Biden, Blinken and DOD

Image by René DeAnda.

Although the Blinken-Biden foreign policy approach may be more palatable to European governments and much of the US population, that doesn’t mean it’s that different from what preceded it. Besides the possible reinstatement of the Iran nuclear deal and a re-engagement with Cuba, little seems likely to change. US residents will continue to be told that China is a potentially dangerous enemy and that Russia wants to rule the world. This is despite the fairly obvious evidence to the contrary. While both nations seem to want to expand their economic influence—a natural result of the capitalist nature of their economies—the actions of neither nation indicate a desire to create an empire of military bases and operations like that currently run by the United States. Although Washington would like the world to believe China’s ship movements near its borders are aggressive in nature, a more honest perspective defines those actions as primarily defensive. In a similar fashion, the Russian actions in eastern Ukraine, Georgia and Crimea could be considered as such. No matter how one perceives these actions, however, they pale behind the US military reach around the globe in oceans and countries far from its borders. The presence of two carrier groups in the Mideast, at least two in the Pacific and a couple others in waters far from any US shores is much different from the defensive positions held by Chinese and Russian ships. In addition, the continued presence of US troops and special forces in nations around the world, including many that directly border Russia, China and smaller adversaries like Iran and Venezuela can only be considered defensive in nature if one accepts Washington’s belief that the world is Washington’s to own.

As an indication of his worldview, it is revealing to note Blinken’s membership in the Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS). According to its website, the CSIS “has been dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world.” One is not being particularly cynical when they point out that the good this statement is referring to is the good of Wall Street, and not necessarily Main Street. The CSIS bills itself as a nonpartisan entity. It is funded in large part by war industry contractors, energy corporations and US based banks with an expressed purpose of “maintaining US prominence” in the world. Given the nature of its board of trustees, it’s clear that what that nonpartisansship means is it represents the power elites that run the United States. Democrats and Republicans share a common goal of ensuring the US remains the world’s most powerful state. The differences of opinion the parties have on certain issues do not exist when it comes to enveloping the world in the web of US imperialism. There are differences in how to go about this, but not on the goal itself. This is why both parties are up in arms about China’s rising star and Russian challenges in the Mideast and Europe. The non-partisan nature of the Board lies in the inclusion of both US capitalist parties, not in the inclusion of anti-capitalist or anti-imperialist viewpoints.

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Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He has a new book, titled Nowhere Land: Journeys Through a Broken Nation coming out in Spring 2024.   He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at:

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