FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Think Tanks and the US Power Elite

shutterstock_306512243

The US power elite is involved in many ways in the dispute over global domination, its exercise and defense.

The precarious balance of forces in the bipolar world in which we lived after World War II prevented US imperialism from imposing its absolute hegemony world-wide. That was based on the nuclear blackmail it threatened after its genocidal bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Later, a tense arms race would arrive, promoted by the so-called “balance of terror”. According to this notion, which the forerunner power in the production of weapons would cause an imbalance in the international arena. The one with the most and deadliest weapons would be able to destroy the other.

Losing all hope that the end of the Cold War would open the way to a world without wars, an unstoppable arms race along the roads of neoliberal globalization has arrived. It has shaped imperialism into the dark reality it is today: the most powerful, brutal and ruthless hegemonic superpower in the history of humanity, bearing the greatest dangers to the survival of our species.

Today, we live in a uni-polar world, with one single superpower imposing its selfish interests on the rest of the world. This shows that it is the predatory nature of the prevailing capitalist order that causes most evils. There is a vital need to replace it with a new, just, and humane order.

In the struggle for global domination, the US government, far from taking the limited opportunities open through disarmament and peaceful coexistence, has based the pillars of its economy on a growing dependence on war situations.

It is in this context that Think Tanks (TTs) become important in the United States. These are public or private academic and study institutions staffed by personalities  fully identified with the US capitalist system. They produce political and ideological documents intended to provide US governments with weapons for their confrontation with the world they seek to dominate.

They are part of a system that produces ideological content for the defense of imperialist interests. Their mission includes propagating ideas useful to the US capitalist system by spreading its doctrines in books, magazines, and other media. To do this they have billion-dollar budgets.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) founded in 1921 by the Rockefeller economic group, is considered to be the first existing think tank. It had the task of providing the governing authorities (of either of the two parties in the US political scheme) with new ideas in foreign policy and the training of specialists and leaders.

Nearly 4,000 citizens work at the CFR, some with much more objective perspectives than the usual extreme right. Among them there are names as notorious as George Soros, the billionaire magnate of global financial speculation.

Its main publication is the journal Foreign Affairs which publishes academic papers containing their views on foreign policy.

According to surveys of academics and experts carried out annually for the Think Tanks Index in 2015, the Brookings Institution ranked as the most important TT in the world for eight consecutive years. The list also included the CFR, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the RAND Corporation, the Heritage Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In the United States of America there are 11 think tanks specialized in political and economic matters; forty-nine in foreign affairs and international security; sixteen on the environment, science and technology; and twelve on the arts and humanities.

Most of them are registered as “non-profit” entities, but some are funded by the government or by legal or business organizations; others obtain funds from their research work on specific projects. In countries other than the United States, the TT Index registers Chatham House and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the United Kingdom, and the Bruegel in Belgium.

Like their namesakes in war, think tanks are intended to demolish their opponents through a display of apparent superiority of resources that does not always correspond to reality.

This article was translated from the Spanish by Walter Lippmann for the invaluable CubaNews.

More articles by:

Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail