TomDispatch. Russia or China? In Washington, arguing who topped the list of America’s enemies. Michael Klare

Great American strategy - its long-term plans to promote national interests and confrontation with the main opponents - in disarray. Senior officials of rushing from one crisis to another, but rarely follow a mutually consistent set of methods of action. Some condemns these undecided people in the White House for the lack of impact, but the real reason lies deeper. It lies in the disagreement among the foreign policy elite in question who - Russia and China - are the main enemy of great.

Knowing your enemy it is generally considered the essence of strategic planning. During the Cold War the unquestioned number one enemy, of course, was the Soviet Union, and all that Washington was doing, was aimed at weakening the wealth and power of Moscow. When the Soviet Union collapsed and disappeared, the United States only a problem and remains - a few rogue states. However, following the events of 9/11, President Bush declared a “global war on terror”, drawing in the imagination of a multi-year campaign against Islamist extremists and their allies around the globe. Since then, in each country, declared as “us” whether or “against us”, there was chaos. Invasion, occupation, raids were the result of drone strikes - all this ultimately awful - while China has used its economic privileges in order to extend its influence beyond the borders and Russia has begun to threaten its neighbors.

Among the administration’s strategy of Obama and Republican opponent is striking disorder strategic doctrine. Opinions converge to what is necessary to crush the group “Islamic State” (LIH) to force Iran to abandon its bombs and to give Israel all the weapons he wants, but nothing more. There is simply no agreement on the question of how to allocate strategic resources in the Americas, including the military, even in relation to LIH and Iran. Most importantly, there is no consensus on the issue - a resurgent Russia and an increasingly assertive China should head the list of enemies of Washington. In the absence of consensus it has become increasingly difficult to write long-term strategic plans. And yet, although easy to blame the current lack of consensus on this issue, there is no reason to assume that anointing the common enemy - the new Soviet Union - will make this country and the world at least a little safer.

Choosing the enemy

For many Washington strategists, many of whom are prominent Republicans, Russia under Vladimir Putin is the only serious threat to America’s global interests, and thus deserves to be the focus of the United States.

Continued in the comments.

6 July 2015

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