The United States is an empire. Throughout the world, American troops are defending governments that have either been installed by or bought off by the United States government. At the same time, it’s seeking economic, cultural, and political dominance both inside and outside its frontiers.
As I recently wrote, President Obama’s recent decision to send special operations troops to Uganda was designed to bolster the empire’s clout in East Africa. And now that Gaddafi is dead, politically connected firms from the U.S., Britain, and France will surely cash in on reconstruction and oil contracts in Libya.
These actions are the actions any emperor looking to expand his power would take. They are strategic moves, aimed not just at African enemies, but also at China. Since 2000, Chinese investment in Africa has skyrocketed, and many in the U.S. government have grown concerned at this supposed challenge to American global hegemony. As Paul Craig Roberts argues, “Washington has revived the Great Power Game and is vying with China.” But whereas China “brings Africa investment and gifts of infrastructure, Washington sends troops, bombs and military bases.”
A new cold war with China would be another blow to the cause of liberty, as all wars, cold and hot, lead to debt, inflation, taxes, and the growth of the police state. But most government leaders live in a different world than the average American. Normal people were relieved that communism collapsed on its own and that they no longer had to worry about nuclear annihilation. But not America’s ruling class. They lamented the disappearance of the reliable bogeyman that, for decades, united Americans behind the U.S. government. It hasn’t been hard for them to find new enemies, but none of these new villains have really managed to fill the shoes of the old Soviet Empire. But if the U.S. continues on its current reckless course, the Chinese might have a chance to do just that.