Barely a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War the world was no closer to peace than it was in 1991. Triumphant cheers announcing the victory of Freedom-Democracy-Capitalism over
Tyranny-Totalitarianism-Socialism have faded away to oblivion. Clarion calls heralding an era of global peace and prosperity under a fully integrated world capitalist system now ring faint and hollow as the mighty centers of finance capital are themselves rocked incessantly by crises and the rest suffer chronic depression. Instead of peace and prosperity, entire nations and global regions have sunk deeper into quagmires of contention and conflict as the big capitalist countries compete for spheres of influence, strategic resources and ever constricting markets. Tensions are mounting everywhere and proxy wars are simmering and erupting in several continents.
To secure its hegemony, US imperialism — peerless superpower and self-anointed Global Policeman and Guardian of World Peace — is compelled to reveal its ugly face of aggression, terror and war as it wields brute superior force thinly veiled with veneers of deception. The US’ resort to brusque military actions and its hi-tech military supremacy to stem its continuing economic decline only spurs its threatened imperialist and big capitalist rivals to raise their own war capabilities, both for defensive and offensive purposes.
The US -led global “war of terror” has widened and intensified under the Obama regime contrary to its pre-election posture and promise. It attempts to repackage and cosmeticize the “war on terror” as a “global counterinsurgency war” to win peace and preserve stability against an array of villains – terrorists, drug and human traffickers, pirates, religious fanatics — purportedly with a new paradigm of being “people- centered” and with primacy of non-military means (delivery of services, good governance, humanitarian relief, etc.). But the pretense fails in light of the brutal & fascist regimes it props up or installs.
US imperialism continues to take advantage of ethnic conflicts and popular upheavals to effect regime change such as the Arab Spring, the Euromaidan in Ukraine and the Syrian uprising. It trains, finances, arms and directs surrogate forces to avoid the politically unpalatable option of putting “boots on the ground”. These surrogate forces include Al- Qaeda affiliated groups (such as the LIFG in Libya, and the Al Nusra in Iraq and Syria) priory tagged as “foreign terrorists” by the US, thus exposing the “war on terror” as a big farce.
To minimize the use of US combat troops, the US has also escalated its unilateral use of drones and air strikes violating national and territorial sovereignty and deliberately targeting civilians & civilian institutions in the process of purported surgical operations against what the US deems as “terrorists”. These are in flagrant and criminal violation of International Humanitarian Law but the US is not held to account. The recent air strike on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, once again highlights the US military’s callous and criminal disregard for the safety of civilians and for international law.
Syria and the entire Middle East remain the powder keg for the eruption of full-blown international conflict. In Syria, the US scheme to effect “regime change” using Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Free Syrian Army as surrogate forces with direct overt support from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Libya is stymied by fierce resistance by Syrian military forces with Russian military support. The Syrian government was accused of using chemical weapons against civilian protestors, but electronic email evidence points to Syrian rebels supplied by Saudi and Qatar as the culprits. With the Syrian government holding on, tensions have further risen and the complexion of conflict has changed as Russian armed intervention targeted the US surrogates. China has also announced its intention to back the Russia-Iran-Syria coalition. Just recently, Obama ordered the deployment of US
Special Forces as “advisers” into Syria, reminiscent of the beginnings of US involvement in Vietnam half a century ago.
US imperialism fully backs and defends the barbaric atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territories, while Israel supports US- NATO imperialist aggression in the Middle East and elsewhere. The US, along with Saudi Arabia and Israel, has also intervened in Yemen to oust the newly -installed anti-US government. Saudi Arabia has also been reported to have bombed another MSF hospital in Yemen.
The US is pursuing its rebalancing to Asia aimed at containing China, with the deployment of 1,700 Special Forces troops to Darwin, Australia, signing up an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the Philippines that allows it to set up air and naval bases anywhere in the country that it wants. Last April, the US named six Philippine military bases it has chosen as forward stations for US troops and armaments. There is increasing tension in the Korea peninsula, with the US and South Korea undertaking provocative military exercises for possible incursions into Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) territory and against DPRK targets. Japan recently approved a bill reinterpreting Article X of its Constitution as allowing it to come to an aid of an ally in a confrontation outside its borders. It is also tantamount to setting aside the Japanese “peace constitution” that prohibits its rearming for offensive purposes.
In Latin America, the US has repeatedly instigated coups, so -called protest actions and civil disorder in Venezuela in a failed attempt to overthrow the duly-elected Maduro government. Obama thereafter declared Venezuela a “threat to the national security” of the US. The US hopes to reverse its isolation from its South American neighbors as independent political and economic blocs of Latin American states, e.g. UNASUR and ALBA, have been set up to promote their common interests, including resisting imperialist schemes in the region.
The US is intervening in many countries in Africa. This intervention is an attempt to counter Chinese influence as well as to promote US interest. While the US Africa Command remains based in Germany for lack of a willing and suitable African host nation, it trains, arms, supplies and directs surrogate “proxy forces” in Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia purportedly to build “critical host nation security capacity; enabling, advising, and assisting…” their African counter-terrorist partner forces. The US operates drones from bases and facilities in Niger, Ethiopia, Seychelles Islands and other African countries.
In Europe, the US actively pursues its strategy of encircling Russia and positioning its nuclear weapons and anti-ballistic missile defenses along its border. The US and its NATO allies engineered the overthrow by neo-Nazi forces of the newly -elected pro-Russian President of Ukraine after he had hesitated to sign an agreement with the EU. The Crimean people responded by voting to become part of Russia. While it remains the lone Superpower, US imperialism is weighed down by its own internal contradictions, contradictions with its imperialist rivals, contradictions with countries and governments asserting their independence, and contradictions with peoples resisting imperialist aggression and intervention the world over.
NATO countries have agreed to increase their military expenditures to the benefit of the US military-industrial complex. Britain and France played active roles in the direct attacks on Libya, and continue to do so in other parts of Africa and the Middle East. At the same time, Britain, France and Germany act independently of the US to secure their own political and economic interests, such as in joining the China-led Asia Integrated Investment Bank (AIIB) in the face of the US’ strategic economic decline and the rising assertiveness, aggressiveness and clout of Russia and China.
Russia and China are firming up their military alliance in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Cooperative Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and with Iran and Syria in the Middle East. Both are increasingly threatened by US-NATO attempts to encircle and contain them. While the military expenditures of Russia and China combined are less than half (approx. USD 250) of that of the US (USD 600), both have been increasing their military expenditures in the past years and are projected to raise these further in the future.
Russia has warned that it can no longer tolerate US-NATO threats and moves to encircle it. It maintains its relative parity with the US in nuclear weaponry. Each still has more than 7,000 nuclear warheads, of which more than 2,000 are strategic, operational and deployed.
Putin and other top Russian officials have announced that Russia will pursue its development of new technology for its missile program to counter the US’ anti-missile defense system on the East European borders of Russia. Russia also boasts of a state-of-the art electronic surveillance and warfare system which it can operate on planes and APCs (armored personnel carriers) from its bases in Iraq and Syria.
Russia has moved to strengthen its presence in South America – to counter US and NATO expansion to East Europe. Russia has held discussions and forged agreements with Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela for increased military cooperation and military-technical assistance. Top Russian defense officials claim there is no intention of setting up bases in these countries but only joint training, armament sales, and mutual logistical support for their military forces’ needs such as port visits for refueling, etc.
China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, aggressively asserting its nine-dash line claim on 90% of the SCS, conducting reclamations and setting up naval and aerial facilities. In at least two instances, US fighter jets and a navy destroyer deliberately approached these island-facilities, prompting the Chinese military to warn the US air and naval craft to steer away from these islands.
The imperialist and big capitalist powers contend with each other even as they continue to oppress, exploit and pass the impact of the economic crisis on to the smaller and weaker countries. But this has only served to push the peoples of these countries to resist and fight back in various ways.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) joins the peoples all over the world in intensifying their struggle against plunder, crisis and war being carried out by the imperialists and big capitalist countries.
1. Collaborate and coordinate with Commission 1 and with General Secretariat on the following:
Initiate and undertake global and regional coordinated actions on specific cases and issues against imperialist war of aggression, military intervention and against weapons of mass destruction.
Activate, expand and strengthen ILPS global and regional campaigns against US overseas military bases; demand the dismantling of all foreign military bases worldwide and withdrawal of foreign troops; communicate, cooperate and coordinate with other formations undertaking similar campaigns.
Oppose imperialist-sponsored and supported state terrorism, counterrevolutionary wars and intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign countries. Demand a stop to foreign military aid, especially to repressive regimes.
Campaign for the disarming and destruction of all nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction. Oppose the development and production of new weapons and weapons systems such as space-launched weapons, tactical nuclear weapons and anti-ballistic missile defenses.
2. Conduct research, education and information campaigns on specific issues/ conflicts that may arise -à statements and information bulletins as concrete output
3. Set up a working team of those with sufficient time, interest and drive to maintain communications and serve as a secretariat for Commission 4. Ideally, each global region and country chapter would be represented in the working secretariat.
4. Build and operationalize the Commission 4 e-group, FB group, for prompt and constant exchanges of information, proposals, calls, etc.
5. Explore cooperative & coordinative arrangements, mechanisms with Commission 1 and other closely related commissions (e.g. 2 & 3)
- Oppose the US Pivot to Asia-Pacific.
- Adopt commission 1’s resolutions on the militarization of Japan, against the US bases in South Korea, and the increased presence and activities of the US in the Philippines.
- Oppose the increased deployment of Special Forces in Australia.
- Plan and lead a campaign against the US Spy Station at Pine Gap, Australia culminating in its 50th anniversary in November 2016. Pine Gap now serves as a communications & operational hub for drones and submarines.
- Oppose US intervention and Chinese aggression/incursions in the South China Sea. Both powers are using the SCS conflict to justify increasing military presence and activities in the area.
- Encourage different groups around the world to conduct anti-war/anti military recruitment campaigns, especially among the youth.
- Recognize and tackle racism in the peace/anti-war movement.