Nick Cleveland-Stout Taylor Giorno William D. Hartung

Washington Should Think Twice Before Launching a New Cold War

Here we are in what might indeed be Cold War II, playing out the Ukrainian version of Afghanistan with a weaker Russian military, a visibly more disturbed leader, Washington again shoveling arms, money, and training to the other side, and the possibility that the war could spread elsewhere in Europe. What happens when history repeats itself, however weirdly?
[firdaus omar / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

By William D. HartungNick Cleveland-Stout, and Taylor Giorno | TomDispatch

A growing chorus of pundits and policymakers has suggested that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks the beginning of a new Cold War. If so, that means trillions of additional dollars for the Pentagon in the years to come coupled with a more aggressive military posture in every corner of the world.

Before this country succumbs to calls for a return to Cold War-style Pentagon spending, it’s important to note that the United States is already spending substantially more than it did at the height of the Korean and Vietnam Wars or, in fact, any other moment in that first Cold War. Even before the invasion of Ukraine began, the Biden administration’s proposed Pentagon budget (as well as related work like nuclear-warhead development at the Department of Energy) was already guaranteed to soar even higher than that, perhaps to $800 billion or more for 2023.

Here’s the irony: going back to Cold War levels of Pentagon funding would mean reducing, not increasing spending. Of course, that’s anything but what the advocates of such military outlays had in mind, even before the present crisis.

Some supporters of higher Pentagon spending have, in fact, been promoting figures as awe inspiring as they are absurd. Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative National Review, is advocating a trillion-dollar military budget, while Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council called for the United States to prepare to win simultaneous wars against Russia and China. He even suggested that Congress “could go so far as to double its defense spending” without straining our resources. That would translate into a proposed annual defense budget of perhaps $1.6 trillion. Neither of those astronomical figures is likely to be implemented soon, but that they’re being talked about at all is indicative of where the Washington debate on Pentagon spending is heading in the wake of the Ukraine disaster.

Ex-government officials are pressing for similarly staggering military budgets. As former Reagan-era State Department official and Iran-Contra operative Elliott Abrams argued in a recent Foreign Affairs piece titled “The New Cold War”: “It should be crystal clear now that a larger percentage of GDP [gross domestic product] will need to be spent on defense.” Similarly, in a Washington Post op-ed, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates insisted that “we need a larger, more advanced military in every branch, taking full advantage of new technologies to fight in new ways.” No matter that the U.S. already outspends China by a three-to-one margin and Russia by 10-to-one.

Truth be told, current levels of Pentagon spending could easily accommodate even a robust program of arming Ukraine as well as a shift of yet more U.S. troops to Eastern Europe. However, as hawkish voices exploit the Russian invasion to justify higher military budgets, don’t expect that sort of information to get much traction. At least for now, cries for more are going to drown out realistic views on the subject.

Beyond the danger of breaking the budget and siphoning off resources urgently needed to address pressing challenges like pandemics, climate change, and racial and economic injustice, a new Cold War could have devastating consequences. Under such a rubric, the U.S. would undoubtedly launch yet more military initiatives, while embracing unsavory allies in the name of fending off Russian and Chinese influence.

The first Cold War, of course, reached far beyond Europe, as Washington promoted right-wing authoritarian regimes and insurgencies globally at the cost of millions of lives. Such brutal military misadventures included Washington’s role in coups in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile; the war in Vietnam; and support for repressive governments and proxy forces in Afghanistan, Angola, Central America, and Indonesia. All of those were justified by exaggerated — even at times fabricated — charges of Soviet involvement in such countries and the supposed need to defend “the free world,” a Cold War term President Biden all-too-ominously revived in his recent State of the Union address (assumedly, yet another sign of things to come). 

Indeed, his framing of the current global struggle as one between “democracies and autocracies” has a distinctly Cold War ring to it and, like the term “free world,” it’s riddled with contradictions. After all, from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates to the Philippines, all too many autocracies and repressive regimes already receive ample amounts of U.S. weaponry and military training — no matter that they continue to pursue reckless wars or systematically violate the human rights of their own people. Washington’s support is always premised on the role such regimes supposedly play in fighting against or containing the threats of the moment, whether Iran, China, Russia, or some other country.

Count on one thing: the heightened rhetoric about Russia and China seeking to undermine American influence will only reinforce Washington’s support for repressive regimes. The consequences of that could, in turn, prove to be potentially disastrous. 

Before Washington embarks on a new Cold War, it’s time to remind ourselves of the global consequences of the last one. 

Cold War I: The Coups

Dwight D. Eisenhower is often praised as the president who ended the Korean War and spoke out against the military-industrial complex. However, he also sowed the seeds of instability and repression globally by overseeing the launching of coups against nations allegedly moving towards communism or even simply building closer relations with the Soviet Union.

In 1953, with Eisenhower’s approval, the CIA instigated a coup that led to the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeqh. In a now-declassified document, the CIA cited the Cold War and the risks of leaving Iran “open to Soviet aggression” as rationales for their actions. The coup installed Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran, initiating 26 years of repressive rule that set the stage for the 1979 Iranian revolution that would bring Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power.

In 1954, the Eisenhower administration launched a coup that overthrew the Guatemalan government of President Jacobo Arbenz. His “crime”: attempting to redistribute to poor peasants some of the lands owned by major landlords, including the U.S.-based United Fruit Company. Arbenz’s internal reforms were falsely labeled communism-in-the-making and a case of Soviet influence creeping into the Western Hemisphere. Of course, no one in the Eisenhower administration made mention of the close ties between the United Fruit Company and both CIA Director Allen Dulles and his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Such U.S. intervention in Guatemala would prove devastating with the four decades that followed consumed by a brutal civil war in which up to 200,000 people died. 

In 1973, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger followed Eisenhower’s playbook by fomenting a coup that overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Chilean President Salvador Allende, installing the vicious dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. That coup was accomplished in part through economic warfare — “making the economy scream,” as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it — and partly thanks to CIA-backed bribes and assassinations meant to bolster right-wing factions there.  Kissinger would justify the coup, which led to the torture, imprisonment, and death of tens of thousands of Chileans, this way: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.”

Vietnam and Its Legacy

The most devastating Cold War example of a war justified on anti-communist grounds was certainly the disastrous U.S. intervention in Vietnam. It would lead to the deployment there of more than half a million American troops, the dropping of a greater tonnage of bombs than the U.S. used in World War II, the defoliation of large parts of the Vietnamese countryside, the massacre of villagers in My Lai and numerous other villages, the deaths of 58,000 U.S. troops and up to 2 million Vietnamese civilians — all while Washington systematically lied to the American public about the war’s “progress.”

U.S. involvement in Vietnam began in earnest during the administrations of Presidents Harry Truman and Eisenhower, when Washington bankrolled the French colonial effort there to subdue an independence movement. After a catastrophic French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the U.S. took over the fight, first with covert operations and then counterinsurgency efforts championed by the administration of John F. Kennedy. Finally, under President Lyndon Johnson Washington launched an all-out invasion and bombing campaign.

In addition to being an international crime writ large, in what became a Cold War tradition for Washington, the conflict in Vietnam would prove to be profoundly anti-democratic. There’s no question that independence leader Ho Chi Minh would have won the nationwide election called for by the 1954 Geneva Accords that followed the French defeat. Instead, the Eisenhower administration, gripped by what was then called the “domino theory” — the idea that the victory of communism anywhere would lead other countries to fall like so many dominos to the influence of the Soviet Union — sustained an undemocratic right-wing regime in South Vietnam. 

That distant war would, in fact, spark a growing antiwar movement in this country and lead to what became known as the “Vietnam Syndrome,” a public resistance to military intervention globally. While that meant an ever greater reliance on the CIA, it also helped keep the U.S. out of full-scale boots-on-the-ground conflicts until the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Instead, the post-Vietnam “way of war” would be marked by a series of U.S.-backed proxy conflicts abroad and the widespread arming of repressive regimes.

The defeat in Vietnam helped spawn what was called the Nixon Doctrine, which eschewed large-scale intervention in favor of the arming of American surrogates like the Shah of Iran and the Suharto regime in Indonesia. Those two autocrats typically repressed their own citizens, while trying to extinguish people’s movements in their regions. In the case of Indonesia, Suharto oversaw a brutal war in East Timor, greenlighted and supported financially and with weaponry by the Nixon administration.

“Freedom Fighters”

Once Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1981, his administration began to push support for groups he infamously called “freedom fighters.” Those ranged from extremist mujahideen fighters against the Soviets in Afghanistan to Jonas Savimbi’s forces in Angola to the Nicaraguan Contras. The U.S. funding and arming of such groups would have devastating consequences in those countries, setting the stage for the rise of a new generation of corrupt regimes, while arming and training individuals who would become members of al-Qaeda.

The Contras were an armed right-wing rebel movement cobbled together, funded, and supplied by the CIA. Americas Watch accused them of rape, torture, and the execution of civilians. In 1984, Congress prohibited the Reagan administration from funding them, thanks to the Boland amendment (named for Massachusetts Democratic Representative Edward Boland). In response, administration officials sought a work-around. In the end, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, a Marine and member of the National Security Council, would devise a scheme to supply arms to Iran, while funneling excess profits from the sales of that weaponry to the Contras. The episode became known as the Iran-Contra scandal and demonstrated the lengths to which zealous Cold Warriors would go to support even the worst actors as long as they were on the “right side” (in every sense) of the Cold War struggle.

Chief among this country’s blunders of that previous Cold War era was its response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a policy that still haunts America today. Concerns about that invasion led the administration of President Jimmy Carter to step up weapons transfers through a covert arms pipeline to a loose network of oppositional fighters known as the mujahideen. President Reagan doubled down on such support, even meeting with the leaders of mujahideen groups in the Oval Office in 1983. That relationship would, of course, backfire disastrously as Afghanistan descended into a civil war after the Soviet Union withdrew. Some of those Reagan had praised as “freedom fighters” helped form al-Qaeda and later the Taliban. The U.S. by no means created the mujahideen in Afghanistan, but it does bear genuine responsibility for everything that followed in that country.

As the Biden administration moves to operationalize its policy of democracy versus autocracy, it should take a close look at the Cold War policy of attempting to expand the boundaries of the “free world.” A study by political scientists Alexander Downes and Jonathon Monten found that, of 28 cases of American regime change, only three would prove successful in building a lasting democracy. Instead, most of the Cold War policies outlined above, even though carried out under the rubric of promoting “freedom” in “the free world,” would undermine democracy in a disastrous fashion.

A New Cold War?

Cold War II, if it comes to pass, is unlikely to simply follow the pattern of Cold War I either in Europe or other parts of the world.  Still, the damage done by the “good versus evil” worldview that animated Washington’s policies during the Cold War years should be a cautionary tale. The risk is high that the emerging era could be marked by persistent U.S. intervention or interference in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in the name of staving off Russian and Chinese influence in a world where Washington’s disastrous war on terrorism has never quite ended.

The United States already has more than 200,000 troops stationed abroad, 750 military bases scattered on every continent except Antarctica, and continuing counterterrorism operations in 85 countries. The end of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and the dramatic scaling back of American operations in Iraq and Syria should have marked the beginning of a sharp reduction in the U.S. military presence in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Washington’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine may now stand in the way of just such a much-needed military retrenchment.

The “us versus them” rhetoric and global military maneuvering likely to play out in the years to come threaten to divert attention and resources from the biggest risks to humanity, including the existential threat posed by climate change. It also may divert attention from a country — ours — that is threatening to come apart at the seams.  To choose this moment to launch a new Cold War should be considered folly of the first order, not to speak of an inability to learn from history.

Copyright 2022 William D. Hartung, Nick Cleveland-Stout, and Taylor Giorno

Nick Cleveland-Stout is a researcher at the Quincy Institute.

Taylor Giorno is a researcher at the Quincy Institute.

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and the author most recently of the Quincy Institute Issue Brief “Pathways to Pentagon Spending Reductions: Removing the Obstacles.” His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex


  1. ‘Washington Should Think Twice Before Launching a New Cold War’

    In your dreams. Difficult enough to get Washington to think once. ‘Again’ is an ask too far.

    1. Perhaps, We the People should stop “asking” and start “demanding” as we are the ones who’ll further suffer the austerity which follows such “military” spending. And how shall we make these demands of Washington, you might ask? Non-cooperation while acting non-violently. In short, refuse to go along with the system. Refuse to pay debts! Refuse to pay rent and/or mortgages! Refuse to work! Hell, this can be accomplished in the streets or simply by staying home. The outcome: The system crashes, and when it does, rebuild a new society established on peaceful cooperation between nations. This can and will be accomplished, if not, goodbye civilization and this planet will become a dead one.

  2. War is racket for banksters at the expense of the masses. From chaos comes the New World Order. The world now is at mercy of NATO, the Agenda 2030. This conflict/cold war is a cover for an agenda for 90% depopulation. WW2 never ended, it just went underground till the debt bubble is bursting at the seems. Humanity is unsustainable due to wasting resources for a false god-the fiat $$! The Fabian’s played us for a fool!

  3. Let the People determine where their tax dollars will be spent, with any deviation therefrom be deemed “High Treason” and ceate a government that we were supposed to have. One of Public Servants,

  4. Oh, the missed missives here.

    Here, now, the Brits, like the Anglo-Saxon cousins in United Snakes of Amnesia, have their new calling card:

    Quoting a story —

    Britain’s Communist Party has called on authorities to “act swiftly” against posters depicting Russians as pigs and calling for their deaths. The communists – who view the war in Ukraine as a clash of capitalist powers – said that the posters recall the Nazi-era persecution of Jews.

    The posters feature a pig in the colors of the Russian flag, along with the text “Good Russian = Dead Russian.” According to the Russian news outlet Readovka, they appeared in London, and the logo of London’s public transport corporation can be seen in the background of a photo shared by Readovka.

    “IF YOU SEE ONE, RIP IT DOWN,” the Communist Party of Britain tweeted on Monday. “Authorities should act swiftly against such anti-worker posters,” the communists continued. “We need unity between people. Because the first picture below is just a short goose-step from the second.”


    These tired stories from Tom “Stuck in the ’60s” Dispatch are not exactly cutting edge — REALITY:

    US to Use Ukraine as Stepping Stone toward Taiwan Provocation

    by Brian Berletic / March 22nd, 2022

    The US is planning to provoke conflict with China through Taiwan just as it has done to Russia through Ukraine. A similar process of replacing both governments in 2014 and then preparing both territories for war has been underway since.

    US policy papers have called for the encirclement and containment of both Russia and China for decades and ultimately, stopping China requires first isolating it from its largest, most powerful ally, Russia.


    More news not fit to print on “Stuck in the ’60s” Scheer Report:

    Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the American ruling establishment embarked on a policy of backing radical anti-nation state ideologies (henceforth to be referred to as ANSIs) with the goal of dismantling national identities and leaving failed states in their wake. Only through acknowledging both the extraordinary dangers that this entails, and the fact that the process emanates from powerful transnational capitalist forces rather than from “the left” (which once referenced a Marxist or social democratic position), can the chaos within the West as well as US foreign policy in the post-Soviet era be understood.

    If left unchecked, an ANSI will act as a cancer and metastasize, until the national identity it has infiltrated has reached the point of dissolution. Indeed, it will either eradicate or be eradicated; there is no other alternative. A curious phenomenon in the panoply of neoliberal barbarities is that those who reject extremism are inevitably labeled as extremists themselves. For instance, the American and Canadian truckers who are defending the informed consent ethic, the principle of bodily autonomy, and the Nuremberg Code, without which a democracy cannot survive, are guilty of “antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, homophobia, and transphobia,” to quote Canada’s puerile prime minister – i.e., it is they who are the extremists.

    Serbs that endured over seventy days of NATO bombing, and who suffered genocidal attacks at the hands of Croatian neo-Ustasha soldiers and Kosovo Liberation Army terrorists were also “extremists;” their oppressors, “freedom fighters.”

    Identity politics, a deranged yet powerful ANSI which has cataclysmically destabilized American society, and is likewise being used as a battering ram to turn much of the West into a Tower of Babel while dismantling the rule of law, is predicated on the notion that any opposition to unrestricted immigration and the jettisoning of the American canon is indicative of “white supremacy.” This zealotry has been taken to its inescapable conclusion in the New York City public schools, where non-native speakers of English are hanging from the chandeliers, and a curriculum which demonizes American letters, British literature, classics of Western Civilization, civics, and the history of Western art – the foundational pillars of our civilization – is hegemonic.

    Not only has this brought about a collapse of the society, but those for whom this curriculum purports to help – Americans of color and immigrant youth – are rendered illiterate, both culturally and intellectually. What better time than the 21st century to use one’s knowledge of the Nuremberg Code, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, McCarthyism, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Great Depression, the Vietnam War (particularly prior to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan), and the role played by Ukrainian nationalists during the Second World War? The ignorance, alienation, tribalism, atomization, and dehumanization fomented by the multicultural society (essentially the inversion of white supremacy), has spawned a younger generation drowning in amnesia and amorality – a zombie class which is extremely amenable to brainwashing by the presstitutes.

    Another example of an ANSI is the problem of Sunni fundamentalism in Syria, as Syria is comprised of not only Sunnis, but Alawites, Jews, Christians, Kurds, as well as other religious and ethnic minorities, all of which would be regarded as nonpersons by the jihadis should they sack Damascus. There are also considerable numbers of Sunnis in Syria that reject the radicalism of ISIS, Jaysh al-Islam, and Jabhat al-Nusra. In other words, the Syrian government had no choice but to outlaw these groups, as there is no way that they could peacefully coexist with a modern and secular Syrian state.

    Multiple ANSIs were introduced into Iraq during the US military occupation. In commenting on the animus between the Baath Party and the Dawa Party, The Oklahoman writes:

    The parties’ rivalry dates back more than four decades. The two groups have traditionally held opposing views on how Iraq should be run, with Dawa calling for an Islamic Shiite state, and the Baath party having a secular, pan-Arab ideology.

    Unlike Iran, Iraq is not a predominantly Shiite state. Consequently, the rise of the Dawa Party, which was dominant in Iraq from 2003 to 2018, disenfranchised Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians, thereby facilitating Kurdish separatism as well as the birth of ISIS. In a similar vein, the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in India undermines a cohesive national identity and poses a threat to democratic institutions. Democracy demands freedom of speech, yet cannot become a synonym for dogmatism, sectarianism, and tribalism.

    The Branch Covidian coup d’état has facilitated the emergence of a global cult which is anchored in a contempt for informed consent and which poses an existential threat to democracy. This contempt for the informed consent ethic is rooted in the notion that human beings are the property of the state, and that the state has a right to do whatever it wants to its subjects medically. Hence, this is a totalitarian position. Once a totalitarian position has been embraced, its acolytes invariably abandon the world of reason. This explains why you can send your indoctrinated relatives countless links to articles showing that masks and lockdowns don’t work, that the mRNA vaccines are dangerous and do not confer immunity, and that Covid can be treated with repur
    posed drugs, all to no avail. They have turned their backs, not only on democracy, but on logic, and are operating on a purely primordial emotion. Indeed, the irrationality of totalitarianism is tied to the fact that those who seek to destroy vital democratic pillars, such as the First Amendment and informed consent, are not only fighting to destroy the freedom of their adversaries but are fighting to destroy their own freedoms as well.


    1. This is scattershot and verbose. Next time put in the effort to write coherently, rather than posting your notes for a novel.

    2. Please don’t use the verbosity that you engaged in as part of your novel, as it would constitute plagiarism.
      You were citing the links that you provided, correct?
      Try to remember that you reside in the twit(ter) universe, and anything more than two sentences, not written in crayon, is too much for some folks.
      Follow the wise old principle of KISforS.
      The confederacy is alive and well.

  5. Very-nice brief summary with a focus on key points that I will be sending to friends who can benefit.

    After reading this, I am more convinced now that Biden pushed very hard for what looks like a very-irrational reaction by Putin – a response that has been predicted for the better part of two decades. From nearly the beginning of the Biden presidency, you can see a pattern of escalating provocations by Biden and Zelensky. In March 2021, Zelensky starts talking about taking back Crimea and the East, by military force if necessary and he talks to anyone that will listen. Russia calls it a declaration of war. In August, Zelensky convenes an international conference to help strategize on how to get Crimea back by various means, including military force. Russia does not respond well to this. Zelensky moves as many as 100,000 troops to the East to engage the Russian-supported separatists, the Russians increase their numbers on the Russian side.

    In the meantime, Biden amplifies the anti-Putin rhetoric calling him a killer. In the Summer of 2021, NATO ships buzz the Russian base at Sevastopol sailing war ships on the hairy edge of international waters. Biden’s rhetoric becomes more shrill as Russia runs more exercises on Ukraine’s border. Apparently fed up, and having long been concerned about a lack of transparency of higher-performing missiles in NATO countries pointed at Russia, Putin puts forward two draft treaties for discussion with NATO and the US. The US gives him the finger calling these discussion points “demands” and refuses to talk. Putin invades.

    To me, it looks like the conversations between Zelensky and Russia have two purposes. First, to try to save as many civilians as possible. Second, get Zelensky to give up his quest for Crimea – which everyone should know was annexed to Ukraine in 1954. (A better move for Russia in 2014 may have been to have Crimea assert its independence from Ukraine rather than have annexed it to Russia.) Other Zelensky discussions seem to be about Ukraine staying neutral and out of NATO, probably a level of disarmament, and ceding the East to independence or to Russia for annexation.

    But it would seem unlikely that the Zelensky/Russia talks will resolve the situation and result in Russian withdrawl. This, I would think, will only happen when Biden and NATO agree to come to the negotiating table. Right now Russia is doing so much damage to itself, at least from the West’s perspective, it will be hard for Biden to stop what is happening.

  6. This represents a largely truthful adumbration of the sentinel moments of the first Cold War.

    Except, that it lacks the courage to recognize the efforts of the Russian Federation, over 30 years, to avoid a second Cold War and be fully incorporated into the West as an equal partner.

    Secondly, it remains impolitic, even for the Quincy Institute, operating within Washington Think Tank Landia to recall Gorbachev’s proposal to Reagan to abolish ALL nuclear weapons.

    Thirdly, it presupposes that somehow, even against the overwhelming body of historical evidence, that Russia’s failure to comply with dictation from Washington is at the centre causal. That Russia could not possibly have strategic interests to be respected.

    Fourthly, though it mentions the unmistakable evidence of the racism of America, it failed to link that central predisposition with that country’s inability to give way to future world powers or share influence. It is this chronic racist acili which will ultimately inform a nuclear cataclysm.

    For there will be no other way out when White people, as represented by the Rome of North America, only imagines existence like it has been for at least 500 years.

    1. In addition, it’s still uncertain whether there will even be a second Cold War.

      For America is as weak as a spider’s web. It has reached its nadir it has to find people like Nazis and Deash to be their foot soldiers. America cannot even, through proxy wars, defeat small groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis in Yemen. Not to talk about Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Iraq. And these are weak powers. Russia has a real army.

      America essential has one effective weapon left – nucleur bombs. Because sanctions have been ineffective in crippling the Russian economy and the propaganda war is faltering As empire has been humiliated having to run around the world begging, even its adversaries for diplomatic and economic help.

      Those economic sanctions have already had a massive blowback on the Western satrapies everywhere. Massive exspansion in military spending along with de-dollarization and alternative payment systems by the Urasian Block will lead to the the collapse of the US dollar.

      Dollar gone. Empire of useless paper gone!

      Left in place, these economic sanctions will complete the rise of the much vaunted multipolar world as the alternative mechanism are being implemented thusly.

      Given our master narrative that White power will never make significant concessions on its dream of an “exceptional” unipolarity, it may not be unreasonable to expect that the threat made to the USSR after Japan had virtually been defeated – Hiroshima and Nagasaki – is now actualized.

  7. The most important element in national expenditures is not cost/benefit analysis. It is stories. This is how Homeland Security was invented overnight with it’s astronomical budget, and how military ballistic missile research was justified by, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard.” You can do anything with a story and nothing with it. Our species can if you believe, mitigate death with eternal life, via appropriately constructed narratives.

    Monumental defense spending needn’t reflect real needs, nor is it weighed against social welfare. Monumental defense budgets pass Congress in the blinding light of a story of threat and fear. A nation will go barefoot and hungry to spend every cent on guns, if that nation accepts certain stories. The hundreds of books on Guatemala and United Fruit, the Dulles Brothers, Mohammad Mosaddegh, Vietnam, etc. are excellent. They are also read by so few Americans they might as well not exist.

    The lingering American Cold War story does not say, “Under a trumped-up Cold War the US interfered in nations across the globe and caused immeasurable death & mayhem while our poor suffered.” It says, “We won a necessary Cold War.” Don’t believe me, ask people on the street.

    It takes public intellectuals, the school systems, and popular media joined together to destroy a well built national myth. That work has not been done in the United States of America with respect to the Cold War, in fact the opposite as been done. The education of kids is a tell; English Lit is for losers, STEM is the future. Rather, military defense requires technicians & engineers, & poets don’t make good warriors.

    Thus a new Cold War and the defense budget to support it will be easy-peasy. With no draft and defense spending justified by job creation, I see no obstacle to the defense budget doubling, or worse.

  8. Yes, and there is almost certain to be a repeat of biological or chemical weapons, like happened in Syria, as a feckless empire struggles to consolidate its position of victory in the propaganda war, as it loses in all other theatres. A series of false flags operations are being planned by the United States, and are to be expected as Russia wins victory after victory in the real military battles.

  9. Hate to break it to you Nick but we are already in a full on cold war bordering ever closer to hot war every day. Washington and the West just broke the world by provoking this crisis and then losing their minds after they accomplished what they worked so hard to make happen. Now at best, they have created a schism with half the population of this planet and set the stage for their own economic doom, and at worst have begun the process that ends in mutual nuclear annihilation.


    All the while the people are so lost in illusion and delusion they are totally incapable of any unified or rational action at all. So into the mouth of madness we go….


  10. Essentially, America’s last bullet as it strives to maintain hegemony could only end in nucleur war. One should not to uncertain if the forces at work lead in that direction. A global holocaust of us all.

  11. We are a war economy supported by war culture so, I should have had a lot more invested in :
    LMT, RTX, NOC, LHX, and defense industry etf.

    These stocks are the best performers this year, hopefully others, such as Belarus, China will join in the war and these stocks will be higher again.

    The best reasons for the new Nato members was they had to spend billions to join.
    Ukraine and Georgia, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, others could be future billions spenders for a Nato franchise.

    Continuing the war is absolutely tremendous for our war business; it is recession proof.
    We all know that war end depressions.

    1. You and they seem to miss just one thing. When that war is with someone in possession of hundreds of nuclear weapons who will use them if losing is the only other option, the whole economic benefit through war thing kind of falls apart….that whole global winter thing…..

  12. Pardon me for being a mere working class American unenlightened by an Ivy education. Nor I am the heir of superior genes from the 1%er econ royalty and their oh so deserving descendants.

    I probably missed many, many of the nuances of what must have been, or are currently, brilliant political and military strategies devised by such fine people. The myriad of paleo and neo Cold War(s) by proxy couldn’t have been carried out unless all of the factors were considered and long term plans were in place, right?

    Then why does it look like the greatest country in the world, my homeland USA, didn’t actually win a single one of them?

  13. Is NATO even capable of being a “peace force” or is it really a “peace farce”? Can it really do much of anything to stop evil if it cannot face its own evils first? If the thinking of the U.S. and other NATO members cannot change from the past paradigm of warfare for economic gain then the resultant future out comes will not be much different.

    It’s time to take names and kick ass.

  14. Good stuff here,

    A Peculiar European “Peace”
    by Bertrand Renouvin / March 22nd, 2022

    Building Europe to have peace. Such is the just and fine ambition that one must pursue relentlessly. Nevertheless, it is necessary to define ‘Europe’ and to specify the conditions for the peace that is desirable on our continent.

    For Europe is a continent. Only de Gaulle had envisaged Europe as a geopolitical ensemble composed of all the states participating in balance. François Mitterrand took up the idea in the form of a European confederation, but he too quickly abandoned it.

    Since 1945, what is presented as ‘Europe’, in the West of the continent, is only a subset of countries incapable by themselves of ensuring peace. One regularly hides its powerlessness behind proud slogans. Such is the case with that which affirms ‘Europe means Peace’. As a historical reality and as promise it is false.

    During the Cold War, it is not the organs of the Common Market, of the European Economic Community then of the European Union which have assured peace in Europe. It is well known that the equilibrium between the great powers has been maintained by nuclear dissuasion and, more precisely, by the potential for massive destruction possessed by the US, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and France.

    NATO forces under American command offered Western Europe a fragile umbrella, since the US would not have put their very existence in jeopardy to prevent a very improbable land-based offensive by the Soviet Army. Ready for all possibilities but not prepared to pay the price of a classic confrontation, France, having left the integrated command of NATO in 1966, considered the territory of West Germany as a buffer zone for its Pluton nuclear-armed missiles.

    The collapse of the Soviet Union has pushed into the background the debates on nuclear dissuasion, but it is still not possible to glorify a ‘Europe’ pacific and peace-making. For thirty years we have seen the «peace of cemeteries» established on our periphery, and under the responsibility of certain members states of the European Union.

    The principal states of the EU carry an overwhelming responsibility in the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia. Germany, supported by the Vatican, unilaterally recognises Slovenia and Croatia on 23 December 1991, which pushes the then “Twelve” to follow this lethal route. France could have opposed this decision. It gives up this option because, on 15 December in Council, François Mitterrand reaffirms his conviction: it is more important to preserve the promises of Maastricht than to attempt to impose the French position on Yugoslavia. In other words, Yugoslavia has been deliberately sacrificed on the altar of “Franco-German friendship“, when one could already see that Berlin lied, manoeuvred and imposed its will. The German ambition was to support Croatia, including by the delivery of arms, in a war that would be pursued with a comparable cruelty by all the camps.

    The recognition of Slovenia and Croatia embroiled Bosnia-Herzegovina and provoked the extension of the conflict, then its internationalisation. Tears would be shed for Sarajevo while forgetting Mostar. Some Parisian intellectuals would demand, in the name of ‘Europe’, an attack on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, then comprising Serbia, Vojvodina, Kosovo and Montenegro. Their wish was granted in 1999 when NATO, under American commandment, bombed Yugoslav territory for 78 days, killing thousands of civilians. France, Germany, Italy, Belgium … participated in this military operation, in contempt of the UN Charter and of NATO statutes, an alliance theoretically defensive …

    Let no one pretend that the principal member states of the EU were waging humanitarian wars and wanted to assure economic development and democracy. ‘Europe’ has protested against ethnic cleansing by Serbs but has left the Croats to force out 200,000 Serbs from Krajina. ‘Europe’ waxes indignant about massacres in Kosovo but it has supported extremist ethnic Albanians of the Kosovo Liberation Army who have committed multiple atrocities before and after their arrival to power in Pristina.

    These Balkan wars occurred in the previous Century, but it is not ancient history. The countries devastated by war suffer henceforth the indifference of the powerful. In Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, one lives poorly, very poorly, if one is not involved in illegal business networks. Then one seeks work elsewhere, preferably in Germany, if one is not too old.

    After having mistreated, pillaged then abandoned its peripheries, ‘peaceful’ Europe then goes to serve as an auxiliary force in American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is true that Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron were in the forefront in the bombardment of Libya, but the outcome is as disastrous as in the Middle East and Central Asia – graveyards, chaos, the hate of the West and, at Kabul, the return of the Taliban.

    This brief review of the deadly inconsistencies of European pacificism cannot ignore Ukraine. The European Commission itself has encouraged the Ukrainian government in its quest for integration in the EU, before proposing a simple accord of association. The Ukrainian government, having declined to sign this accord, the pro-European groups allied to the ultranationalists have descended into the street in November 2013 with the support of Germany, Poland and the US. The Maidan movement, the eviction of President Yanukovych and the war of the Donbass have led, after the Minsk accords and a stalemate in the conflict to the situation that we have before our eyes in early January – the US and Russia discuss directly the Ukrainian crisis without the ‘Europe of peace’ being admitted to the negotiating table. The EU has totally subjugated itself to NATO and does not envisage leaving it.

    It is therefore possible to note, once again, the vacuity of the discourse on the ‘European power’ and on ‘European sovereignty’. Thirty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we should acknowledge all the opportunities lost. After the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, France could have demanded the withdrawal of American forces installed in Europe and proposed a collective security treaty for the entirety of the continent, while pursuing its project for a European Confederation. From Right to Left, our governments have preferred to cultivate the myth of the “Franco-German friendship”, leave the US to pursue its agenda after the upheaval of 2003, and then return to the integrated command of NATO.

    They offer us not peace but submission to war-making forces that they have given up trying to control.


    • Translated by Evan Jones (a francophile and retired political economist at University of Sydney) and is published here with permission from author.

  15. USA has been attacking weak defenseless peoples its entire history; without imperialism USA would be a 4th world nation

  16. Think twice? US planners have never stopped thinking about how to destabilize and defeat Russia by any means necessary, economic or military. They’ve even employed think tanks like the premier Rand Corporation to lay out plans for the present campaign.

  17. It is interesting that the Cold War is presented through a very one sided lens which emphasizes the very real faults, aggressions, support of autocratic regimes and other “crimes” of the West.
    But why no mention is made of acts such as the invasion of Hungary in 1956, of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the repression of workers in GDR in 1953, the invasion of South Korea (which, if not stopped by the UN forces led by the US may have resulted in the whole of Korea looking as the DPRK under the Kim family)?Also , the war against the VietCong was practically won until the invasion of the South by the North Vietnam army , which was at the end the main fighting force against the US.
    The final take on the purpose and winners of the Cold War is the fact that Communism is nowhere to be seen anymore in Europe, after the threat of USSR intervention disappeared and enabled the peoples of ex Communist countries to freely choose their fate.
    A new Cold War may be justified only if there is a tangible threat to the independence and freedom of peoples in Europe and elsewhere as a result of Russia or China direct military intervention , which does not appear to be the case.
    The war in Ukraine is very hot, not cold , and the Ukrainian resistance to unprovoked aggression must be supported to the outmost degree possible, in accordance with international law and UN Charter.

  18. The money lust of the military industrial complex is insatiable. It will bleed our county until it collapses from exhaustion.

  19. Thank you for this interesting article. Living in Europe, I am also concerned about Nato. The way it is structured makes it an aggressive player, maybe even more dangerous than strategies of the State Department. A military alliance with no counterpart makes Europe quite instabile. It could lead to a World War, actually we are already in it.

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