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Now the U.S. is playing spoiler role in Korea, Syria and elsewhere. But why?

It is almost too disheartening to lay these three crises side by side and consider the U.S. position in each. If I could avoid concluding that spoilage is Washington’s active intent I would leap at the chance to do so. But I see no such alternative.

It remains for now to ask why 2018 has opened so grimly in the foreign policy sphere. I have three explanations to offer.

One, we cannot forget who runs American “foreign policy” now, and I resort to quotation marks because I do not think we have one anymore. We have a military policy managed by active and retired officers. The core axis of the policy process, as I have previously suggested, appears to run from the Pentagon to H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser. They are the administrative faces of a vast complex of interests, military and industrial, all too familiar to all of us.

Two, contradictions are sharpening. nations are proving able, willing and influential enough to begin constructing negotiated solutions to global crises whether or not the West, and specifically the U.S., is on board. In the three cases reviewed, these nations are China, Russia, Iran and to a qualified extent Turkey (a highly problematic case). This accounts for the aforementioned nakedness of U.S. policy objectives.

Finally, and related to the above, the “sole superpower” phase of the post–Cold War era is slipping with accumulating momentum into the past. Maintaining unipolarity, to put the point another way, becomes an ever more forlorn endeavor. It cannot hold, and one mourns Washington’s inability to grasp this reality.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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