is not “at the top of the table” in this world’s largest economy – it is not there at all.
More U.S. troops to Southeast Asia
Washington is reacting with more military: According to the “Spiegel”, the US now wants to “rebuild and station in Singapore” in addition to the 7th US fleet stationed in Japan. Security expert Michele Flournoy, who is being traded as Joe Biden’s secretary of defense, also believes that an even stronger US military presence in Asia is needed.
By comparison, China would hardly ever mind setting up bases in the Gulf of Mexico off the southern coast of the United States. Or to plan the construction of a second fleet, because in this region Beijing’s “military superiority in the air and at sea is no longer guaranteed”.
And as a reminder, the U.S. Navy disbanded its First Fleet in 1973, when the U.S. Army had just been expelled from Vietnam – after 12 years of brutal war that ended with the defeat of the United States. What is interesting is that this disaster was started by Us Democratic President John F. Kennedy in 1961, exactly what Biden is now calling for. “Using a few hundred Special Forces soldiers and intelligence assets to support local partners against commen enemys.”
Kennedy’s Special Forces were the notorious Green Berets. His “local partner” was the corrupt regime in Saigon. The “common enemy” local rice farmers and communists from the north. They were finally able to drive the overpowering invaders from overseas out of their land.
Defending Germany in the sea from Ko Phuket?
One could have learned from this evil story. But already “willing allies” are again coming to the U.S. Navy for assistance. The German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, for example: Where her SPD predecessors in office (Peter Struck 2003) thought that they had to “defend Germany on the Hindu Kush” in remote Afghanistan, the CDU woman now wants to add one more thing a few thousand nautical miles away from Berlin: she wants to defend Germany with gunboats in the sea off Kuantan – or before Ko Phuket. For some German sailors, the lovely holiday island may seem somehow familiar.