mandag 30. august 2021

US paradigm shifts from engaging to handling China

In one of his latest press conferences explaining the reasons for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said that the US had in 20 years spent between one trillion and two trillion dollars. This is more than the GDP of Italy and more than the entire stimulus package of the European Union after Covid. But the waste of resources was not the central issue, nor did anyone recriminate or press to understand how and why this mountain of money was squandered.

The main point was the chaos of the American withdrawal, the future of the countries, both Afghanistan and America, and the fate of the poor Afghans in the hands of the vicious Taliban. That such a significant amount of capital has become a detail in policy decisions and public debate indicates a radical shift in the US paradigm for interpreting the world. From the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989 up to a few months ago, the central issue in public debate was the management of the economy: the increase in wealth, the solidity of accounts and ever-increasing returns on the stock market.

In this paradigm, China was crucial. It was a sizable low-cost production base and a potentially huge development market, so it was a vital part of the global value chain and the economic/globalist paradigm.