Is China the Next America? Part 4: The Strengths of America
June 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
To put up a valiant resistance against a foreign invader has been the rule rather than the exception throughout history. The resistance put up by people all over Iraq and Afghanistan is no different. It has cost the lives of thousands of troops since the wars began. Politically and economically things are not much better in either country: Iraq is plagued by sectarian violence between the Shia, Sunni and the Kurds while Afghanistan hardly fits the definition of a nation-state with tribal violence and the consistent attacks on coalition troops by the Taliban and allied forces in Pakistan. Like Vietnam, Afghanistan is a death-trap for foreigners and Barack Obama’s plan to send 17,000 more troops will do nothing to alleviate the situation, indeed it will only make it worse. This will only drain American power and wealth but will alone, not lead to a collapse of American hegemony. The United States still has the most nuclear weapons, the most aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines and with over 1000 bases around the world the United States military is unrivalled. For the fiscal year of 2009 the U.S military budget rose to “$515.4 billion, adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion” this adds up to about 45% of the world’s military spending . There is no denying that this path is unsustainable in the long-term, therefore the United States needs to withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan and all countries currently occupied by America bases. A return to a traditional American foreign policy developed by the Founding Fathers whereby the United States would not get involved in foreign conflicts is required for its own survival. American armed forces would never be used to support the military-industrial complex supporting corporations that is detrimental to the American taxpayer.
Early 2008 was the beginning of the current global financial crisis. Stock markets have fallen, large financial institutions have collapsed or have been bought out and governments have had to resort to massive rescue packages to bail out their financial systems. The United States is among the countries coping with the financial crisis and many speculate that this crisis will diminish the country’s status as the world leading superpower. However, it should be noted that this is a global financial crisis and other ‘rival’ countries that could usurper the United States as the leading powerhouse have to deal with problems far greater than those afflicting America. Historically, the United States has been to able to withstand serious breakdowns in the orderly function of the global financial system. “In 1987 the Dow Jones share index fell by more than 20% in one day. In 2000, the dot-com bubble burst. Yet both times, the US picked itself up, as it did post Vietnam.” This is in contrast to other countries who are faced with the same problem and are unable to regain their economical footing. The EU has created for itself many more problems than the United States could ever have.
The Euro is a recent creation that has not been proven to survive major economic downturns; this current crisis will test its strength. With the addition of former communist countries in Eastern Europe which have always had fragile financial systems and rely heavily on foreign investments, Europe is in trouble. Austrian banks have invested over 270 billion in Eastern European countries, totaling “over 70% of its GDP”. The Polish and Hungarian housing markets and currencies have crashed with aid being requested from the IMF, “Hungary …secured $26 billion in loans from the IMF, the EU and the World Bank“# while Poland‘s “zloty declined more than 17 percent against the dollar and 6.8 percent versus the euro” Romania recently requested a loan of almost 20 billion dollars due to its currency (leu) dropping “more than 14 percent against the dollar and 3.2 percent against the euro” The Baltic States are also in a horrible economic and political state with the government of Latvia falling recently after receiving a “$9.43 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and as part of the deal to cut public spending and increase taxes”. Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Serbia, and Romania have all taken IMF loans in an effort to withstand the economic crisis and more European countries are following the same path. Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are all destined to face economic hardships and none of them would be able to survive better than the United States.