At the end of last year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Declared, “A country does not have the right to exercise a sphere of influence. The concept should be pushed to the trash can of history.”
His words were directed to Russia after making it more and more clear that Moscow considers Ukraine part of Russia’s “close to abroad” and therefore part of Russia’s sphere of influence. ..
This claim that the sphere of influence is a relic of some sort from the past was further promoted in January by the founding types of Washington, such as former Russian ambassador Michael McFaul. Said“Putin thinks of the sphere of influence as a leader in the 18th or 19th century.”
The agenda here is clearly to connect the idea of the sphere of influence with the old Napoleon-like characters who believed in the old-fashioned sphere of influence.
What’s more, that means that the US government isn’t maintaining its sphere of influence.
These allegations against the sphere of influence were made by Hillary Clinton at least in 2010. In the wake of the 2008 South Ossetian Conflict “The United States is not aware of the sphere of influence,” he declared. She repeated her previous comments by Condoleezza Rice. 2008 speech In Washington, the United States argued that it “creates a world in which the great powers are defined by national independence, not by spheres of influence, zero-sum competition, or by the strong who impose their will on the weak.” [and] Governance by the rule of law. “
Technocratic words like Rice, Clinton, and Blinken are always interesting as an indication that it is the US government. I want people to believeBut in reality, it is quite clear that the United States is not really rejecting the concept of sphere of influence.The United States is just against the sphere of influence In the case of Russia..
Indeed, the US administration has not only been jealous of its own sphere of influence, but has been eager to expand it since the end of the Cold War.
Of course, this should be expected of any state dedicated to maintaining and expanding its power. In other words, the US government is no different from any other power in history when it comes to establishing a sphere of influence. Perhaps the only real difference is that Washington insists on lying about it.
What is a sphere of influence?
All attempts by regional hegemons to control buffer states, expand frontiers, and maintain a full “friendly regime” constitute an effort to maintain a sphere of influence. Unfortunately, the fact is that as long as the regional powers have the means to prevent it, powerful nations will not let their weak neighbors do whatever they want.
The United States is no exception.
U.S. sphere of influence
The United States has been very successful in its unique effort to create a buffer zone in western North America. Since the early 19th century, the United States has been interested in managing the western region of the Mississippi River to secure a large frontier between the Newspane and the United States. The United States was so successful in these efforts that it completely annexed these lands by the late 19th century.
Still, the interests of the American administration have barely stopped in the Rio Grande River and the prairie of southern Canada. As revealed by Monroe Doctrine, the United States has long longed for a huge hemispherical sphere of influence that would not allow Asian and European forces to operate.
The fact that the United States maintains its own sphere of influence today is clear to anyone familiar with the United States’ intervention in Latin America. Last month, Senator Bernie Sanders showed the rule that he broke his watch twice a day. Written correctly It is ridiculous to claim that the United States respects the sovereignty of other states within the recognized power of the United States:
“For example, if Mexico, Cuba, or Latin American countries form a military alliance with a US enemy, does anyone really believe that the US can’t say anything?” Sanders asked in a speech on the Senate floor. rice field.
“Do you think parliamentarians stand up and say that Mexico is an independent country and they have the right to do whatever they want to do? I’m very skeptical of that.”
Of course, you don’t have to point to Mexico alone. The United States has supported many peaceful transitions in Latin America, fearing that an unfriendly government would invite hostile foreign powers, the Soviet Union, into the Western Hemisphere. Washington’s interventions include a Cuban trade ban, a US proxy war against Sandinista in Nicaragua, US support for Chile’s Pinochet dictatorship, a 1954 Guatemala coup, and a 1964 Brazilian coup. Of course, the most famous was the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which time the United States appeared to be actively involved in the nuclear war to keep the Soviet Union away from the US sphere of influence. (The crisis was resolved when the United States agreed to remove the missile from Turkey, a place considered too close to the Soviet sphere of influence, to give the impression of “winning.”)
But in the world of global power projection, countries in the US sphere of influence do not even need to be in the Western Hemisphere. Since World War II, the United States has expanded its sphere of influence to include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Korea, Japan, and undoubtedly Taiwan. The United States has launched an invasion to add a country to its sphere of influence. Iraq was in the Soviet sphere of influence until the 1990 Gulf War. Since 2003, with the full-scale invasion of Iraq by the United States, Iraq has fully joined the sphere of influence of the United States.
So why did the United States begin to argue against the sphere of influence?The main reason was that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States began to aspire to fold. the whole world In Washington’s sphere of influence. This, of course, means that other areas of influence are illegal.
Graham Allison, author of foreign policy in 2020 I got it When it comes to announcing the end of the sphere of influence,
“Such a declaration was correct in that something about geopolitics changed, but they were wrong about what it was exactly. US policymakers have made the concept obsolete. Rather, the whole world has ceased to recognize the sphere of influence, the ability of other powers to demand discrimination from other states of their own country and to exercise dominant control there. It was effectively the territory of America. The sphere of influence was replaced by the sphere of influence.
The strong still pushed the will to the weak. Other parts of the world were forced to play primarily by American rules. Otherwise, we faced high costs, from the impact of sanctions to the complete restructuring. “
Therefore, in the minds of Washington’s defenders of global hegemony, the old notion of a multipolar sphere of influence has been replaced by one of Washington’s ruled world orders. Or as Allison said
“The claim that the sphere of influence was left to the ash heap of history presupposed that other countries would simply occupy a place assigned in a US-led order.”
Therefore, when we see American experts and foreign policymakers suggesting that they reject the idea of a civilized government, the sphere of influence, rather than Russia, they are deeply concerned about the United States’ own sphere of influence. Misunderstood or lying.
Is the sphere of influence legal?
Those who claim to oppose the sphere of influence can muddy the water by talking about how the state does not have a “right” to the sphere of influence. He did exactly this when Blinken declared that “a country has no right to exercise its sphere of influence.” Of course, this is correct. Individuals have rights. The state is not.
But as long as we have states, we should expect those states to look for ways to maintain and expand their own power. This means that states with economic, military and political means to do so will expand their reach of power. Washington does not have as much “right” as Moscow to decide what kind of missiles and bombers Cuba will host. However, this is a typical great power politics exercised by all states in the usual way. This is not moral. This is just one of many ways states consider the state entitled to engage in offensive acts that are considered unacceptable to non-state groups.
Indeed, efforts should be made to reduce the state’s perceived “necessity” for spheres of influence and reduce the stakes in disputes over spheres of influence. This can be done by building international interdependence through the expansion of trade. In addition, we can argue that our country adopts a defensive military stance rather than an offensive stance. It is often achieved by reducing the bloated military budget and abolishing the standing army, which serves little purpose other than occupying a foreign country. Through catastrophes such as the continued expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, we can insist that our own states stop provoking other regional powers.
But perhaps the most important first step from an American point of view is to stop deceiving ourselves that America is a kind of unique and noble country. Never ever Bend over to impose your own range of influence on your neighbors.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.