Imperial ‘Pivots’ in Africa and Asia

In my latest conversation with Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio, we discussed the renewed focus Washington has had on Africa, particularly in the first term of the Obama administration. As part of a larger foreign policy I wrote about here and here, the U.S. is now supporting and training armies throughout Africa, is engaged in a proxy war in Somalia, backed regime change in Libya, sent combat troops to Uganda and surrounding territories, is fighting a manufactured threat in Nigeria, et al.

I talked about how part of this greater imperial focus on Africa is to counter China’s increasing economic ties to the continent and its overall rising influence as a geopolitical power. Indeed, “China-Africa trade grew 1000% from $10 billion in 2000 to $107 billion in 2008,” according to Zbigniew Brzezinski’s new book Strategic Vision (p. 81).

This perspective is in line with the Obama administration’s so-called “pivot” to Asia-Pacific. Officially announced in January, this renewed focus on the empire in Asia-Pacific is an attempt to contain China’s economic and military influence. Economic and military hegemony is for America, goes the thinking of Imperial Grand Strategy, and those who threaten our unmatched superiority are to be met with the threat of force and coercion. To this end, Obama has announced troop deployments to Australia, Singapore, and the Philippines. He has strengthened economic and military ties to South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Guam, etc.

Occasionally, Obama will publicly berate China for “breaking the rules” (a sin quite foreign to Washington, of course) and for not being “responsible” (read: obedient to Washington). Brzezinski, an imperial apparatchik himself, writes in his book that a focus on Asia is needed, but even he thinks Obama’s approach is overly confrontational. As he told Slate in January, “to define our engagements in the east in terms of China is a mistake. We have to focus on Asia but not in a manner that plays on everyone’s anxieties … It becomes very easy to demonise China and they will then demonise us in return. Is that what we want?”

Not only have Washington’s expansionist policies in response to China begun to get us into expensive quagmire’s and intractable entanglements in Africa, but they have the potential to do the same in Asia-Pacific, especially if Washington’s antagonism legitimizes a more haughty and nationalistic China. As this CRS report explains, China’s “military could in turn become more determined to strengthen China’s anti-access capabilities and more assertive about defending China’s territorial claims, rather than less.” The American and Chinese economies are deeply interdependent – a benefit, of course, to both peoples – but antagonism has the potential to increase protectionist policies on both sides. The expansion of militarism throughout Asia will also be hugely expensive, for an Empire on the brink of bankruptcy.

7 thoughts on “Imperial ‘Pivots’ in Africa and Asia”

  1. America can pivot any way they want China can just simply sit America out economically.

  2. Yep, really so much of our modern politics is a death cult. The Republican party is not a suicide pact … well really … it mostly is. And many are the same.

  3. Generally I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

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  5. Sunderland and short-termism
    I must be careful ca cuoc t? s? bóng ?á online of writing a team off in September. It was a mistake I (almost) made last season, only for Burnley to respond to their dire start.

    That said, what Sean Dyche’s side lacked in ability they accounted for in effort and team spirit. Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland currently have none of those qualities. They look like a collection of highly paid but lowly motivated individuals, no cohesion with each other or loyalty to the club.

    Sunderland’s entire ethos is centred around short-termism. They have a manager who had to be persuaded to take the job after initially rejecting it, and is on a one-year deal. They have an owner under enormous pressure from supporters and a number of players signed signed in desperation by a manager who will leave before they do. They have kèo da banh had five managers (Advocaat, Poyet, Di Canio, O’Neill, Bruce) in the last four years.

    The longest-serving player in Sunderland’s starting side against Bournemouth was Billy Jones, who has been at the club for less than 16 months. That breeds a team with a critical lack of organisation and unity.

    Once again they were made to look shambolic defensively and blunt in the final third at Bournemouth. Jermain Defoe is the only Sunderland player with more than two shots on target this season, and the only one with more than one goal. Even he has only registered an average of 1.8 shots per match.

    The biggest worry for Sunderland is not their results, but the cá c??c bóng ?á trên m?ng opponents who have put them so firmly in their place. Leicester, Norwich, Swansea, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Bournemouth – an averaging finishing place last season of 14.7th in the Football League ladder. Advocaat’s side are struggling to breathe against the lesser sides in the table. The best sides will surely squeeze the life out of their flimsy Premier League existence.

  6. “You see how exciting he xem do da banh is, but he still has a lot of potential and work to do. He’s one that certainly will feature heavily this year,” said Rodgers in July. “He’s definitely a player that we want to really create into a top-class performer.”

    Until now Liverpool have held back Ibe bóng ?á t? l? cá c??c in the Premier League, but with their attacking build-up becoming more sluggish with each passing week, now might be the time to release him again.

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