It is no secret that the world is currently in the midst of a great socio-economic crisis that is sapping the foundations of American Empire. Much like the Fall of Rome, the hollowing out of Yankee institutions has been a slow and steady march into oblivion. The most notable mechanism of this decay is the exponential privatization of all-levels of government. As the institutions of both the ideological and repressive state apparatus are further privatized, the sway of capital naturally co-opts their reproduction. The selling off of the reproduction of the institutional ideology of a state is tantamount to the English Monarchy relinquishing its right to appoint a hereditary successor to the Daily Mail. The result is decay and erosion as the rational interests of the state are superseded by the constantly shifting subjective situational interests of heterogeneous private enterprise.
This transition is not lost on the global community, as the loss of popular international confidence continues to push more and more nations away from the Washington camp. Whether this is the abandonment of the petrodollar or the forsaking of U.S. government bonds, the United States is losing its ability to enforce its global economic hegemony.
Nowhere is the writing on the wall clearer than in Libya and Syria. How much longer can Cold War alliances of convenience, that plague NATO’s stability, hold out? Looking at the 2nd Libyan and Syrian Civil Wars, the inability of America to efficiently project its power is most evident. The most blatant example is Turkey. Turkey is rapidly on the rise to replace the U.S. as the new predominant military power in the Mediterranean/Near-East and Africa. After the United States. Turkey has the most military bases abroad (Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar, a major Somalian base, and three in Libya).
[NATO/Turkey Rift Covered at Length HERE]
From the perspective of U.S. foreign policy, Turkey’s relationship with NATO has never been ideal. However, instead of a decennial international incident over friendly-fire in Iraqi Kurdistan or dubiously protecting the Turkish minority in northern Cyprus, Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has fully and flagrantly broken with Washington. From launching military operations against U.S. coalition forces–and killing American citizens–in northern Syria (i.e. the Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF) to saber-rattling with Greeks (take your pick) over eastern Mediterranean oil and mineral rights, Erdoğan is essentially calling NATO’s bluff. The most recent incident is from June 2020, when a French frigate (the Courbet) was targeted three times by Turkish naval radar when it approached a Turkish civilian vessel off the coast of Libya. It is no coincidence that just a few months earlier France sided with Greece in opposition to Turkish maritime claims in the Aegean. Such actions constitute an act of war according to NATO rules of engagement, and France has in response withdrawn from the NATO intervention in Libya.
“Considering the increase of Greek provocations in [the] Eastern Mediteranean, and the strategic importance of Naval forces, it is an imperative to maintain the Turkish navy’s presence in the area.” – Turkish Government Spokesman
[Erdoğan’s Assertion of Turkish National Ambitions in Libya/Syria Covered at Length HERE]
With talk of potential Turkish military intervention in Yemen and growing Egyptian involvement in eastern Libya, the United States has clearly lost all semblance of geopolitical predominance in the region. Recent unidentified attacks on U.S. military convoys in the Mashriq highlight the end of the Pax Americana and the post-Cold War American Predominancy.
“Unknown assailants attacked US military convoy in southern Iraq: report.” Al-Masdar. 12 July 2020.
Lorne Cook. “NATO to probe France-Turkey Med naval incident.” Associated Press. 18 June 2020.
“French aircraft carrier in Cyprus Block 8.” Kathimerini News. 5 February 2020.
Tasos Kokkinidis. “France Sides With Greece, Cyprus in Turkey Dispute.” Greek Reporter. 24 February 2020.
“Hava ve Deniz Kuvvetlerimiz Akdeniz’de Müşterek Açık Deniz Eğitimi İcra Etti.” Millî Savunma Bakanlığı. 12 June 2020. <https://www.msb.gov.tr/SlaytHaber/1162020-81580>
Ioannis Kotoulas. “Turkey as a destabilising factor.” ahramonline. 7 March 2020.
Lorne Cook. “Turkish invasion sparks NATO crisis but eviction is unlikely.” Associated Press. 16 October 2019.
“Egypt wants Russia to accelerate its air defense deliveries to Libya amid new Turkish offensive: media.” Al-Masdar. 2 July 2020.
“NATO tensions: Turkey demands France apologize after naval incident in Mediterranean.” Al-Masdar. 2 July 2020.
Ragip Soylu. “Turkey tests military flights amid reports of establishing bases.” Middle East Eye. 12 June 2020.