Dr. Rasmus discusses his latest published article, ‘Afghanistan & the American Imperial Project’ (see his blog, http://jackrasmus.com, for free copy), explaining the US retreat in Afghanistan has to do with the inability of the US to maintain the costs of empire in the middle east (not just Afghanistan) and simultaneously pay for the cost of the new ‘wars’ looming on the horizon. The wars in the middle east since 2001 have officially cost $6.4T according to the US oversight office, SIGAR. However, that’s only for Afghanistan ($1-$2T) and Iraq. If Syria/Isis, Libya, naval blockade of Iran, US financing Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, annual handouts in aid to Egypt & Israel, Somalia, and other ‘operations’ in the region are concerned, the total cost the past 20 years is easily $10 trillion. Rasmus explains the US empire cannot continue funding $500B/yr. on average, while it faces new costs of empire in the new wars: the nextgeneration tech war with China, the cybersecurity war with Russia & others, and the ‘war’ against Nature itself as the US scrambles to deal with climate change. Rasmus further notes the middle east wars have been financed as the US cut taxes by $15 trillion over the 20 yrs. The result of $10T cost as $15T taxes cut is annual budget deficits > $1T and cumulated deficits approaching $28T. Imperial financing of new wars will have to change, as the US shifts focus from the ‘old wars’ of middle east to protect oil (the US no longer needs) to the ‘new wars’ with China, Russia & Nature. The US empire is not imploding. It is restructuring, Rasmus concludes.