Pentagonism and the American brand of state capitalism - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Pentagonism and the American brand of state capitalism

It is no secret that Washington’s new alliance in the Indo-Pacific will trigger a new arms race. They are no doubt the tools of the global geo-economic war raging between the U.S. and China on strategical coordinates. 

The confrontation between two hegemonic powers, one emerging (China) and the other established (America), requires reconfiguring the links of the existing global economic system, which results in interdependence.

China has commercial partnerships with numerous countries across the world, particularly the U.S. So, in order for Washington to form a front against China, these links must first be severed. 

The U.S. wants its allies to move away from China. Through the "AUKUS” deal, Australia chose the U.S., not China, as its biggest trading partner. 

China, on the other hand, aims to counter America's strategic move with the "One Belt-One Road" project stretching from Beijing to Europe. In a nutshell, the project is regarded as a carrot offered by China to these countries.

Geo-economic warfare is defined as the continuation of war by other means. U.S. President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan does not spell the end of the"forever wars."

“Our true strategic competitors, China and Russia, would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely," Biden had previously said, which shows that the occupation of Afghanistan is now seen as too risky. 

During the Cold War era, the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan paralyzed the Soviet economy. Furthermore, it is said to have played an important role in its eventual demise.

Washington's transition from the so-called "global war on terror" to the "great power struggle" requires an exaggeration of extraordinary proportions of the new "enemy," China. 

The Military-Industrial Complex, cultivated by America’s endless wars, requires a bigger enemy. The American people and the peoples of the countries allied with the United States also need to be convinced of this "new menace."

Dominican President Juan Bosch, who was overthrown in a U.S.-backed military coup in 1963, penned a book titled "Pentagonism." 

According to Bosch, who argued that classical imperialism was replaced by the more brutal Pentagonism, the first homeland and people to be colonized were North America and the American people. 

Since the Military Industrial-Complex was financed by American taxpayers, the U.S.'s forever wars abroad were smokescreens aimed to divert attention from the exploitation of the American people.

For 20 years, U.S. administrations and generals deceived the American public with the lie that everything was going well and peachy in Afghanistan. Many generals who served in Afghanistan were hired on the boards of major arms companies following their retirement. 

Some of them were assigned to federal offices related to defense and national security, keeping the cogs of war turning. According to research conducted in the U.S., arms companies constitute one-fifth of the top 20 large companies lobbying the U.S. Congress. 

Likewise, more than half of Pentagon spending since 2001 has gone to these companies. It was also revealed that, over the past twenty years, the Pentagon had burned through $14 trillion.

In 2016, the U.S. defense budget stood at $580 billion. Meanwhile, the 2022 Defense Budget will hit $778 billion. This figure is more than what Biden predicted just a few months ago. 

In the U.S. House of Representatives, where Democrats hold the majority, only 37 Democratic and 76 Republican lawmakers opposed the budget in their vote. Reluctant Democrats think the budget is bloated, while Republicans think the figure is too conservative. Anti-China hawks argue that the official defense budgets of China and Russia are nothing but mere hoaxes. Accordingly, they argue that the combined real budgets of these two adversaries far surpass that of the U.S.

This surge in the U.S. defense budget contradicts the Biden administration's promise to end the “forever wars.” Another unfulfilled campaign promise is linked to Biden's rhetoric of "techno-authoritarians versus techno-democracies." 

This is how the Biden administration distinguishes the U.S. from the “Chinese model.” Political scientists and economists refer to the Chinese model as "State Capitalism.” 

Spencer Ackerman, author of the book "Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump," notes that the war in Afghanistan and the larger “war against terror” only served to line the pockets of arms companies. 

Again, according to Ackerman, the Military-Industrial Complex is America’s brand of state capitalism.

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