I feel like treaties are now just the helpless squeaks of the mice trying to bell the cat. They probably always have been, I just wasn’t as cynical a few years ago as I am now.
The US is only interested in treaties that can be used as a club or an excuse for war. The astute reader will have noticed that the US violates the UN charter all the time, and every president, ever since the Hague Conventions were established (?) has been a war criminal of some sort or another. And now we watch the drama as a sitting president is being revealed to be a fairly common criminal (tax cheat, perjurer, fraudster) and – like the US writ large – he’s saying “fuck you.” The rules only apply to the small-time operators and other Melians.
What’s sad is that the various international conventions are written by careful lawyers – thoughtfully and sometimes beautifully written. They are models of clarity and brevity, though they use sentences that are short, they are probably not short enough for Donald Trump.
[If you want to read it on the US Department of State’s website, it’s here. Otherwise it’s on the UN‘s]
This is not an unexpected push; the US has wanted to dominate space for some time. The term used in military corridors is “full-spectrum dominance” – which is the US military’s way of saying “control all the things.” It’s a pipe-dream, of course: the US military can’t even control Afghan farmers or Iraqi civilians.
Resource Wars: The ‘2008 Army Modernization Strategy’
Full explanation for this new deployment lay in the Pentagon document 2008 Army Modernization Strategy. That document stated that the objective of US Army strategy was to span and dominate the entire universe, not just the globe. It called for “an expeditionary campaign-quality Army capable of dominating across the full spectrum of conflict, at any time, in any environment and against any adversary – for extended periods of time. The document went on, “the Army must concentrate its equipping and modernization efforts on two mutually supporting ends – restoring balance and achieving full-spectrum dominance.” [William Engdahl Full Spectrum Dominance, wc]
When I first encountered the term, I thought it was conspiracy-mongering, but later I learned that the US Military is quite serious. Unfortunately, the term has also come to the attention of the chemtrails crowd, and now it has become obscured. The overall trend in US Military research is to develop global reach – and, when Americans say that, what they mean is: “We want to be able deliver high explosive pretty much anywhere, instantly.” Because that’s the American Way.
Ask the Indians how their various treaties with the US worked out for them.
Reading the last bit I can’t help but cross my fingers for those aliens living in their cydonian base to finally invade and blast that uppity “US Space Force” to bits.
As a military / strategic naif I see a slight conflict between “restoring balance” and “full-spectrum dominance”. Did someone accidentally misspell “mutually exclusive” and it was turned into policy?
Ieva Skrebele says
Of course. What else can they be? The mice can only beg the cat to behave nicely. The cat can do whatever the hell it wants. That’s how life works.
Although, occasionally we get international treaties where both (or all) signatories have equally powerful military. Those are the only (rare) exceptions.
But Americans have had the capability to deliver bombs anywhere and instantly for ages already. What more do they want?
You can always build a bigger bomb. There’s no such thing as too much overkill.
Marcus Ranum says
Did someone accidentally misspell “mutually exclusive” and it was turned into policy?
Sort of. What they really meant to say was “it’s our world already, and everyone needs to stop trying to take it away from us.”