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By Jorge Beinstein
"Desperate Illusions generate life in your veins"
“People believe that solutions come from their ability to study
sensibly discernible reality. In reality, the world no longer
it works like this. We are now an empire and when we act, we create
our own reality. And while you are studying that reality,
we will act again, creating other realities that you can also
study. We are the actors of history, and you, all of you,
You just have to study what we do ”.
Karl Rove, Adviser to George W. Bush, Summer 2002 (1)
The illusion of imperial metacontrol of chaos (*)
War and economy
In 1942 Michal Kelecki set out the basic outline of what was later known as "military Keynesianism." Drawing on the experience of the militarized economy of Nazi Germany, the author pointed out the resistance of the bourgeoisies of Europe and the United States to the application of state policies of full employment based on direct incentives to the civil sector and their predisposition to favor them when they were oriented towards military activities (2). Later, Kalecki, already in the middle of the Cold War, described the decisive characteristics of what he described as the hegemonic triangle of North American capitalism that combined internal prosperity with militarism described as a convergence between military spending, media manipulation of the population and high levels of employment (3) .
This line of reflection, to which Harry Magdoff, Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy adhered among others, raised both the short-medium term success of the “Manteca + Canñones” strategy ( "Guns and Butter Economy") that strengthened the internal social cohesion of the United States and its global military presence, as well as its limits and inevitable long-term exhaustion.
Sweezy and Baran predicted (correctly) in the mid-1960s that one of the decisive limits to the reproduction of the system came from the technological dynamics of military Keynesianism itself, since the increasing technical sophistication of weaponry inevitably tended to increase labor productivity by reducing its positive effects on employment and finally the increasingly costly arms race would have zero or even negative effects on the general level of employment (4).
This is what became evident since the late 1990s, when a new phase of rising military spending began and continues today, marking the end of the era of military Keynesianism. Now, the development in the United States of the arms industry and its associated areas increases public spending, causing fiscal deficits and indebtedness, without contributing to a net increase in the general level of employment. In fact, its financial weight and its technological radicalization contribute decisively to maintaining high levels of unemployment and an anemic or negative national economic growth, thus becoming a catalyst that accelerates, deepens the crisis of the Empire (5).
On the other hand, the first texts referring to the so-called “permanent war economics” appeared in the United States in the early 1940s. It was a simplifying vision that, in general, underestimated the specific rhythms and shortcuts of history. , but today it is extremely useful to understand the development of militarism in the very long term.
By 1944 Walter Oakes defined a new phase of capitalism where military spending occupied a central position; It was not a conjunctural fact imposed by the Second World War in progress, but a comprehensive qualitative transformation of the system whose universal expanded reproduction for more than a century had ended up generating masses of capital surpluses that were not found in the central powers. application spaces in the civil economy that produces goods and services for consumption and production.
The experience of the 1930s, as Oakes demonstrated, pointed out that neither Roosevelt's New Deal public works in the United States, nor the construction of highways in Nazi Germany, had achieved a significant recovery in the economy and employment: only the implementation of the war economy, in Germany first and since 1940 in the United States, had achieved these objectives (6).
In the German case the arms race ended with a catastrophic defeat, in the North American case the victory did not lead to the reduction of the military-industrial system but to its expansion.
As the effects of the war diminished, the United States economy began to cool down and the danger of recession appeared on its face, but the onset of the Cold War and then the Korean War (1950) drove the specter away, opening a new cycle of military spending.
In October 1949, Harvard University professor Summer Slichter, of great prestige at the time, pointed out to a bankers' convention: “[The Cold War] increases the demand for goods, helps maintain a high level of employment, accelerates technological progress, all of which improves the standard of living in our country ... consequently we should thank the Russians for their contribution to make capitalism work better than ever in the United States ”. Around 1954 the following statement appeared in the U.S. magazine. News & World Report: “ What does the H-Pump mean to the business world? A long period of great sales that will increase in the coming years. We could conclude with this statement: the H-bomb has thrown the recession out the window " (7).
As TN Vance, one of the theorists of the "economics of permanent war," pointed out in the early 1950s, the United States had entered a succession of wars that irreversibly defined the major orientations of society, after the Korean War could only hope for new wars (8).
In his founding text of the theory, Walter Oakes made two decisive predictions: the inevitability of a third world war that was around 1960 and the impoverishment of American workers since the late 1940s, caused by the dynamics of income concentration driven by the military-industrial complex (9).
We can in principle consider these forecasts wrong. The Third World War did not occur, although the Cold War was consolidated, which maintained the militaristic wave for more than four decades, crossed by two large regional wars (Korea and Vietnam) and a dense series of small and medium direct and indirect imperial interventions. When the Cold War disappeared, after a brief intermission in the 1990s, the universal war of the Empire continued against new “enemies” that justified its development ( "Humanitarian wars", "global war on terrorism", etc.): the supply of military services, the “militaristic apparatus” and the areas associated with it created, invented, their own demand.
Nor was the impoverishment of the lower classes of the United States precipitated; on the contrary, the Keynesian redistribution of income was maintained until the 1970s, the standard of living of the workers and the middle classes improved substantially, the positive interaction between militarism and general prosperity worked. Several factors contributed to this, including the exploitation of the enlarged periphery thanks to the emergence of the United States as a world superpower underpinned by its military apparatus, the reestablishment of the capitalist powers affected by the war (Japan, Western Europe) that in the The new era were closely associated with the United States and the huge domestic multiplier effect of military spending on consumption, employment, and technological innovation. Some of these factors, underestimated by Oakes, had been pointed out in the mid-1960s by Sweezy and Baran (10).
However, the arrival of Ronald Reagan to the White House (1980) marked a break in the trend (although the first symptoms of the disease had already appeared since the 1970s), and a process of income concentration began that progressed every year. faster and faster in subsequent decades.
Between 1950 and 1980, the richest 1% of the population of the United States absorbed about 10% of the National Income (between 1968 and 1978 it remained below that figure), but from the beginning of the 1980s that share increased. , by 1990 it reached 15% and around 2009 it was close to 25%.
For their part, the richest 10% absorbed 33% of the National Income in 1950, always remaining below 35% until the end of the 1970s, but in 1990 it reached 40% and in 2007 50% (11).
The average hourly wage rose in real terms from the 1940s to the early 1970s when it began to decline and a quarter of a century later it had fallen by almost 20% (12). From the crisis of 2007-2008, with the rapid increase in unemployment, the concentration of income and the drop in wages accelerated: some authors use the term “wage implosion” (13).
A good expression of social decline is the increase in Americans receiving food aid vouchers (“ food stamps”), Said indigent population reached almost 3 million in 1969 (in full Keynesian prosperity), rose to 21 million in 1980, 25 million in 1995 and 47 million in 2012 (14).
Meanwhile, military expenditures did not stop growing, driven by successive warmongering waves included in the first great cycle of the cold war (1946-1991) and in the second cycle of the "war against terrorism" and the "humanitarian wars" since late 1990s to present (Korean War, Vietnam War, Reagan-era “Star Wars”, Kosovo War, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, etc.).
After the Second World War we can establish two well differentiated periods in the relationship between public spending and economic growth (and employment) in the United States. The first covers from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s where public expenditures grow and economic growth rates remain at a high level, these are the golden years of military Keynesianism.
It is followed by a period where public expenditures continue to rise on a trend but economic growth rates oscillate around a downward line, marking the decline and end of Keynesianism: the positive multiplier effect of public spending inexorably declines until reaching the dilemma without This solution is evident in recent years of anemic economic growth where a reduction in state spending would have strong recessive effects while its possible increase (less and less possible) does not significantly improve the situation.
Just as the historical "success" of liberal capitalism in the nineteenth century produced the conditions for its crisis, so its Keynesian override also generated the factors for its subsequent decline.
The successful march of liberal capitalism ended with a gigantic crisis of overproduction and over-accumulation of capital that unleashed inter-imperialist rivalries, militarism and broke out in the form of the First World War (1914-1918). The "solution" consisted in the expansion of the State, especially its military structure, Germany and Japan were the pioneers.
The turbulent transition between the old and the new system lasted nearly three decades (1914-1945) and from it emerged the United States as the sole capitalist superpower, strategically integrating the other large economies of the system into its sphere of domination. American military Keynesianism then appeared in the dominant center of the United States: the center of the capitalist world. Vance noted that "with the beginning of World War II the United States and world capitalism entered the new era of the Permanent War Economy" (15). This was the case if we understand it as the definitive victory of the new system preceded by a complex preparatory stage that began in the second decade of the 20th century.
Its genesis is marked by Nazism, the first successful-catastrophic trial of “military Keynesianism”: its ideological plot, which pushes the delusion of Western supremacy to the most extreme limit, continues to contribute ideas to the most radical imperialist forms of the West, such as the hawks of George W. Bush or the neo-Nazi Zionists of the 21st century. On the other hand, rigorous studies of the Nazi phenomenon discover not only its European roots (Italian fascism, French nationalism, etc.) but also North American ones (16). Although after the war the triumph of the militarized economy in the United States assumed a “civil” and “democratic” face, hiding its warlike foundations.
The decline of military Keynesianism finds a first explanation in its hypertrophy and integration with a broader imperial parasitic space where the financial fabric occupies a decisive place. In a first stage, the industrial-military apparatus and its environment expanded, converting state spending into direct and indirect jobs, into dynamic technology transfers from the private sector, into an armored guarantee for external imperialist businesses, and so on. But over time, with the rise of imperial prosperity, it encouraged and was encouraged by a multiplicity of social forms that parasitized on the rest of the world at the same time that they took on increasing internal weight.
In addition, the continuous economic growth ended up causing saturations of local markets, increasing accumulations of capital, business concentration and income. North American and global capitalism was heading towards the end of the 1960s towards a great crisis of overproduction that caused the first major disturbances in the form of currency crises (crisis of the pound sterling, end of the dollar-gold standard in 1971), then energy (oil shocks of 1973-74 and 1979) crossed by inflationary and recessive imbalances ( "Stagflation").
In the following decades, the crisis was not overcome but cushioned, postponed through super-exploitation and looting of the periphery, financialisation, military spending, and so on. All of this did not reinstate the dynamism of the postwar period, but it prevented the collapse, softened the disease, aggravating it in the long term.
The real growth rate of the North American economy was irregularly following a descending line and consequently its growing unproductive expenses were less and less supported by tax collection. And to the fiscal deficit was added the foreign trade deficit perpetuated by the loss of global competitiveness of the industry.
The Empire gradually became a world mega parasite, accumulating public and private debts, entering a vicious circle already seen in other decaying empires; parasitism degrades the parasite, makes it more and more dependent on the rest of the world, which exacerbates its global interventionism, its military aggressiveness.
The world is too big from the point of view of its concrete resources (financial, military, etc.) but the achievement of the historically impossible goal of global domination is its only chance of salvation as an Empire. Military spending and parasitism in general increase, deficits grow, the economy stagnates, the internal social structure deteriorates ... what Paul Kennedy defined as “ excessive imperial extension”(17) is an objective fact determined by imperial needs that operates as a historical trap from which the Empire cannot escape.
United States military expenditures appear underestimated in official statistics. In 2012 the expenditures of the Department of Defense reached about 700 billion dollars, if to these are added the military expenditures that appear integrated (diluted) in other areas of the Budget (Department of State, USAID, Department of Energy, CIA and other security agencies, interest payments, etc.) would reach a figure close to 1.3 trillion (millions of millions) of dollars18. That figure is equivalent to almost 9% of the Gross Domestic Product, 50% of the expected fiscal income, and 100% of the fiscal deficit.
These actual military expenditures represented almost 60% of global military expenditures, although if we add to them those of its NATO partners and some extra-NATO vassal countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel or Australia, it would reach at least 75% 19.
From the great initial impulse in World War II and the decline in the immediate postwar period, real US military expenditures oscillated around an upward trend through four great warmongering waves: the Korean War in the early 1950s, the American war Vietnam from the 1960s to the mid-1970s, the “ star Wars"Of the Reagan era in the 1980s and the" humanitarian "and" counter-terrorism "wars of the post-cold war.
The military Keynesianism of the Empire has remained in the past, but the idea that external warfare and internal prosperity go hand in hand continues to dominate the imagination of vast social sectors in the United States, they are ideological remnants with no real basis in the present but useful for the legitimation of war adventures.
Néstor Kirchner, former president of Argentina, revealed in an interview with director Oliver Stone for his documentary "South of the Border," that former US President George W. Bush was convinced that war was the way to do it. grow the economy of the United States. The meeting between the two presidents took place at a summit in Monterrey, Mexico, in January 2004, and the version of the Argentine president is as follows: “ I said that the solution to the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan. And he got mad. He said that the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats and that the best way to revitalize the economy is war. And that the United States has been strengthened by war” (20).
Recently Peter Schiff, president of the financial consultancy “Euro Pacific Capital” wrote a delirious text widely spread by the specialized publications whose title says it all. " Why not another world war? " (twenty-one). He began his article by pointing out the consensus among economists that World War II enabled the United States to overcome the Great Depression and that if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did not sustainably reactivate the US economy, it is because “ such conflicts are too small to be economically significant”.
If we focus the analysis on the relationship between military expenditures, GDP and employment, we would see the following: military expenditures went from 2,800 million dollars in 1940 to 91,000 million in 1944, which drove the nominal Gross Domestic Product of 101,000 million dollars in 1940 to 214 billion in 1944 (it doubled in just four years), the unemployment rate barely dropped from 9% in 1939 to 8% in 1940 but by 1944 it had fallen to 0.7%, the first major jump in spending. military operations occurred between 1940 and 1941 when they went from 2,800 million dollars to 12700 million, equivalent to 10% of GDP (22) a proportion quite similar to that of 2012 (US $ 1.3 trillion, approximately 9% of GDP). This means that military spending in 1944 was equivalent to about seven times that of 1941. If we transfer that jump to current figures, that means that the real military spending of the United States in 2015 should reach about 9 trillion (millions of millions) of dollars. equivalent, for example, to seven times the fiscal deficit of 2012.
The succession of jumps in public spending between 2012 and 2015 would accumulate a gigantic mass of deficits that neither American savers nor those of the rest of the world would be in a position to cover by buying debt securities of a crazed empire.
Schift recalls in his text that US savers bought 186 billion dollars in public debt bonds during World War II, equivalent to 75% of all federal government spending between 1941 and 1945, concluding that this "feat" is impossible today. . Simply, Schift explains to us, taking his sinister reasoning to the extreme, there is nowhere to get the money necessary to launch a military-reactivating strategy similar to that of 1940-45.
In reality that impossibility is much stronger. The economy of the United States of 1940 was dominated by productive components, mainly industrial, currently consumerism, all kinds of parasitic services (starting with the financial tangle), the generalized decline of the culture of production, etc., indicate that not even applying an injection of public spending equivalent to that of 1940-45 could achieve a reactivation of that magnitude. The parasite is too large, his senility is far advanced, there is no Keynesian medicine that can cure him or at least restore a significant part of his youthful vigor.
Privatization, informalization and elitization. Lumpen-imperialism.
The Asian war, the most ambitious in the history of the United States, failed both from the political-military and the economic angle, the strategy of domination of the territorial strip that goes from the Balkans to Pakistan through Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia are now bogged down. However, its development made it possible to transform the military device of the Empire by converting its traditional war machine into a flexible system halfway between the formal structures governed by conventional military discipline and the informal ones, grouping a confused tangle of official operational nuclei and mercenary bands. .
The process of integrating mercenaries into military operations has antecedents in the final stages of the cold war, the organization of the “contras” in Nicaragua and of the “mujahideen” in Afghanistan can be considered as the first steps in the 1970s and 1980 of the new intervention strategies. Tens of thousands of mercenaries were trained, armed and financed with successful results for the Empire.
According to various studies on the subject, the United States and Saudi Arabia spent about 40 billion dollars on Afghan operations (where the then young engineer Osama Bin Laden began his international career), dealing a decisive blow to the USSR (23). Another important step was the ethnic wars in Yugoslavia during the 1990s, where the United States and its NATO allies, mainly Germany, developed a complex task of disintegrating that country whose success was supported by the use of mercenaries, the most important case Notorious was the war in Kosovo, where the KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") stood out, whose members were mainly recruited from mafia networks (drug trafficking, etc.) under the direct command of the CIA, extending their ties to the ISI ( Pakistani intelligence service). Currently, the "independent" Kosovar "state" appears linked to the NATO intervention in Syria. In June 2012, the Russian foreign minister demanded the cessation of the destabilization operations in Syria carried out from Kosovo (24).
These new intervention practices were accompanied by a dense process of reflection by imperial strategists triggered by the defeat in Vietnam. The “Low Intensity War” was one of its results and the theorizations around the so-called “Fourth Generation War (4GW)” consolidated the new doctrine in whose founding paper (1989) written by William Lind and three members of the forces armed forces of the United States and published in the " Marine Corps Gazete"(25) the borders between the civil and military areas are erased: the entire enemy society, especially its cultural identity, becomes the objective of the war.
The new war is defined as decentralized, emphasizing the use of "non-state" military forces (that is, paramilitaries), employing attrition tactics typical of the guerrillas, and so on. To this is added the intense use of the media system both focused on the enemy society and encompassing the so-called “global public opinion” (the enemy people are at the same time psychologically attacked and isolated from the world) combined with war actions of a high technological level. . In the latter case, it is about taking advantage of the gigantic technological gap existing between the empire and the periphery to hit it without danger of a response, it is what the specialists call asymmetric confrontation " high-tech / no-tech”.
The official statistics referring to mercenaries are generally confusing and partial; however, some data from government, civil or military sources can illustrate the magnitude of the phenomenon. In the first place, the role of the Department of Defense, the main contractor of mercenaries, its budget for these expenses increased by nearly 100% between 2000 and 2005, using modalities typical of large transnational companies such as outsourcing and relocation of activities, which has produced a gigantic expanding universe of private businesses devoted to war ... financed by the State and generators of intricate networks of corruption and corruption (26).
The so-called United States military “Central Command” (US CENTCOM) recently released some significant data: the hired mercenaries recognized in the Middle East-Central Asia area would reach about 137 thousand working directly for the Pentagon, of that total only about 40,000 would be US citizens. Although, according to data from the Defense Department, adding the data from Afghanistan and Iraq, some 175,000 regular soldiers and 190,000 mercenaries would be on the ground: 52% of the total (27).
To these figures we must first add the mercenaries hired by other areas of the US government, such as the State Department, and then contracts in areas of the world such as Africa where AFRICOM (US military command on that continent) has exponentially increased its activities. during the last five years and then we must incorporate the mercenaries acting under US strategic command but hired by vassal countries such as the petromonarchies of the Persian Gulf, visible in the cases of Libya and Syria.
Mercenaries operating in other regions of Asia and in Latin America should also be included. But the account does not end there, since to that universe it is necessary to add to the mafia and / or paramilitary networks grouping in all the continents an "available personnel" who are self-financed thanks to illegal activities (drugs, prostitution, etc.) protected by various North American security agencies such as the DEA or one that integrates “private security agencies”, very notorious for example in Latin America legally established in peripheral countries and closely linked to private North American agencies and / to the DEA, the CIA or other organizations intelligence of the Empire.
And the list goes on… it was recently published in the “ Washington Post " an investigation referred to the "Top Secret America" of the security agencies that reports on the current existence of 3202 security agencies (1271 public and 1931 private) employing about 854 thousand people working on issues of " anti-terrorism ”, internal security and intelligence in general, installed in some 10,000 homes in the United States (28).
Adding the different figures mentioned and evaluating hidden data, some experts advance an approximate global total (inside and outside the territory of the United States) close to a million people fighting in the periphery, doing espionage, developing media manipulations, activating "social networks", etc. Compare, for example, that data with the approximately 1,400,000 people that make up the Empire's public military system.
For their part, the regular troops have undergone a rapid process of informalization, a break with conventional military norms, forming intervention commands inscribed in an openly criminal dynamic. It is the case of the so-called Joint Special Operations Command or “JSOC” (Joint Special Operations Command). Secret joint command in direct line of command with the President and Secretary of Defense with authority to draw up its list of assassinations, it has its own intelligence division, its fleet of drones and reconnaissance aircraft, its satellites and even its cyber groups. Gerreros capable of attacking internet networks.
It has numerous operating units. Created in 1980, he was buried by his resounding failure in Iran when he tried to rescue the staff of the American embassy in Tehran, he was recently resurrected. En 2001 disponía de unos 1800 miembros, actualmente llegarían a 25 mil, en los últimos tiempos ha realizado operaciones letales en Irak, Pakistán, Afganistán, Siria, Libia y muy probablemente en México y Colombia, etcétera. Se trata de un agrupamiento de “escuadrones de la muerte” de alcance global, autorizado para realizar toda clase de operaciones ilegales, desde asesinatos individuales o masivos, hasta sabotajes, intervenciones propias de la guerra psicológica, etcétera. En Septiembre de 2003 Donald Runsfeld había dictado una resolución colocando al JSOC en el centro la estrategia “antiterrorista” global y desde entonces su importancia ha ido en ascenso pasando hoy a ser, bajo la presidencia del premio nobel de la paz Barak Obama, una suerte de ejercito clandestino de claro perfil criminal bajo la órdenes directas del Presidente (29).
Las fuerzas de intervención de los Estados Unidos tienen ahora un sesgo claramente privado-clandestino, en plena “Guerra de Cuarta Generación” funcionan cada vez más al margen de los códigos militares y las convenciones internacionales. Un reciente artículo de Andrew Bacevich describe las etapas de esa mutación durante la década pasada que culminan actualmente en lo que el autor denomina “era Wickers” (actual subsecretario de inteligencia del Departamento de Defensa) focalizada en la eliminación física de “enemigos”, el uso dominante de mercenarios, de campañas mediáticas, redes sociales, todo ello destinado a desestructurar organizaciones y sociedades consideradas hostiles.
A comienzos del año pasado la entonces Secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton pronunció una frase que no requiere mayores explicaciones: “Los Estados Unidos se reservan el derecho de atacar en cualquier lugar del mundo a todo aquello que sea considerado como una amenaza directa para su seguridad nacional” (30).
Si sumamos a esta orientación mercenaria-gangsteril del Imperio, otros aspectos como la financierización integral de su economía dominada por el cortoplacismo, su desintegración social interna con acumulación acelerada de marginales, con una población total que representa el 5 % de la mundial pero con una masa de presos equivalentes al 25 % del total de personas encarceladas en el planeta, etcétera, llegaríamos a la conclusión de que estamos en presencia de una suerte de lumpen imperialismo completamente dominado por intereses parasitarios embarcado en una lógica destructiva de su entorno que al mismo tiempo va degradando sus bases de sustentación interna (31).
La ilusión del metacontrol del caos.
Podríamos establecer la convergencia entre la hipótesis de la “ economía de guerra permanente” y la del “ keynesianismo militar”, este último expresó la primera etapa del fenómeno (aproximadamente entre 1940 y 1970). Fueron los años de la prosperidad imperial cuyos últimos logros ya mezclados con claros síntomas de crisis se prologaron hasta el final de la guerra fría. A esa etapa floreciente le sigue una segunda post keynesiana caracterizada por la dominación financiera, la concentración de ingresos, el desinfle salarial, la marginalización social y la degradación cultural en general donde el aparato militar opera como un acelerador de la decadencia provocando déficits fiscales, y endeudamientos públicos.
La opción por la privatización de la guerra aparece como una respuesta “ eficaz” a la declinación del espíritu de combate de la población (dificultades crecientes en el reclutamiento forzado de ciudadanos a partir de la derrota de Vietnam). Sin embargo el remplazo del ciudadano-soldado por el soldado-mercenario o la presencia decisiva de este último termina tarde o temprano por provocar serios daños en el funcionamiento de las estructuras militares: no es lo mismo administrar a ciudadanos normales que a una masa de delincuentes.
Cuando el lumpen, los bandidos predominan en un ejército, el mismo se convierte en un ejército de bandidos y un ejército de bandidos ya no es un ejército. El potencial disociador de los mercenarios es a largo plazo de casi imposible control y su falencias en el combate no pueden ser compensadas sino muy parcialmente por despliegues tecnológicos sumamente costosos y de resultado incierto.
La conformación de fuerzas clandestinas no-mercenarias de elite, respaldadas por un aparato tecnológico sofisticado capaz de descargar golpes puntuales demoledores contra el enemigo, como es el caso del JSOC, son buenos instrumentos terroristas pero no remplazan las funciones de un ejército de ocupación y a mediano plazo (muchas veces a corto plazo) terminan por fortalecer el espíritu de resistencia del enemigo.
Podríamos sintetizar de manera caricatural a la nueva estrategia militar del Imperio a partir del predominio de diversas formas de “ guerra informal” combinando mercenarios (muchos mercenarios) con escuadrones de la muerte (tipo JSOC), bombardeos masivos, drones, control mediático global, asesinatos tecnológicamente sofisticados de dirigentes periféricos. La guerra se elitiza, se transforma en un conjunto de operaciones mafiosas, se aleja físicamente de la población norteamericana y su cúpula dominante empieza a percibirla como un juego virtual dirigido por gangsters.
Por otra parte la adopción de estructuras mercenarias y clandestinas de intervención externa como forma dominante tiene efectos contraproducentes para el sistema institucional del imperio tanto desde el punto de vista del control administrativo de las operaciones como de las modificaciones (y de la degradación) en las relaciones internas de poder. El comportamiento gangsteril, la mentalidad mafiosa termina por apoderarse de los altos mandos civiles y militares y se traduce al comienzo en acciones externas, periféricas y más adelante (rápidamente) en ajustes de cuentas, en conductas habituales al interior del sistema de poder.
El horizonte objetivo (más allá de los discursos y convicciones oficiales) de la “ nueva estrategia” no es el establecimiento de sólidos regímenes vasallos, ni la instalación de ocupaciones militares duraderas controlando territorios de manera directa sino más bien desestabilizar, quebrar estructuras sociales, identidades culturales, degradar o eliminar dirigentes, las experiencias de Irak y Afganistán (y México) y más recientemente las de Libia y Siria confirman esta hipótesis.
Se trata de la estrategia del caos periférico, de la transformación de naciones y regiones más amplias en áreas desintegradas, balcanizadas, con estados-fantasmas, clases sociales (altas, medias y bajas) profundamente degradadas sin capacidad de defensa, de resistencia ante los poderes políticos y económicos de Occidente que podrían así depredar impunemente sus recursos naturales, mercados y recursos humanos (residuales).
Este imperialismo tanático del siglo XXI, se corresponde con tendencias desintegradoras en las sociedades capitalistas dominantes, en primer lugar la de los Estados Unidos. Esas economías han perdido su potencial de crecimiento, hacia finales de 2012 luego de un lustro de crisis financiera oscilaban entre el crecimiento anémico (Estados Unidos), el estancamiento girando hacia la recesión (la Unión Europea) y la contracción productiva (Japón).
Los estados, las empresas y los consumidores están aplastados por las deudas, la suma de deudas públicas y privadas representan más del 500 % del Producto Bruto Interno en Japón e Inglaterra y más del 300 % en Alemania, Francia y los Estados Unidos donde el gobierno federal estuvo en 2011 al borde del default. Y por encima de deudas y sistemas productivos financierizados existe una masa financiera global equivalente a unas veinte veces el Producto Bruto Mundial, motor dinamizador, droga indispensable del sistema que ha dejado de crecer desde hace aproximadamente un lustro y cuyo desinfle tratan de impedir los gobiernos de las potencias centrales.
Se presenta entonces la ilusión de una suerte de metacontrol estratégico desde las grandes alturas, desde las cumbres de Occidente sobre las tierras bajas, periféricas, donde pululan miles de millones de seres humanos cuyas identidades culturales e instituciones son vistas como obstáculos a la depredación. Las elites de Occidente, el imperio colectivo hegemonizado por los Estados Unidos, están cada día más convencidas de que dicha depredación prolongará su vejez, alejará el fantasma de la muerte.
El caos periférico aparece a la vez como el resultado concreto de sus intervenciones militares y financieras (producto de la reproducción decadente de sus sociedades) y como la base de feroces depredaciones. El gigante imperial busca beneficiarse del caos pero termina por introducir el caos entre sus propias filas, la destrucción deseada de la periferia no es otra cosa que la autodestrucción del capitalismo como sistema global, su pérdida veloz de racionalidad. La fantasía acerca del metacontrol imperialista del caos periférico expresa una profunda crisis de percepción, la creencia de que los deseos del poderoso se convierten fácilmente en hechos reales, lo virtual y lo real se confunden conformando un enorme pantano psicológico.
En realidad la “ estrategia” de metacontrol imperial del caos, sus formas operativas concretas la convierten en una maraña de tácticas que tienden a conformar una masa crecientemente incoherente, prisionera del corto plazo. Lo que pretende convertirse en la nueva doctrina militar, en un pensamiento estratégico innovador que responde a la realidad global actual facilitando la dominación imperialista del mundo no es otra cosa que una ilusión desesperada generada por la dinámica de la decadencia. Bajo la apariencia de ofensiva estratégica, irrumpen los manotazos históricamente defensivos de un sistema cuya cúpula imperial va perdiendo la capacidad de aprehensión de la totalidad real, la razón de estado se va convirtiendo en un delirio criminal extremadamente peligroso dado el gigantismo tecnológico de los Estado Unidos y sus socios europeos.