There is an African proverb that says 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 arisen. An exceptional situation essentially occurs when the law is suspended and the sovereign’s decision supersedes the law. Then, previous legal clauses and regimes and legal and international conventions become an appendix that can only occasionally be used behind the podium to declare that “The forest is on fire and all fire is doomed”. The same situation is happening at the United Nations because without any practical action, the organization is only declaring its concern about the war in Ukraine.
However, in the war in Ukraine, the exceptional situation of the international order will not affect only Americans or 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 American military bases in more than 70 countries have turned the world into something like an American barracks, or rather a hostage of American order. Britain, France and Russia also have a total of 30 military bases around the world. Additionally, China established its first overseas military base in Djibouti in 2017 and is not far from establishing a second in the Solomon Islands near Australia. However, the United States 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 around $200 billion to maintain these bases; a price that is obviously paid in the pocket of American taxpayers. It is unfortunate that these bases have failed to maintain overall effectiveness 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 pursuit of peace, what is the justification for this militarization of the world? The only thing other power players 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 encroaching military order and wars unending.
Another important question is whether countries like Iran, Venezuela and Cuba that are surrounded by US bases, or even China and Russia, as military powers, are allowed to draw red lines or not. to maintain their security against the United States? The basic question is “Why isn’t the right to draw red lines considered for other countries that don’t have close ties to the United States?” History will not forget that John F. Kennedy, then President of the United States, was even prepared to wage nuclear war to drive 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 other than the security of the United States and its allies, who define themselves as the masters of the world order and the guarantor of security. In other words, the security of independent countries or the actor’s attempt to acquire strategic independence from the global hegemony of this order is defined as the insecurity of the international order or of American security, which has established itself as an international commander. In the current conceptualization, security is nothing other than the security of the United States and its allies, who define themselves as the masters of the world order and the guarantor of security.
America feels entitled to determine its interests by defining new wars, new rivals or endless wars so that no country or international organization ever dares to talk about dismantling these bases. International organizations and conventions must act in accordance with what is acceptable within the guiding American foreign and security policy paradigm of Bush and Trump. This means that any country could face a threat or a 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 hegemony. Another necessity to maintain this exceptional status for the White House, as an imperial power of the new order, is to maintain and pursue the strategy of endless wars. For decades, war has been the most essential part of Washington’s order. In other words, the “war of all against all” under the tutelage of the White House has gained legitimacy for years. In the strategy of endless wars, not only the wars in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan should not end, but also China’s provocation in Taiwan should be maintained and Russia should be constantly encouraged to continue its geostrategic expansionism .
It is said that when a government is in danger of falling, the only thing that can save it might be war. From a broader perspective, considering that the United States of America is the ruler of the liberal world order and players like Europe, as former allies seek independence strategically and countries like China are fighting for authoritarian rule, what can help the United States maintain its position? Domination again? In addition to suspending the law and stabilizing the exceptional situation, the war also preserves the order in place.
In American grand strategy, war is the code name that has kept the state of exception stable for American interests. In the strategy of war of all against all, Afghanistan has been offered to Islamic jihadist terrorists, and now is the time to provoke Russia into a war in Ukraine and possibly to mobilize allies who are afraid of Russia in the event future aggression from China. Ukraine and Russia will also have to fight until the threat gets closer to Europe until the continent becomes more dependent on the United States. Iran, too, must be isolated with the strategy of keeping the option of war on the table of US presidents.
Let’s go back to the image of a large garrison with 800 military bases around the world. What will 800 military bases do if they couldn’t prevent the war? Isn’t it time to demand the release of the prison guard who turned the world into one big garrison? Isn’t it time the world was no longer a laboratory of occupation, military operations and military campaigns? Isn’t it time for American taxpayers to ask themselves why $200 billion of their hard-earned money should be spent on inefficient American military barracks around the world? Perhaps it is time that strategic independence and the preservation of the lost prestige of the Charter of Nations, regimes and international conventions become a global and international requirement to prevent another country from falling victim to this so- saying order.