ISSN 2330-717X

Class And Racist Security In A Liberal Democratic Order – OpEd

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There is an African proverb with the theme that when you see a lion, a bear, a fox, a hyena, and a deer running together at the same time, the forest is on fire and an exceptional situation has been created. An exceptional situation basically occurs when the law is suspended and the ruler’s decision replaces the law. Then, previous legal clauses and regimes and legal and international conventions become an appendage that can only occasionally be used behind the podium to declare that “The forest is on fire and any fire is condemned”. The same situation is going on in the United Nations as without any practical action, the organization only declares its concern about the war in Ukraine.

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However, in the Ukraine war, the exceptional situation in the international order will not only affect the Americans or the Ukrainians. These exceptional circumstances are the product of the current situation due to the arrangement of world powers and the tension between them. Nearly 800 US military bases in more than 70 countries have turned the world into something like a US barracks, or rather a hostage of American order. Britain, France, and Russia also have a total of 30 military bases around the world. In addition, China established its first overseas military base in Djibouti in 2017 and is now not much far away from establishing the second one in the Solomon Islands near Australia- However, USA and Australia announced in the AUKUS Pact that this establishment is a red line for them.

 It is estimated that the United States alone spends about $ 200 billion to maintain these bases; a price that is obviously paid from the pockets of American taxpayers. It is a pity that these bases have not been much successful in maintaining global efficacy and deterrence. The strategic question is “What is the purpose of creating this number of bases?” If the new liberal order is based on the continuation of peace, what is the justification for this militarization of the world? The only thing that the other power actors can do in the current situation, especially after the nightmare of the emergence of the enduring paradigm of Trumpism in the United States, is to side with the commander of this invading military order and endless wars.

Another important question is whether countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba which are encircled by US bases, or even China and Russia, as military powers, are allowed to set red lines to maintain their security against the United States or not? The fundamental question is “Why the right to draw red lines is not considered for other countries that do not have close ties to the United States?” History will not forget that John F. Kennedy, then President of the United States, was ready to even wage a nuclear war to push back the Soviets from their borders. 

What does security mean in a situation that the United States defines as a zero-sum game for others? In the current conceptualization of security, it is nothing but the security of the United States and its allies, who define themselves as the rulers of the world order and the guarantor of security. In other words, the security of independent countries or even the actor’s attempt to gain strategic independence from the global hegemony of this order is defined as the insecurity of the international order or American security, which has emerged as an international commander. In the current conceptualization, security is nothing but the security of the United States and its allies, who define themselves as the rulers of the world order and the guarantor of security. 

America considers itself rightful to determine its interests by defining new wars, new rivals, or endless wars so that no country or international organization will ever dare to speak about dismantling these bases.  International organizations and conventions must act according to what is acceptable in Bush and Trump’s governing paradigm of US foreign and security policy. This means that any country could face a threat or war as soon as it violates the unilateral interests of the United States. In this exceptional situation, the international regimes and conventions that constitute the international order have practically become something that is subject to the decision of the ruling hegemon. Another necessity for maintaining this exceptional status for the White House, as the imperial power of the new order, is to maintain and continue the strategy of endless wars. For decades, war has been the most essential part of the Washington order. In other words, the ” war of all against all” under the supervision of the White House has gained legitimacy for years. In the strategy of endless wars, not only should the wars in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan not end, but also the provocation of China in Taiwan should be maintained and Russia should be constantly encouraged to pursue geo-strategic expansionism.

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It is said that when a government is in danger of falling, the only thing that can save it might be war. From a larger perspective, if we consider that the United States of America is the ruler of the liberal world order and actors like Europe, as former allies seek strategic independence and countries like China fight for authoritarian rule, what can help the US to maintain its dominance once again? In addition to suspending the law and stabilizing the exceptional situation, the war also preserves the ruling order.

In America’s grand strategy, war is the code name that has kept the state of exception stable for American interests. In the war of all against all strategy, Afghanistan was offered to terrorist Islamist jihadists, and now it’s time to provoke Russia into war in Ukraine and possibly mobilize allies who are afraid of Russia in case of future China aggression. Ukraine and Russia will also have to fight until the threat draws closer to Europe until the continent becomes more dependent on the USA. Iran, too, must be isolated with the strategy of keeping the option of war on the table of US presidents. 

Let’s return to the image of a large garrison with 800 military bases around the world. What will 800 military bases do if they have not been able to prevent the war? Isn’t it time for the demand for being released from the prison guard who has turned the world into a great garrison? Isn’t it time that the world is no longer a laboratory of occupation, military operations, and military campaigns? Isn’t it time for US taxpayers to ask why $ 200 billion of their hard-earned money should be spent on inefficient US military barracks around the world? Perhaps now is the time for strategic independence and the preservation of the lost prestige of the Charter of Nations, regimes, and international conventions to become a global and international demand to prevent another country from falling victim to this so-called order.

Timothy Hopper

Timothy Hopper is an international relations graduate of American University.

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