By Paul Evancoe for USMilitary.com
A new world order is emerging and many US citizens want to understand the origins and implications on US borders, language and culture. While this new world order largely came to light during the last five years under the Obama Administration?fueled by US foreign policy ineptness and waning support for long established friends and allies? it has been gaining in momentum since the Clinton administration?s emphasis on economic globalization. Like it or not, it is upon us.
President Obama appears to openly support and encourage a new world order, possibly stemming from his views that the US historically wronged the world by exploiting its resources for our own betterment and universally imposing our capitalistic values and prejudices upon it. While Obama?s view is arguable, he has moved the US away from its historic role of world leader and power broker, therefore leaving our friends and allies stumbling to close the gap while allowing our enemies to the freedom to seize the initiative. The result is clear: as US leadership has severely waned over the last five years, the world has become an increasingly more dangerous place.
Longstanding US allies have been repudiated. Potential friends have been bemused. Old enemies have grown bold and new enemies have emerged, threatening our annihilation. For better or worse, the world order has changed.
The balance of power has shifted away from the traditional regions where it once lay, but sadly, US national strategy focus has not matched the move. We seem to be trapped in our Cold War thinking and thus, old strategy, as it can best be applied to a new world order. When the US president publically proclaims, ?we don?t have a strategy? it can be assumed that the US really doesn?t. Why else would a president admit to such a glaring shortcoming when it would be in his best interest to simply say, ?I won?t discuss our strategy??
The Soviet Union has been out of business for more than twenty years but Russia is a formidable force. China owns over 34% of the US debt but we continue to borrow and print more money. Middle Eastern oil rich monarchies are largely funded by our money but US energy independence is within our continental grasp. The vast majority of US consumer goods, like clothing and hardware, are manufactured outside the US but our exports are disproportionate. The national mindset and long-term global strategies we adhered to since the end of WW-II are no longer relevant. We have adapted a culture where being liked is more important than being secure.
The Cold War Era
In recognition that the above is a rhetorical view of the problem, a quick review of what the old world order looked like is necessary before discussing what has changed. Europe was dominated by a defensive posture against the Soviet Union because the USSR threatened its neighbors. NATO was created to thwart Soviet westward expansionism across the Plains of Europe, but without US military might to provide the majority of its force capabilities, NATO was neutered.
Asia was dominated by China and the PRC threatened its nearest neighbors. As China?s industrial might grew, subsequently increasing its national wealth, China?s Communist system evolved into a socio-capitalist form of government. But explosive industrial and economic growth requires raw materials and China was on the move to establish suppliers as well as markets for the goods they manufacture.
America was the only power that could conduct an two theater expeditionary war footing and challenge both Soviet and Chinese expansionism. The rest of the world was, in one form or another, an ally, surrogate, customer, or vendor to one or more of the three superpowers.
The three superpowers possessed enough nuclear warheads, along with the various means necessary to accurately deliver them on target, to individually annihilate the entire planet ten times over. The capability and strategy of mutual destruction and thus, mutual deterrence, shaped the Cold War. To large degree, mutual deterrence still exists today for traditional nations that respect life and wish to preserve their borders and culture. However, the threat of mutual deterrence doesn?t work for those who discard the Rule of Law and operate outside societal norms.
The new world order consists of non-traditional alignments; all have numerous moving parts, several are non-regional, some are necessarily cooperative and a few are imposed by religious fanaticism. That brings us to what composes the new world order.
New World Order: Chinese Alignment
China has crafted a realignment that militarily squares it against US interests in a swath of influence that sprawls from Japan to the Persian Gulf, to the East side of the African Continent. We misunderstand China?s regional, economic and military power when we think of them as a single entity. China?s realignment includes South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia. It will, at some point, make a subtle grab for Malaysia and Thailand to secure control of the Straight of Malacca and access to the Persian Gulf. China is already the prime oil buyer of Iranian crude and this can be expected to continue well into the future. Known as ?The String of Pearls,? China has further moved to establish seaport bases in Pakistan, Yemen, Madagascar and Mozambique.
As a further means to secure these budding relationships, China is building a modern expeditionary military that includes a formidable navy composed of carrier battle groups, submarine forces and an amphibious capability. Its air forces include strike fighter and long-range bombers with precision-guided munitions. It has a sophisticated strategic missile stockpile capability that can reach any continent on the planet and a space program that rivals any other. It has the fastest growing industrial complex on the planet and thus wields a double-edged sword consisting of economic prosperity and military might. Those aligned within China?s sphere of influence, either directly or indirectly, will find themselves associated with a solicitous and determined patron, while those who defy China will find it unforgiving.
New World Order: Russia
Seizing on NATO?s and the European Union?s paralysis, and the US?s adversity to take a leadership role, Vladimir Putin has moved to reestablish Russia?s Cold War era surrogate-nation standoff boundaries along Mother Russia?s southern and southwestern borders. Crimea was first, the eastern Ukraine second, Georgia, Estonia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, and even Poland are in the Russian crosshair. NATO has done nothing but protest and moved a small token number of troops to ?train? those nations most threatened. Obama has made statements to the effect that, ?Russian conquest cannot be tolerated in a modern society? but it is doubtful if Mr. Putin loses any sleep over the noise coming from the West. Mr. Putin and Russia will have their way with the West as long as the current power vacuum exists. Until that point, Russia is establishing itself as a power to be reckoned with in the new world order.
New World Order: The Middle East Alignment
The new world order in this region aligns Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey on one hand. The other aligns Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the African nations of Sudan and Somalia. To add complexity and confusion, the various Islamic religious sects that exist within these countries don?t necessarily see themselves as citizens of any particular country. Rather, they are Sunni, or Shia, or ISIS, or PLO, or whatever it is that opposes the West and the Christian or Jewish faith. The wild card is Israel?s ability to survive and India?s staying power as a varsity competitor to China. Both are worthy of unadulterated US political and military support as a strategy of containment for both China and radical Islam.
India and Israel are the only two true democracies that exist on the borders of the Middle East alignment. Both are members of the ?Nuclear Club? and radical neighbors threaten both. India is most threatened by China on its northeast border and by Pakistan on its western border. Both China and Pakistan are nuclear powers. Nearly every Islamic nation in the Middle East openly threatens Israel, including Iran, a budding nuclear power.
The Middle East has been a quagmire of religious strife, radicalism and a human butcher shop from the annals of history. Today, it is little different with the exception that the industrialized world relies on the oil-rich Middle East as a supplier for it?s fossil energy needs. Over the past ten-plus years, the US has invested uncountable resources in two, back-to-back wars in that region with little to no success in establishing secure democratic forms of government. It is important to recognize that without their oil resources they would have little, if any, strategic significance to the rest of the planet. They could be contained and forgotten to butcher themselves into oblivion. Of course, that can?t happen until we enact a strategy for energy independence.
New World Order: The Americas
The new world order alignment for the Americas includes, The US, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The countries south of Mexico may occasionally orbit into the fray, but South America will remain separate as it has since the US became a nation. South American nations can be thought of as self-sufficient satellites. They really don?t need North America.
Traditional US-South American strategy can be likened to the old TV act where a man running along several tables tried to spin plates atop dowel rods in an effort to keep several dozen spinning. As one would begin to slow down and wobble, the man would rush to it and put some additional spin on it to keep it stable. That, in essence, is how the US strategy was approached. We paid little attention to any particular South American neighbor until they required some spin, then we rushed in and added some spin to keep them atop their particular dowel. Our strategy there remains reactionary and thus disjointed. We continue to squander the opportunities available to us in our sister continent ? connected by a narrow land bridge.
The question can legitimately be asked whether or not Mexico is still a friend to the US. The Government of Mexico continues to encourage over a million of its own citizens to knowingly violate US immigration laws annually. It also wittingly acts as a pass through for thousands of additional illegal immigrants coming north from Central America and even other dubious locations off the N. American continent. While visiting the governor of California, Mexico?s president recently stated, ?California is the other Mexico.? Is Mexico acting as a reliable friend or a determined foe? California?s governor, Jerry Brown?with self-destructive potential?invited all undocumented immigrants to California promising them acceptance. What is our strategy to absorb these numbers and what is the national security risk along our open southern border?
The US is falling behind its competitors and our Administration?s acceptance of the new world order?s game rules is akin to national suicide. We must aggressively and smartly shape our roles and engagements. We must have a strategy, along with the national will to implement it, and the courage to follow it through. We must have leadership.
Paul Evancoe is a freelance writer and novelist. His action novels deal with government conspiracy, WMD and terrorism. His titles include Own the Night, Violent Peace and Poison Promise and are available at www.AmazonBooks.com.
Frank Marsh says
Great article and I might add spot on. In many ways the old Cold War was easy to understand because it had clearly defined borders with good an bad guys. As Paul points out the new world is made more difficult by the lack of well defined borders with good guys and bad guys. People ask me when we talk about these issues if “I really believe that Obama is bring down the USA”? My answer to that is absolutely…..when they try to rebuff that I simple tell them to read his books and listen to his apology tour speeches.. Call me a racist if you like but to me it’s clear he is ashamed of this countries exceptional history and wants to change it at all cost.i love Paul’s spinning plate analogy with Obama jumping from one to another with no apparent plan or strategy. He seems always surprised and never prepared. I am somewhat reminded of Jimmy Cater but Jimmy didn’t get a second term, thank God.
My only hope is that a candidate will magically appear and turn this disaster around. Maybe Paul can produce a character in his next book that fits the bill, can take over and save our country before it’s totally lost….
Mark Bishop says
Appreciate Paul’s insights on the New World Order. Residing and working on the Arabian Peninsula these past 6 years (Abu Dhabi and Riyadh), I find Paul’s comments regarding the Middle East Alignment are accurate. As nuclear power facilities become available in the GCC Region and surrounding countries, it is troubling to see Chinese, Korean, and others winning those contract bids for design, build and maintenance. The U.S. has appeared to have dropped out of the nuclear power business (except Vogtle), old nuclear facilities are allowing licenses to expire and operations crumble in decommissioning. Fracking shale oil and coal will suffice. Nuclear weapons testing of the aging stockpile has been mothballed along with its facilities. I can’t say one can approve of the New World Order and the consequences it will bring. MCB
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the current geopolitical landscape. I enjoyed your views on alignments of countries and how these relationships will shape the future.
* How do you see our current currency/monetary landscape changing?
* Is this really an Obama issue? Haven’t most modern US Presidents agreed and taken our country further toward a New World Order
* Do we have an one leader who could help get us off this path and unto the right one?
paul Evancoe says
Reply to Frank Lane: I think the key to US global strategy is not necessarily to make nice with those who behead our citizens or wish to dominate our culture. With that in mind, I think it’s fare to say that neither Russia or China ‘s goals involve annexing the US or turning our culture into their culture. Their goals are primarily economic and focus upon national self interest. We can compete with most economic challenges providing the heavy hand of government is lifted and industry is once again allowed to run the ball. But, if we don’t eliminate the festering sore in the Middle East we label Islamic Radicalism, our survival chance are greatly diminished. Military conquest to put them back into their box simply slows the advance. The solution involve economic starvation of those bad actors who aid and abed the Islamists. Secondly, we can greatly diminish their importance by gaining our own energy independence (of course there’s no chance of that under the current administration). So – we will continue to flounder with the hope that someone or something will change the course of history to our favor. Sadly, without national leadership that includes a clear national strategy, we are sooner or later, doomed. paul
paul Evancoe says
Reply to TrentW: Excellent questions. Let me take a shot at them.
The currency/monetary landscape is dubious. If you go back to the Clinton Administration you’ll find a policy he put into motion in a formal document named: Strategy for Engagement and Enlargement. This framed the future under the theory that if we engage our potential enemies (e.g., the rest of the developing world) and enlarge the the global economy through globalization, it will simply become too economically costly for them to wage war against us. In theory, that may be so. The problem is, That strategy (and we have been following it ever since Clinton’s second term) doesn’t take into account radicalism. In other words, bad actors like N. Korea and the radical Islamists don’t recognize the rules or expectations of the rest of the planet. So – how will the landscape change? There will be (there has to be) a major global monetary reset coming at some point. My guess is that it will not favor the US dollar and it will cause great suffering and violent civil unrest throughout the US. It could shake the very roots of our democracy.
Is this really an Obama issue? Yes, of course it is. Yes, other presidents have encouraged globalization and took steps to further it (re: Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, both Bushes). The difference between them and Obama is that Obama approaches it from a reactionary standpoint and, whether you agree or not with their goals, they had a plan allowing them to drive their strategy. It is an Obama issue and it is an issue of great importance to the future of the US.
Do we have a leader? I surely can’t tell you who that might be but I can tell you who it’s not and that would be Hillary, Jerry Brown, Rob Emanuel, John Kerry, etc. I am not advocating either party in our next presidential election. What I am advocating is the requirement for 3 things: 1. strong and SUCCESSFUL foreign policy experience. 2. successful economic/business experience. 3. successful experience as a state governor. Having Congressional experience is nice but far too often it is party-centric and really doesn’t reflect on a candidate’s lstrategic thinking or ability to lead and manage.
Hope this resonates with you and thanx again for the thoughtful questions. paul
Thanks so much for your very candid and honest follow up. As I was watching the news last night, the situation in North Africa was brought up. What sort of foreign policy approach do you see if needed for places like Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt?
Thanks so much.
paul Evancoe says
Reply to TrentW:
Trent, as I suggested in my article and then in my first reply to you, a national strategy is keenly important. Perhaps what I should also have mentioned is the importance of the tactical application of that strategy. This is to say that sometimes the tactical application of US military power is a solution (r.e., the US coalition invasion of Kuwait following Saddam’s invasion, or the US coalition Invasion of Iraq following the al-Quieda attack on the US.) to maintain or stop a shift in a particular regional balance of power. The same can be said for choosing to not use US military power, and thereby achieve the same outcome, by forcing those actors in the region to take care of their own problems absent the US.
Secondly, when you form a coalition, it must be composed of actors who have a steak in the outcome. NATO, for example doesn’t when it comes to Iraq, Iran, or N. Africa unless those countries threaten NATO. The only NATO nation in that region is Turkey. Turkey has an Islamist government (not a radical Islamist government), they have a robust economy and a powerful and modern military. They could very well emerge at a regional power in the next few years so what do they need NATO or the US to intervene. They don’t and we should not.
In the case of N. Africa, I believe that the tactical non-application of US military power is what we are seeing. We are consciously letting them solve their own problems because it really doesn’t effect strategically our national interests to do otherwise. While I can’t attribute that to the Obama administration it is, nonetheless, a tactical application of US “hands-off” strategy.
As I suggested in my article, Obama, like those presidents that proceeded him, have inherited an on-going strategy which they either continue by default or participate in by choice. I don’t know which it is for Obama but I am relatively sure the stuff we are discussing here is not what Obama discussed with his fellow community organizers in the faculty lounge. Best, paul