How the US policy elite seeks to bury the world

Donald Kagan

Western commentators, particularly critical ones, are finding explanations of US policy to be puzzling. They then drift to suggestions that the US policy elite have lost their senses. This is always a poor option.

What is the cause of this misunderstanding? It arises from thinking that these recent US policy actions are devoted to the external world. In fact, these actions are primarily designed as internal political actions.

Pelosi on Taiwan: these actions are designed to prevent subsequent administrations from having specific options. We have a policy elite seeking to prevent its successors from being able to redraw their positions i.e. they are seeking to tie the hands of their successors. This also suggests that this policy elite are foreseeing their imminent overthrow. This would imply that behind the scenes is a growing momentum of opposition. On their way out of the door, the current neo-cons seek to poison all US relations and make the ability to change course incredibly difficult. By enraging China, by making China loose all trust in US diplomacy, they hope to take away from their successors any route to rapprochement.

Ukraine: it is beyond credible to suggest that the US policy elite are unable to read military maps. Having concluded that the game is up, they also know they themselves will not be tasked to clean up this mess and to re-establish relations with Russia. What they forsee is that a new US policy regime could score a sensational success by restoring peace, restoring good relations with Russia, re-establishing food and fuel supply lines and radically returning prices to normal. In such a world, not only the reputations but the actual persons of the neo-cons would be mud or near mud, and could be subject to political or legal sanctions. By poisoning the well, they will establish that there are no quick wins for their successors.

Some may feel such a scenario is far fetched and the US policy elite would never consider such a cynical play. However, the reality is that such an attitude is exactly what the US policy elite accused the UK of adopting on its way out. As the UK left its imperial realms it fostered as much ethnic dissension and as much chaos as it could as its calling card leaving the US to pick up the tab. In their view, it was US pressure that forced them to relieve themselves of their empire and so they decided to hand over to the US a poisoned chalice. You want it – take it!

In Ukraine the US policy elite wish to foster as deep a hatred between Ukraine and Russia as possible and leave Russia to eat it. In Taiwan, they wish to provoke as great a conflict as possible and leave China to handle this with any future US policy establishment.

In Afghanistan, as in Cambodia earlier, they have done the same. A US army relieves itself on the country, and without washing its hands let alone drying them, leaves.

US neo-con policy is: follow the Brits pattern – POISON THE WELL AND RUN.

2 Aug 22