America often claims to be the cornerstone of global order. Much of its foreign policy, argues George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, 46), is about creating disorder in order to prevent another power from imposing order and gaining power.
If you think order was the goal in Afghanistan and Iraq, American actions are difficult to explain. But Friendman says that “the goal of these interventions was never to achieve something – whatever the political rhetoric might have said – but to prevent something. The United States wanted to prevent stability in areas where another power might emerge. Its goal was not to stabilize but to destabilize. And that explains how the United States responded to the Islamic earthquake – it wanted to prevent a large, powerful Islamic state from emerging.”
In short, “The United States has no overriding interest in peace in Eurasia. The United States also has no interest in winning a war outfight. . . . even outright American defeat is acceptable . . . the principle of using minimum force, when absolutely necessary, to maintain the Eurasian balance of power is – and will remain – the driving force of U.S. foreign policy throughout the twenty-first century.There will be numerous Kosovos and Iraqs in unanticipated places at unexpected times. U.S. actions will appear irrational, and would be if the primary goal is to stabilize the Balkans or the Middle East. But since the primary goal will more likely be simply to block or destabilize Serbia or al Queda, the interventions will be quite rational.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 11:36 am
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