I remember Chalmers Johnson once describing to me his surprise on discovering that, after the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union imploded, the whole global military structure that Washington had set up -- which he later came to call “America’s empire of bases” or our “globe-girdling Baseworld” -- chugged right on. It didn't matter that there was no real enemy left on Planet Earth. It was, I believe, what finally convinced Johnson that this country was indeed an empire. And here’s the strange thing, though it goes remarkably unnoticed in our world: that vast global structure of military garrisons, unprecedented in history, ranging from some the size of American towns to small outposts, has remained in place to this very second. Though little attention has been paid in recent years -- despite the fact that it couldn’t be a more prominent feature on this planet, geo-militarily speaking -- there remain something like 800 American garrisons worldwide (not counting, of course, the more than 420 military bases located in the continental U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico), as David Vine reported in his path-breaking 2015 book, Base Nation. There’s never been anything quite like it, not for the Roman Empire, the British Empire, or the Soviet one either. And as TomDispatch regular and U.S. Army Major Danny Sjursen reports today, with our military now in the process of transforming the whole planet into an even more militarized place, those bases will be all the more relevant. http://www.tomdispatch.com/ And a comment from Mr. Roboto! Cheap conventional light-sweet crude oil peaked in early 2006, but it doesn’t seem like it to an awful lot of people living in the “big shitties of the FSA” (hat-tip to RE) because improvements in extraction and refinement technology, tar-sands, and shale-oil fracking are artificially extending the peak, albeit very tenuously. However, the price we will pay for doing so will be a “toboggan-sled ride” down once world terminal decline in liquid fossil-fuel production hits, probably in 2021 or 2022. And the central-bank printed-money force-feeding of the world financial economy has resulted in steroidal inflation of the markets that will make the crash that happens in ’21 or ’22 that much harder. After all, when you prevent the self-rebalancing of a dynamic system by forcing even more imbalance, the rebalancing will be that much more severe in its effects when it finally does happen. So if the way things are right now gives us the likes of Orban, Bolsonara, and Trump, I shudder to imagine with whom the future I envision will gift us! https://www.economic-undertow.com/2018/10/06/finance-crisis-political-crisis/#comments
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