Another sun tries to rise again in the East, and may take the form of a new Silk Road — resplendent with high-speed transportation and communication infrastructures; large-scale mining projects; a rail and maritime distribution strategy that will connect East and Central Asia with parts of Europe and Africa.
All this development activity will generate trillions of dollars in wealth, and provide decades of commercial ventures for technology, banking, energy, transportation and engineering firms.
China and Russia completely get it — they are geographically positioned to extract the full potential of this behemoth opportunity, and have launched a series of economic and political collaborations to enable large-scale regional development.
But there’s a hard truth the US mainstream media hasn’t told you about Silk Road 2.0: China and Russia are prepared to drive this new era of change across Eurasia — without America.
The result could be a transformation of Eurasia’s economic and geopolitical standing, as well as a redefinition of what global superpowers will look like.
So, where does that leave the US?
And can the US offer an export that’s not a war, one-sided trade deal or banana republic scheme?
Consider this analogy: you’ve discovered gold underneath your home, or someone discovered gold underneath your neighbor’s home, and someone from another town offers to dig the gold out of your home or create a rail system to transport the newly-mined gold through your front lawn — without paying you an amount that’s commensurate with your perceived value of the property’s contribution to this new enterprise.
After all, you reason, the gold is on your property, or your property has become a critical enabler to distribution.
Perhaps the out-of-towner added insult to your injury by not only refusing to split the mining revenue through some properly structured resource-technology split, but also offering to employ you and the members of your household to work for low wages in the new venture, despite the fact that your property or resources ARE the venture.
You’ll likely refuse the offer as a result.
But your refusal results in the out-of-towner resorting to force in order to take what’s rightfully yours.
That force takes on similar patterns: paying a member of your family or a neighbor to remove you from the property; hiring armed gangs to remove your entire family; convincing your neighborhood bank to stop doing business with you; making up a story that you’re abusive to your children and then calling Child Protective Services; or running a bullet through your hard skull.
Who has time for another Marshall Plan? This is 2017. Welcome to international business negotiation, American style.
The list of negotiation victims is compelling and long: Native Americans, Hawaii, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Iran are a few examples.
My point is that the US is not leaving Central or East Asia quietly. Too much loot is at stake. And hot theatres like Ukraine, Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan have been irresistible to the US for good reason: the countries are strategically important for America to maintain global dominance.
The “America helps other countries fight for democracy” argument crumbles when you consider how America ignored injustice in Honduras — a nation within the Western Hemisphere — to help Ukrainians, nearly 6,000 miles away, fight for “freedom.”
I’ll also add that America’s idea of freedom for Ukraine is to support neo-Nazis.
So, what is in Eurasia that compels America to stay in the region?
You can answer this question by reading the words of the geopolitical advisor to at least five US presidential administrations: former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
In his book The Global Chessboard — the blueprint for American empire-building I recommended last week for your reading list — Brzezinski never mentions the term “Silk Road,” but he explained the strategic importance of all the conflict theatres I referenced. Quotes from the book are below.
A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A
mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia
would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, render-
ing the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral
to the world’s central continent.
[If] Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its [then] 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.
Look at Crimea on a map and you’ll then understand one of the reasons why Team Obama lost their minds when Russia annexed the territory.
On South and North Korea
Reunification of the Korean penonsula isn’t such a great idea for the US, according to Brzezinski:
Its close links to the United States enable America to shield Japan and thereby to keep Japan from becoming an independent and major military power, without an overbearing American presence within Japan itself. Any significant change in South Korea’s status, either through unification and/or through a shift into an expanding Chinese sphere of influence, would necessarily alter dramatically America’s role in the Far East, thus altering Japan’s as well.
This passage in the book is also important:
… [T]he retention of the American presence in South Korea becomes especially important. Without it, it is difficult to envisage the American-Japanese defense arrangement continuing in its present form, for Japan would have to become militarily more self-sufficient. But any movement toward Korean reunification is likely to disturb the basis for the continued U.S. military presence in South Korea. A reunified Korea may choose not to perpetuate American military protection; that indeed, could be the price exacted by China for throwing its decisive weight behind the reunification of the peninsula.
President Donald Trump’s Twitter tantrum towards South Korea for the country’s attempt at “appeasing” North Korea with an invitation to talks is an arguably unique approach for American commanders-in-chief, but the intent subscribes to business as usual: America’s presence in the region is justified by North Korea’s hostility. Therefore, talks between North and South Korea removes this justification.
Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an “antihegemonic” coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower. Averting this contingency, however remote it may be, will require a display of U.S. geostrategic skill on the western, eastern and southern perimeters of Eurasia simultaneously.
My guess is that the US is in crisis mode since “the most dangerous scenario” is happening right now …
[If oil and gas pipelines pass through only Russian territory, the region will remain a political dependency, with Moscow in a strong position to determine how the region’s new wealth is to be shared. Conversely, if another pipeline crosses the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and thence to the Mediterranean through Turkey and if one more goes to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan, no single power will have monopoly over access.
The pipeline through Afghanistan Brzezinski referenced ties to earlier thoughts I shared about President Donald Trump’s decision to send additional US combat troops to Afghanistan. — a topic requires some time to discuss. I’ll cover it in a future piece.
It appears that America has years of hard work ahead to preserve its empire status.
What do you think will be America’s ultimate plan for this new sun in the East? Nurture it? Harness it? Dim it? Or … ?
song currently stuck in my head: “the river niger” – roy ayers