US IMPERIALISM TODAY
(Globalization and global disorder:
the US empire faced with failed states, asymmetrical warfare and other challenges)
Global Justice School 2003
The "end of the Cold War" and the US "hyperpower"
Economic and historical necessity and political strategy (rise and decline)
The factors of power: natural/demographic/economic/military/politico-ideological
I. RISE AND DECLINE OF THE US EMPIRE
1. The "American" century: the rise of the empire from one world war to the next; the interwar crisis and its lessons
2. The US empire within "bipolarity": the post-1945 world system
- international institutions (UN, Bretton Woods)
- inter-imperialist cooperation and alliances (Europe, NATO, Japan)
- US Cold War institutions
- "permanent war economy", "military Keynesianism" and crisis
3. The syndrome of decline
- relative decline: economic and politico-military
- Vietnam and the dollar crisis
- the "oil shock" and the reversal of the "long wave"
- productivity, deindustrialization and inter-imperialist competition
- Watergate, Saigon, Carter, 1979: advanced stages of decline
II. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
1. Reagan and US "rearmament": politico-moral "rearmament" and unbridled militarism
2. Financing "rearmament": US deficits and debt; the paradox of "Reaganomics"
3. The renewal of interventionism: from Reagan (Grenada/Lebanon) to Bush (Panama); the Pentagon's new doctrines
4. The Gulf War: the Empire regenerated
a) A golden opportunity (black gold, that is....): the importance of the stakes and the international anti-Saddam Hussein consensus
b) High-tech war: the ideal terrain
c) Financing of the war and US oil hegemony
III. A UNIPOLAR AND DANGEROUS WORLD
1. The end of Cold War, imperialist triumph and "unipolarity"
2. The hard core of US hegemony
- a Cold War military budget
- limits of US military power: Somalia, Yugoslavia, "zero death"
- the other vulnerability: "terrorism"
3. The post-Cold War international system
- neoliberal globalization: from "containment" to "enlargement"
- NATO and the Russian question; the example of the Kosovo war
- the Chinese question and the Moscow-Beijing alliance
4. September 11 and its aftermath: Afghanistan and Iraq
- Washington completes its global military network
- Controlling oil
By way of conclusion: the Achilles heel of the US empire