USA. When the new congress met in early January, Republicans had a majority in the House of Representatives after the election success a few months earlier. John Boehner was elected to the important post of President of the House of Representatives. The Democrats retained control of the Senate, but Republicans blew into battle to tear up laws passed by President Barack Obama.
According to Countryaah official site, a Democratic congressman, Gabrielle Giffords, was severely shot in an assault that claimed the lives of six people in Arizona in January. The attack sparked debate about a widespread imagery, usually not least in the right-wing Tea Party movement, which could be perceived as calls for violence against political opponents.
However, the tone was hardly muted in the polarized climate that characterized Washington politics. In April, President Obama was prompted to publish his entire birth certificate, in an attempt to make a point of stubborn claims that he was not born in the United States and thus would not be entitled to the presidential post. He justified that the country faced important challenges and did not have time for “such stupidity”.
The fierce debate was largely about the economy. Obama announced cuts in welfare programs for the elderly and the poor, reduced defense spending and some tax increases for the wealthy, in an effort to reduce the galloping budget deficit. Republicans consistently demanded major savings and bluntly refused to raise taxes. During the summer, the world held its breath as the US came stumbling close to being forced to suspend its payments. The money in the Treasury was about to end, so that neither debt interest nor government pensions could be paid out. The crisis occurred when Congress needed to legislate on raising the debt ceiling and enabling continued borrowing. Normally it is a routine measure that has been taken 78 times in half a century. But now the Republicans took a stubborn stance. Some Tea Party representatives did not want to raise the ceiling at all. Business warned of disastrous consequences if no solution was found.
At the last moment, a settlement was concluded that allowed high debt ceilings. One result of the political circus – and the large budget deficit – was that for the first time, a credit rating agency lowered the US credit rating. The settlement included a “supercommittee” to produce a proposal on how the deficit would be reduced by $ 1.2 trillion in ten years. There was a new political failure as no savings package existed when the deadline expired in November. In the same month, government debt exceeded $ 15 trillion for the first time.
In many eyes, foreign policy won Obama a victory when he was able to announce on May 1 that the country’s most wanted enemy since ten years, Usama bin Ladin, was killed. US Special Forces shot dead Ladin in a raid on a building in Pakistan. At home, many cheered, but the US’s already strained relationship with Pakistan was significantly impaired by unilateral US action.
In July, a retreat from Afghanistan began, which is scheduled to end in 2014. During the autumn, the remaining 40,000 soldiers were also withdrawn from Iraq. The retreat, which was to be completed by the end of the year, meant that one of Obama’s election promises was fulfilled when the United States left the country after nearly nine years.
During the summer, former CIA commander Leon Panetta took over as new defense minister after Robert Gates, who resigned. New head of the CIA intelligence service was David Petraeus, who in turn was succeeded by John Allen as commander in Afghanistan.
Dissatisfaction with the financial crisis, unemployment and increased social divisions was behind a protest action that began in New York in September, under the slogan Occupy Wall Street. The so-called Occupy movement spread rapidly so that demonstrations and occupations of squares occurred in over 1,000 American cities and in several other parts of the world. The protests were perceived to come mainly from the left and focused among other things. that 1% of US residents own 99% of the assets. The movement lacked leadership and clear focus. In November, police began evicting protesters.
Obama launched his reelection campaign ahead of the 2012 presidential election. His popularity figures were low, not least because of the weak economy and unemployment, which remained at just over 9%. But Republicans lacked a credible challenger. Several sailed temporarily as favorites during the year, but then quickly dropped in opinion polls. The strongest name among seven Republican major candidates who stood ready for the primary elections at the turn of the year was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, but he never had the support of more than a quarter of the electorate in his own party.
1995- The US strengthened at the expense of the outside world
Only from 1995 did this development begin to reverse. Germany had run into serious financial problems as a result of the reunification, and at the same time the dollar had become so weak that Europe and Japan became increasingly difficult to export to the United States. In 1995, therefore, the so-called “reverse Plaza agreement” was implemented, which was to strengthen the dollar but at the same time improve Europe and Japan’s competitiveness in the US. However, it had the side effect that mountains of available capital from around the world ruled against the United States, and became the basis for the stock market adventure that lasted until 2001.
In 1995, it was also clear that NATO would be retained, assigned new roles and that the United States would continue to play the leading role. It was therefore an economically and militarily strengthened United States that in 1995 led NATO’s bombing campaign against Serbia. However, there was still talk of a foreign policy actor to whom the United States sought support in the United Nations and the international community. But from the end of the decade, the United States began to act increasingly unilaterally (unilaterally). In December 1998, the United States ordered UN weapons inspectors to leave Iraq, and then launched a major bombing campaign against the country. In the spring of 1999, this line was followed by NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, with the United States for the first time failing to seek United Nations support. So there was no adopted a resolution in the UN Security Council for the war, which in NATO’s new language was called a “humanitarian intervention”.
2002 New national security strategy
The trend toward militant unilateralism was greatly reinforced by the appointment of George W. Bush in January 2001.
- refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on CO 2 emission restrictions
- terminated the ABM Treaty on Anti-Ballistic Missiles
- terminated the Treaty on the restriction and control of biological weapons
- jumped from previous support for the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and instead chose to openly oppose it
Until September 11, 2001, however, several of these measures were more isolationist. From September 11, they gained a clear militant unilateralist move. The US was well enough the day after the terrorist attack in New York and the attack on the Pentagon in Washington NATO countries to reaffirm NATO’s §5 treaty – the so-called musketeer oath – which obliges the countries to assist each other in the event of an attack. But this paper did not subsequently use the United States. Instead, in the beginning of October, the United States began unilateral war against Afghanistan, and subsequently installed an audio regime in which over half of the ministers have North American citizenship. The war was an attack war in violation of both international law and the United Nations Charter, but partly the United States continued to have goodwill internationally after the terrorist attack a month earlier, and neither country dared to take up the matter neither in the UN Security Council or the General Assembly.
Shortly after September 11, President declared that “the war on terrorism would be prolonged,” and thus designated terrorism as the new main enemy of the United States after the disappearance of communism. During his speech to the nation on January 29, 2002, Bush singled out the countries the United States would direct its military aggression to: Iraq, Iran and North Korea. They were referred to as the “axis of evil” and ” rogue states “. Deputy Foreign Minister John Bolton rushed to expand the list of countries with Syria, Libya and Cuba.
The reversal of the US global strategy continued when Bush, at his speech at the West Point Military Academy on June 1, 2002, presented the new US National Security Strategy:
“For most of the last century, the United States defense relied on the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and encirclement. In some situations, these strategies continue to be suitable, but new threats also require rethinking. Deterrence – the promise of massive retaliation against nations – means nothing against hidden terror networks, without nations or citizens to defend. Surrounding is not possible when off-balance dictators who possess weapons of mass destruction can disperse these weapons with missiles, or secretly pass them on to terrorist allies.
We cannot defend the United States and our friends simply by hoping for the best. We cannot trust the words of tyrants who simply sign non-proliferation agreements and then break them. If we wait until the threats come true, we have waited too long (flaps).
Defense of the homeland (the new major security ministry) and the missile shield form part of an enhanced defense, and they are high-priority missions for the United States. But the war on terror will not be won by defensive means alone. We must lead the fight into the enemy’s camp, destroy his plans, and confront the worst threats before they have yet materialized (clapping). In the world we are in now, the only path to safety is the pathway to action, and this nation will act (clap). ”
(The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, Sept. 2002)
In this “Bush doctrine” as one of the government’s advocates quickly dubbed it, the “preventive retaliation” is an integral part of the National Security Strategy: “Although the United States will continue to seek support in the international community, we will not shy away from acting alone when needed; to exercise our right to self-defense by acting preventively ”. Militarily, the United States reserves the right to use any weapons of mass destruction in these future conflicts. This applies to both biological weapons – which is why the United States has sprung from the agreement on biological weapons control – and nuclear weapons that the United States threatened to use against Iraq if it “became necessary”.
Before his appointment as president of Texas, Bush was quite ignorant of international affairs. The new National Security Strategy is designed by the people he brought into his administration. This applies first and foremost to Dick Cheney, who was Secretary of Defense in the previous Bush administration, but rather isolated because of his extremist views. Cheney was employed in the oil industry and is his most prominent man in government. Cheney brought his old friend Donald Rumsfeld, and he is today the Minister of Defense. Add to this the even more reactionary Paul Wolfowitz (Deputy Minister of Defense), Condoleeza Rice (Head of the National Security Council), John Bolton (Deputy Foreign Minister) and Richard Perle (Head of the Defense Policy Advisory Council). However, in March 2003, Pearl had to retire following charges of corruption. Several of these figures today formulating US foreign policy have previously had to withdraw from official posts after it was revealed that they worked for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, or otherwise provided sensitive information to Israel. This is also part of the explanation that since the summer of 2002, the United States has cut off all relations with the Palestinians, and today a policy in the Middle East that leads to confusion resembles that of Israel.
The central part of the new National Security Doctrine has a long-term and military offensive perspective that extends over 50 years. In 1997, Wolfowitz authored an essay in which he identified Germany and Japan as important future opponents of the United States, but he then concentrated on China. Already today, the country has the world’s largest military (measured in soldiers), and in 15-20 years will be able to overtake the United States financially. The doctrine has several goals that together will ensure the continued global dominance of the United States in the future:
- The United States will apply the doctrine to secure access to necessary resources. (This is one of the purposes of the Iraq conquest in the spring of 2003. Iraq has the world’s second-largest oil reserves, and the United States will need far more oil in the future. In 2002, the United States imported 10 million barrels of oil daily. increases to 17 million by 2020, and this will be in competition with other major oil-consuming countries).
- The United States will use the doctrine to contain potential opponents. It was one of the objectives of the conquest of Afghanistan in 2001. The United States is in the process of building a network of military bases around the future greatest threat – China – and bases in Central Asia and Afghanistan play an important role here.
The new offensive military doctrine has been sharply criticized by many sides – including former Republican ministers – and the criticism extends right into the sitting government, where Secretary of State Colin Powell marks an extremist who wants cooperation rather than confrontation. It was this line that gained some leeway in the fall of 2002, when the United States pursued the so-called “United Nations”: With UN Security Council Resolution 1441 in November, UN weapons inspectors were sent back to Iraq to trace the “weapons of mass destruction” alleged by the United States, that Iraq possessed. Powell’s line, however, suffered defeat as it failed for the United States to convince the United Nations Security Council that a war was being launched against Iraq. The rapid victory over Iraq has greatly strengthened the government’s militant reactionary wing, Syria and Iran. The United States has stated in advance that the conquest of Iraq is merely the first step towards a “remodeling of the Middle East”.
But at the same time as the militant right wing has been strengthened, the strategy is subjected to fierce criticism from many sides. Both from the countries of the Middle East, where the people unanimously condemn the United States, and their governments’ uncritical cooperation with the superpower; from Russia, where President Putin stated that, based on the rhetoric of the United States, it must be assumed that it would invade 80% of the world’s countries – all those countries that do not have governance equivalent to European democracy ; from China; from most EU countries and from almost the entire 3rd world. At the same time, the militant right wing does not care about the UN. The message from Washington was very clear after the victory over Iraq: the victor decides, and the victor is the United States of Unilateralism.
The doctrine therefore provides enough access to resources, but increases US diplomatic isolation, reinforces the contradictions of former allies, and it is – unlike the Gulf War – the United States must bear almost all the expenses of its military adventures. In April 2003, the US government approved an additional $ 85 billion grant. US $ for the war against Iraq (equivalent to about 1% of US GDP). It happens in a situation where the US economy is constantly deteriorating. It can be seen as an attempt – as in the ’80’s under Reagan – through military Keynesianism to boost the economy, but the United States is already the world’s most indebted country, and dollar flows are now pointing out of the United States. Thus, the militant doctrine of creating a global and lasting hegemony rests on a fragile economic basis.