From the end of the Cold War until the Obama administration, US hegemonic dominance in both Europe and the Middle East was the presumed normal state of affairs. But the penchant of Washington’s Federal Reserve (its central bank and provider of global liquidity) for a twenty year reign of easy monetary policy, led to the near collapse of the world-wide capitalist system. This economic meltdown triggered the American people toward a revolution in foreign policy thinking causing a rupture in US relations with both Europe and the Middle East.
The failure of the US-dominated uni-polar geopolitical system is still dramatically with us today under the current administration of Donald J. Trump. In fact, the last two US presidents have exhibited elements of a clear break from the traditional post-war US role of the dominant power — i.e., the “policeman to the world”. First under Obama and mostly in the Middle East, and now under Trump in both Europe and the Middle East, America’s traditional allies cannot be certain as to the extent of the US commitment to their security. This has led to a partial vacuum and an unstable balance of power within the Middle East, as well as general instability within European politics.
Europe appears especially shaken by Trump’s recent declaration to remove all US troops from Syria. Both France and Germany know that an Obama-like vacuum in the Middle East could have dire social and political consequences for Paris and Berlin. When Obama declared that the US would remove the vast majority of its troops from Iraq in 2011, the dire consequence was the rise of ISIS and its terrorist campaign throughout Europe and the Middle East.
The same was true of the Obama abandonment of any role in the Syrian civil war. It was then that Russia realized that it could enter the Syrian fray, tilt the war toward Assad, cause millions of Syrian refugees to flee toward Germany and Europe, and thereby socially and politically undermine the cohesiveness of the West. For the last two years, Trump has done absolutely zero to alter the choke-hold that Moscow holds over Syria and Russia’s new found ability to create social havoc across the countries of the EU. The Kremlin has essentially used Syria as leverage against the threat they perceive of US-NATO expansion toward their borderlands in Eastern Europe. Neither the US nor the EU have been able to counter these Russian moves in the Middle East. Europe and the EU appear hapless to exhibit any projection of power to influence events on the ground in Syria without US leadership.
In fact, the EU has no leverage in the Middle East to do anything. It is totally dependent on the US to ensure the free navigation of oil for its vital transportation needs. Now Russia and Iran have moved decisively into Syria extending a hostile influence from Tehran to Beirut. But in the US, neither the vast majority of Republicans nor Democrats want their government to continue to play the role of the world’s singular post-Cold war policeman. Unlike most of the pundit and establishment political class in Washington, the American people understand the dire economic toll this policy has wrought on the average citizen.
Cold War bi-polarity was replaced by US uni-polarity; now the price tag (in blood and treasure) for a three-front US hegemony (Asia included) is far too high. From the isolationism of the left of the Democratic Party, to the calls of an “America-First” realism within the vast majority of the Republican Party, US foreign policy is in turmoil. The only hope to achieve any permanent security for Europe and the Middle East is to establish a Russian-American-EU Grand Bargain. This historic new compromise would create a completely novel new security architecture of peace for both Europe and the greater Levant.
In the Middle East, this would mean a dramatic tilt toward the budding Sunni-Israeli alliance within the context of a non-hegemonic, nuclear-free zone. Offensive war, outside powers, and weapons of mass destruction would be outlawed within this zone. If Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states would agree to these basic terms — a regional structure of peace could not be vetoed by Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and other Jihadist and extreme elements (including those advocating a phased two-state plan for Israel’s destruction).
Of course such a Middle East Grand Bargain would require Russian support. Therefore the post-Cold War expansion of NATO must be on the table. A new security architecture for Europe must be inclusive of Moscow. This new arrangement must include: Vast and new strategic nuclear and conventional disarmament, full Russian partnership with the West, the formal end of the NATO Alliance and the full agreement of the new security structure by all the countries of the old Warsaw Pact.
Given the precarious state of the world’s unprecedented debt crisis — now approaching 58 trillion in public debt and hundreds of trillions more in total debt — the future of capitalism is now in grave doubt. This might be a good thing because over the many centuries the pursuit of wealth has gone hand in hand with the pursuit of national power through the anarchy of war.
Much worse still is the calamitous state of our living globe’s ecological health. This includes the potential destiny of every living being. It has now become historically incumbent on all the world’s powers and all the world’s nations to work cooperatively toward a sustainable era of peace. Because without peace, the natural world will always remain an object of exploitation within the competitive impulses and the extreme necessities of force and power.
For the first time in the history of nations, morality and geophysical reality have merged into one universal necessity. It is up to all the nations of the world to save Creation. It is up to all the nations of the world to decide: Will it be the anarchy of the geopolitical status quo, leading to untold death and destruction? Or will it be the Redemption of History, leading to peace with its myriad of Divine Blessings? The choice is ours. G-d awaits our decision.