The US has always been a warfare state. However, the character of US imperialist warfare has changed dramatically. For over two centuries, the US regime’s purpose for war, whether on indigenous peoples, Black people, or nations all over the world, was to expand the productive forces of capitalist exploitation. War preceded the vast profits accumulated from chattel slavery, land grab, and resource extraction in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The foundation of white supremacy and capitalism allowed the US regime to consolidate its expansion despite episodes of periodic crisis. Recent events, alongside a steady fall in the rate of capitalist profit, indicate that US imperialist warfare no longer produces the dominance the system seeks. Now more than ever, US imperialism wages war to prevent its inevitable collapse.
US imperialism is in a state of retraction all over the globe. Cuba’s recent victory in negotiating itself off the so-called “terrorist” list is case and point. For almost six decades, Cuba’s revolution has been a beacon of hope in the midst of the misery imposed by US imperialism in Latin America. Cuba’s continued refusal to give up Assata Shakur and its socialist system, complete with free healthcare, education, and housing, has kept the island nation an enemy of the US state. Yet, beginning in December 2014, Cuba has negotiated the freedom of the Cuban 5 and struck a deal for more fraternal relations with Washington. These major victories for the Cuban revolution have setback US imperialism’s age old plan to institute a neo-colonial government. Although Cuba will always face attacks from US imperialism as long as it exists, such diplomatic victories bring much needed security in a period of hostility.
Cuba’s major gains in the diplomatic arena are emblematic of US imperialism’s decline in Latin America generally. Cuba and Venezuela’s leadership have spearheaded a movement to build an independent and integrated Latin America, especially through the institutions of UNASUR and ALBA. What once was US imperialism’s primary sphere of influence is no longer. To counter the revolt against neo-liberalism in Latin America, US imperialism has continued to pursue the overthrow of Venezuela, Ecuador, and other non-aligned nations, while expanding its military reach in Africa and Asia. In 2014, the US conducted 674 military operations throughout Africa and helped coordinate the destruction of socialist Libya in 2011. Furthermore, Washington has pursued a policy of destabilization alongside its Israeli and GCC allies, sponsoring terrorists in Syria while conducting a fraudulent war against ISIS in Iraq.