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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #288 - international, In the face of competition, where is US imperialism ? (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]
Wed, 7 Nov 2018 07:15:00 +0200
Russian blitzes or China's rise to power must not blind anyone. While some military
equilibrium falters, the United States remains, by far, the main imperialist power, the
only one of global scale. We must denounce his actions ... without hushing those of his
competitors. ---- After twenty-five years of US hegemony, the return of Russia and the
rise of China herald a more multipolar world. Or, to be more exact: a less unipolar world.
Indeed, even embarrassed and jostled, the United States remains, by far, the most powerful
and deadliest of the imperialisms emerged winners of the Second World War. ---- Russia is
capable of conducting military operations in its neighborhood - Syria (since 2015),
Ukraine (since 2014), Georgia (2008) - including atrocious colonial wars, as in Chechnya
(1994-2004). But its economic fragility limits its claims to a small number of outside
As for China, it is an economic hyperpower very little hawkish, which has not led a war
for almost forty years. It is concerned primarily with the internal order - colonization
of Tibet and Muslim Xinjiang -, dominating its neighborhood - the South China Sea - and
securing its trade routes to Europe and Africa. It is in this sense that she works to
increase her naval and military projection capabilities.
Against the coming of Trump, Putin and Netanyahu in Paris, anti-imperialist demonstration
on November 11 at 2 pm, Republic Square
" Trump, Putin, Macron ... against all imperialisms ": Federal leaflet AL to download
Military bases and " lily pads "
The US hyperpower, however, soars far above these two challengers. According to researcher
David Vine, the US Army had, in 2017, 516 major bases and 271 small bases (so-called lily
pads, " water lilies ") in about 80 countries, to which was added 56 spaces rented or
lent to bases military from allied countries. 
This huge archipelago, which houses about 200,000 soldiers, represents 95 % of all
military bases abroad, all nationalities combined. This network is a permanent base for
airborne operations and the six US war fleets that crisscross the planet. Armed with this
unparalleled network, the United States has, for twenty years, led several major
interventions: war in Afghanistan (2001), occupation of Iraq (2003-2011), bombing in Libya
(2011), intervention in Syria (since 2014), to which must be added, since 2004, thousands
of drone strikes against al-Qaeda in Pakistan , Somalia and Yemen, resulting in
hundreds of collateral casualties.
The fact that some of these adventures have turned into a fiasco, however, reminds us that
the military hyperpower does not solve everything, even if the intoxication it provides
will lead, no doubt, to new deadly adventures.
The archipelago of US bases in the world in 2015.
Click to consult the detailed cartography (15 maps from the work of David Vine).
The US military system is complemented by a system of alliances. The most important is
NATO, which includes 29 European states some of which, like France and the United Kingdom,
are secondary imperialisms, operating in their own zone of influence - Africa, for France.
When he came to power, Trump had plagued the " burden " of NATO and demanded that his
allies contribute more. But there was never any question of leaving NATO. The " deep
state " of America would never have allowed it: because of the security solidarity it
creates, NATO guarantees European consent to US domination.
Despite the explosion of the Chinese military budget and the considerable effort of
Russia, the balance of power remains stable. However, technological advances could
redistribute the cards, striking obsolescence two of the strengths-masters of the US power.
Click to enlarge
On the one hand, Moscow has developed weapons that could call into question the
overwhelming US air superiority. For example, the world's most efficient S-400
anti-aircraft batteries are capable of targeting more than 80 aircraft at a time and
prohibiting airspace within a 400-kilometer radius.
On the other hand, Russians and Chinese have successfully tested hypersonic ballistic
missiles, capable of exceeding Mach 5, even Mach 8. With the goal to exceed Mach 20 in a
few years. At these speeds, existing missile defense systems are caught off guard.
These developments are likely to question part of the Pentagon, to the point of being
tempted by the revival of a tactical nuclear arsenal.
In practical terms, this means that the United States would no longer be content with
strategic nuclear weapons - of mass destruction - but would also develop medium-range
missiles (500 to 5,500 kilometers) for more limited interventions on a conventional
battlefield. . It is in this sense that, on October 20, Donald Trump announced his
intention to withdraw from the Treaty on Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (FNI), signed
in 1987 with the USSR to limit tactical nuclear.
Is it bluffing ? Is it about pushing Russia into an arms race that it can not afford ? Is
it blackmail to get China to sign the FNI, as Trump asked ?
One thing is certain, between rival imperialists, competing for the control of global
resources, the arms race is in full swing, in a quest for unbridled technological innovation.
The people of the world have nothing to gain from this deadly competition, which is not
just about entertainment. It carries a permanent risk of skidding war, and it must be
denounced without weakening.
This is what we will do on November 11 in Paris, while Emmanuel Macron will host Donald
Trump and Vladimir Putin for the centenary of the end of the First World War. The message
will be clear: against all imperialisms, no war between peoples, no peace between classes!
Arthur Aberlin (AL Brussels), Guillaume Davranche (AL Montreuil)
Military spending in the world in 2017.
Click to view the visuals of the SIPRI report.
CAMPISM, OR VOLUNTARY BLINDNESS
Should secondary imperialisms be supported on the grounds that they defy the principal
imperialism ? This policy that " every enemy of the enemy camp is in our camp " is
called " campism ". Commonly the far right, the conspiracy, the archaeo-Stalinists, and
even some and some anticolonialists are rightly opposed to Washington, but shamefully
uncritical towards Russian, Syrian, North Korean, Iranian or Chinese potentates.
For their part, the libertarian communists denounce all the imperialisms and rank
themselves on the side of the struggling peoples, in the East as in the West.
In the dominated countries, it is necessary to support the popular forces in fight for the
social and national emancipation, in spite of the calumnies accusing them of rolling for a
competing imperialism. As has been done for Algerian and Kanak independence activists ,
South American guerrillas, independent trade unionists from Poland and the USSR, and today
the Palestinian left and the Kurdish left in the Middle East.
 David Vine, " List of US Bases Abroad, 2017 ", from the book Base Nation: How US
Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World , Metropolitan Books / Henry Holt, 2015.
To visualize, on this subject the very eloquent infographic " Out of sight, out of
mind " .
 " Deep state " refers to the coalition of private and bureaucratic interests that
weighs on the political leadership of a country regardless of the government in place.
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