For those who are tempted to praise President Biden for supposedly standing up to the Pentagon and the CIA by announcing a pull-out of the remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan, resist those temptations. There is no way that Biden, who has long been an integral part of the Washington, D.C., establishment, is going to buck the U.S. national-security establishment. Biden made the announcement because obviously the Pentagon and the CIA authorized him to make the announcement.
As Michael Glennon, a professor of law at Tufts University details in his excellent book National Security and Double Government, it’s the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA who are in charge of the federal government and foreign policy. They permit the other three branches of the federal government to maintain the appearance of power, but the real power lies with the national-security establishment. They are the ones who are ultimately calling the shots on foreign policy.
After all, look at what Biden did at the same time that he announced the end of America’s forever war in Afghanistan. He announced sanctions on Russia, which has been America’s Cold War enemy since the end of World War II.
Can anyone think that this is just a coincidence? The Pentagon and the CIA know that time has simply run out on their forever wars. They also know that they now stand a good chance of losing terrorism as their big official enemy, one that has stood them well since the surprise end of the Cold War.
That was why they intervened in the Middle East after the Cold War ended. Having ostensibly lost Russia and China and “godless communism” as official enemies, they proceeded to go into the Middle East and poke hornets’ nests, with the aim of stirring up some anti-American terrorism.
The first few instances of terrorist “blowback” — e.g., the 1993 attack on the WTC, the attack on the USS Cole, and the attacks on U.S. embassies in East Africa — were not enough to engender deep fear within the American people. The retaliatory strikes on 9/11 accomplished that.
They now had a new official enemy — “terrorism,” which arguably was better than communism because it would be likely to last longer. Since then, they have milked their “war on terrorism” until it’s almost dry.
The Pentagon and the CIA know that if they withdraw from the Middle East and Afghanistan, there goes their nice little war on terrorism racket. That’s why they are now returning to Russia and China, their old tried-and-true Cold War “adversaries,” “rivals, “enemies,” or “competitors.” They figure that they can go back to provoking crises with their old Cold War opponents, Americans will be kept on edge and afraid and, thus, willing to keep them in high cotton with ever-increasing taxpayer-funded largess.
The truth is that for the Pentagon and the CIA, the Cold War never ended. Just look at their continued embargo on Cuba. They weren’t about to let their Cold War cash cow just disappear into the night. So, while they produced a “war on terrorism,” they never have lost hope of resuming their old Cold War racket. That was why they broke their word and began having NATO absorb former Warsaw Pact nations. They knew that as U.S. missiles and bases got ever closer to Russia’s borders, Russia would have to respond, which they could then use to show Russia’s “belligerence” and “aggressiveness.”
When they finally aimed to absorb Ukraine, which would entitle the U.S. to install missiles and troops in that area, the result was predictable — Russia retook possession of Crimea, which the U.S. officials used to show Russia’s “belligerence” and “aggressiveness.”
Take a look at this article in today’s Los Angeles Times. It is actually quite amazing. It talks about how the U.S. broke its word regarding NATO’s aggressive moves eastward and actually shows some sympathy toward Russia’s reaction. That’s amazing. One doesn’t often see analyses like that in the mainstream press. Instead, one gets nothing but deference to the national-security establishment. Maybe that’s a hopeful sign.
If Joe Biden wanted to move America in a different direction, he would be opposing the Pentagon and the CIA by ratcheting down crises everywhere, not just in Afghanistan but also in Russia, China, Cuba, Syria, Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and everywhere else. He’d also send a message to the national-security establishment by pardoning Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. He also would be ordering a release of all the rest of the CIA’s decades-old secret JFK-assassination related materials.
No president since John Kennedy has taken on the national-security establishment by trying to move America in a better, freer, more peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious direction. Make no mistake about it: Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen with Joe Biden.