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Déjà vu? Are we correct the feeling of reliving the current geopolitical, economic and military situation being experienced today has already been experienced in the past century?

Wars just don’t happen suddenly. Wars are planned. Enemies are studied- physiologically- for their strengths and weaknesses, geographical terrains are observed and enemy strengths and positions are assessed. Wars also require resources.

There has never been a nation or an empire in historical annals that has gone to war without planning. In ancient times horses, gears for soldiers, iron for shaping swords, spears, shields and cannons and wood for building boats or ships were needed; wars need human resources, industries and infrastructure and money-raised through taxes. It’s no different now just that the bars are higher.

As a result of unification, Germany’s population was nearly 70 million before the outbreak of World War I or the Great War of 1914. By 1870 the empire was a technological, industrial and economic colossus under Emperor William I. The Industrial Revolution had begun in 1790 with most innovations of British origin. China’s power today is similar to that of the German Confederation. It began with the American technological innovations.

WW1 was a war of empires. The British Empire had comprised dominions, coloniesterritories and overseas possessions that supplied it with the resources and manpower to challenge the rise of the German Empire allied with the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. Britain too was allied with Imperial Russia, rich in resources. Two months after overthrow of the Czars in February 2017, the US declared war on Germany. American contributions consisted mainly of resources, supplies and money. The key objective of the US was to ensure the survival of the British Empire.

It was the first time in history that an aerial and naval war was fought with fighter planes and submarines. With this rudimentary technology by any standard, Great Britain emerged as an unrivalled empire after bringing to an end the German and Turkish (carving it up into smaller Muslim countries) empires. The message to the other European colonial powers was clear. Pax Britannica.

WW2 was an extension of WW1. Britain was once again victorious but by end of it two new antagonists emerged- the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The technology employed during WW2 was no longer rudimentary as the warfare involved fighter jets, aircraft carriers, better submarines and a new fierce weapon called the atom bomb that ended the supremacy of Imperial Japan in Asia. The western powers of Europe also moved in to exploit the energy resources of the Middle East. Among the ashes of WW2, new nations were also born but most significant was the State of Israel as the watchdog over the Arabs. Glancing back at the events, it cannot be denied that the Western European powers had meticulously planned the war to gain a global supremacy for either the British Empire to survive or the US to become one.

Since the end of WW2, mankind is now under threat of a far more destructive war as nations possess thousands of nuclear weapons, missiles and space based weapons. Technology is far too developed that all the weapons of the previous two world wars seem primitive. The next war if it happens will not be about empires but about the survival of the human race.

As we turn our attention to the only empire, it struggles to maintain its status and   aspires to extend its geopolitical, military and economic influence across Eurasia. This vast region contains abundant natural and human resources but it is here that it encounters military and economic challengers among China and Russia. There is yet another challenger to America: the growing socio-religious threat from 1.6 billion Muslims living predominantly in Asia.

America is preparing for a war under the Republican Party. In November 2018, elections will be held for 36 State Governors34 Senate seats and every single seat in the House of Representatives. If the Democrats seize control of these, the GOP presidency will become lame duck and unable to enforce its war agenda. Time is of the essence for the Republicans. They’ll resort to lies and plant fear that America is being threatened externally (Iran and N. Korea) so that the gullible American populace re-elect Republican politicians.

America has an unpatrolled advantage of technology and resources over its adversaries, China and Russia. A key resource for a war is oil and currently the total domestic US production is 10 million barrels/day (MMBOPD) or another 6 MM if that from Canada and Mexico is accounted. It can also easily tap into oil resources in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar.

President Trump has brought into his cabinet the two most hawkish, pro-war members – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security advisor John Bolton. One should read Washington Post op-ed piece “John Bolton wants Regime Change in Iran…” (Note 1) He is also anti-N. Korea. Trump has a loyal Ambassador in the UN, Nikki Haley. Bolton’s Iraq experience would guide Haley to promote lies on the world assembly till every country will believe those lies and America will launch the war against Iran or N. Korea. Pakistan would certainly be a collateral casualty (to prevent China’s accessibility to the Indian Ocean).

America’s economic war preparations are mirror actions of the Smoot-Hawley anti-trade act enacted in 1929 under President Herbert Hoover (in 1929 Republicans controlled the Congress, Senate and presidency) as America started its preparations for WW2. This was published on this author’s recent article on Oriental Review titled “The New American Agenda for American Hegemony” on March 7, 2018 (Note 2). Wars require a nation’s factories to be humming with production activity, not dependent on foreign imports especially from enemies. Factories need steel and aluminum to forge war related products and it also needs human and natural resources without which nothing can be produced. Wars also require food to supply to soldiers as well as its indigenous populations. A nation preparing for war needs to make advance arrangements and America is working to achieve those requirements.

Trump under GOP agenda has taken the steps to make “America First” by firing the trade shots against China and political shots against Russia. It has also shown its intention against Iran by appointing key cabinet members Pompeo and Bolton charged with either rewriting the N-deal or simply ending it under pretext. At the same time America will move against N. Korea by negotiations to give up its nuclear weapons. Pakistan is a nation that has recently come under US radar as China inches geopolitically closer to India by establishing a naval and military base on the Indian Ocean.

China, Russia, Iran and N.Korea must be aware of American intentions as they too prepare for the upcoming war. Hopefully it can be averted but if history provides lessons, it likely cannot. The Thucydides Trap is a reality when one great power threatens to displace another. War is almost always the result — but it doesn’t have to be in the words of an American political scientist Graham Allison in Foreign Policy (Note 3) or those of Pakistan’s seasoned diplomat Munir Akram in an article published in The Dawn of July 24, 2016 (Note 4) as he cites the activities in yhe Pacific and Far East theaters.

Note 1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/03/24/john-bolton-wants-regime-change-in-iran-and-so-does-the-cult-that-paid-him/?utm_term=.5da87fbe1f7f

Note 2 https://orientalreview.org/2018/03/07/the-new-american-agenda-for-global-hegemony/

Note 3 http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/09/the-thucydides-trap/

Note 4 https://www.dawn.com/news/1272772

Gulam Asgar Mitha was born in Bombay, India just prior to partition. He has worked as a Process, Project and Technical Safety Engineer in Qatar, Kuwait, Paris, USA and Libya. He’s now currently retired since the past 2 years and continue to live with my family in Calgary, Canada.

One Comment

  1. Bent Nielsen says:

    Gulam I hope you are wrong but I have to agree about Trump. Also note your change in person (he, my) in your biography. Let’s get together soon.