Last week, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff released the new National Military Strategy of the United States of America, 2015.
The report’s main theme is that “globalisation” and “demographics” are pushing forward trends that are undermining US military superiority, including its capability to sustain “international order”. It sets out how the US military intends to keep ahead of those trends.
Although imbued with flowery technocratic language, when read closely in the context of recent history, the document is ultimately a blueprint to shore-up a dying empire, and reveals much about the reigning ideology of US military supremacism.
“The United States is the world’s strongest nation, enjoying unique advantages in technology, energy, alliances and partnerships, and demographics,” the document observes. “However, these advantages are being challenged.”
The report notes that globalisation is catalysing “economic development” while simultaneously “increasing societal tensions, competition for resources, and political instability”.
Of course, the strategy document does not mention that since 1980, under the age of neoliberal globalisation, even as GDP per head has risen, the “vast majority of countries” have experienced a “sharp increase in income inequality,” as documented by a flagship 2014 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In the wake of the new era of slow growth and brutal austerity ushered in after the 2008 global banking collapse, the risk of the dire economic climate sparking civil and political unrest is increasing. But what the document also misses is that growing risk is itself a symptom of the uneven “economic development” that constitutes GDP “growth”.
The US Joint Chiefs of Staff document goes on to highlight the danger of “shifting demographics”. In the Middle East and Africa, the document warns that “Youth populations are rapidly growing” amidst an environment of “resource shortages, struggling economies, and deep social fissures”.