Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Johan Galtung’s view from Europe: US Policy toward Challengers: 10 Points

The state system is waning; regions are vexing. Make them peaceful.

US Policy toward Challengers: 10 Points

Johan Galtung, 28 Sep 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service

The young US Republic, unwilling to share the Atlantic Seaboard with London, emerged victoriously in 1812 with a strong army centered in the South. Manifest Destiny pointed West, then also South, and, stepping into the shoes of the dying Spanish empire in 1898, to the whole world. Trade was needed for growth; in 1853 Admiral Perry opened Tokugawa Japan. The Japanese challenge was its closure.

The Table compares US policies to 6 challengers to US world hegemony: Japan, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Islam. And: Western Europe, formerly as colonialism, now as a potential No. 7.

US policy is seen as 5 well thought through proactio and reactio–often ending with war or exclusion–to the challengers’ 5 actio.

But in the beginning was fragmented latency, with no real threat.

Cohesion came to Japan, Germany and Italy as nation-states in the 1860s; in WWII as an alliance. Cohesion came to Russia and China with the 1910 national and the 1917 Bolshevik revolutions; and to Islam as a Muslim Brotherhood in 1928. There was international presence: China-towns with capital, Trotskyism, missionary Islam; strong personalities.

The first US policy was positive-cooperative: the Taft-Katsura 1905 treaty with Japan (Philippines for USA, Korea for Japan); pro Germany till USA joined the WWI victors as a latecomer in 1917; Italy steered by the mafia on both sides; investing in Russia, China; being on Egypt’s side in the 1956 war against colonizing Israel-UK-France.

But they bounced back, more cohesive, with challenging ideologies and even stronger personalities up front. They demanded everything the West had: colonies, access to world markets, equality. And were blocked by colonial powers, above all by UK, and by the US empire.

The second US policy was pitting them against each other. Japan was the guinea pig: against China 1894-5, Russia 1904-5, Germany WWI; now against N Korea, China and all US enemies in the new 2015 alliance.

LATENCY Tokugawa Perry Duchies City-states Feudal Ching dynasty Colonies States
COHESION Meiji 1868 II Reich 1870-71 Italia 1861 Bolshevism 1917 National 1910 Brothers 1928
CHARISMA collective Bismarck Garibaldi Lenin Trotsky Sun Yatsen Qutb
POSITIVE Treaty 1905 Pro-German Clientelism Financing Financing Egypt 1956
CHALLENGERS Militarism Nazism Fascism Communism Revolution Islamism
CHARISMA collective Hitler Mussolini Stalin, Putin Mao, Deng Nasser
AGAINST EACH OTHER Against China, Russia, Germany, N Korea, China Against USSR Anti-Communist Against Nazism, China, Islam Against Russia, Islam Against Russia, China
TOTAL WAR Firebomb Nuclear Firebomb Regime change Deterred by SCO Deterred by SCO Islamic State?
NEGATIVE BASES Okinawa Ramstein Avigliano Encircling Encircling Confusion
“PEACE” Occupation Occupation Clientelism Exclusion Exclusion Exclusion

Nazi Germany was pitted against the Soviet Union, but survived; with the USA joining the victors as a latecomer also in WWII. Then, against China; but Moscow-Beijing made the SCO alliance 1996-2001. Now both are pitted against Islam. However, imagine more Islam joins the SCO?

The third US policy, if the second is not working, is total war.

WWII was a success for USA in Europe-Japan; the “good war”. But now SCO deters USA; and the Islamic State seems stronger than expected.

The fourth and fifth US policies solidify victory and exclusion, with bases encircling, containing, de facto occupying (Japan even pays for its own occupation). Calling it “peace” is abuse of a noble idea.

The burden of containing Russia-China-Islam now falls on USA and on Japan-Germany-Italy with the bases and the risks (WWII shadows). Nevertheless, USA also needs fighting allies. Japan, more occupied than Germany, has been forced to join USA. The pressure will be on Germany, Europe.

Enters Europe: Germany-France with BeNeLux-Italy, and with Brexit no US Trojan horse. Fearing Russia is not paranoid given their three attacks on Russia. Enters Japan if the new alliance does not work. Fearing China is not paranoid given their three attacks on China.

There is much for the USA to play on. However: Russia and China are strong and less vulnerable than Europe-Japan and allies; with 4 Islamic SCO states and a huge potential for more of the OIC 57 joining.

Could solving Ukraine, as neutral federation of cooperating parts with a European House on top, and solving Japan’s island problems, with Russia, the Chinas and the Koreas with joint ownership of islands and a cooperative Northeast Asian Community be better than devastating wars? Also better than neither war nor peace, foregoing trade because of sanctions, boycott, TTIP-TPP-TiSA closed to Russia-China, US policy?

To the USA this spells regional mega-challenges, not single state macro-challenges. Cooperation would make NATO and AMPO meaningless. USA without alliances and bases is a USA in North America only; and Chinese “silk” infrastructure connects only contiguous EurAsiaAfrica. As seen by USA, to be avoided at all costs. Europe, like Japan, has to be forced. Stages 9 and 10 are already in place: Okinawa-Ramstein-Avigliano can be turned against Japan-Germany-Italy, dual key Nuclear Sharing Systems for European theater missiles can be reversed. De facto occupation can be made de jure by imposing secret accords. Can all be done with very few knowing. And may already have been done.

USA: this is a non-starter. Being isolated, bogged down by moral costs of killing, and economic costs of bases, leaving Russia-India-China, and ever more of Islam, to the MENA-Eurasia of their designs spells defeat. And both Europe and Japan will sooner or later revolt.

Time has come for an agonizing reappraisal: join Germany, Japan and their neighbors for cooperation and peace with Russia-China-Islam.

The state system is waning; regions are vexing. Make them peaceful.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.

This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.


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