The Not-So-Secret Origin of the “Rules-Based Order”

As the soulless U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken jets around the world demanding submission from all nations to a non-existent Anglo-American fantasy of a “Rules-Based Order”, a brief review of the origin of this fraud is useful.  While it owes much to the conceits of those who built the British Empire in the 19th century, and the hegemony of British geopolitical doctrine during the first half of the last century, its current iteration is the product of a cell of neocons under the direction of British imperial neoliberal operatives at the University of Chicago and Stanford University, including long-time agents of corporate cartels such as Leo Strauss, Albert Wohlstetter and George Shultz.

A key figure in its emergence was Paul Wolfowitz, who served as an Under-Secretary of Defense to the then-Secretary Dick Cheney in the George Bush, Sr. administration.  Its founding document was a report he coordinated titled the Defense Planning Guidance of 1992, designed to formulate a strategy of global dominance by the United States following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its intent is made clear in the opening paragraph:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”  

This formulation was softened slightly in the final draft to allay concerns that the imperial intent was too blatant.  However, a modification in the language did not change the fact that the world was to be run by a sole hegemonic power, and U.S. policy would be to “discourage” any nation, including allies, “from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order”.  To do this, the U.S. “must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”

The report states that the U.S. must take “pre-eminent responsibility” to protect “our own interests”.  The first “interest” cited is “access to vital raw materials.” This requires that U.S. strategy “must now focus on precluding the emergence of any potential future global competitor” (emphasis added).

The political/economic component of the strategy insisted upon promotion of “peaceful democracies with market-based economics,” i.e., a neoliberal international order.  This would be enforced by U.S. military power, while preserving NATO “as the primary instrument of western defense and security, as well as the channel for U.S. influence and participation in European security affairs.”  This latter point has been a success, as recent events such as the NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and support for Netanyahu’s genocide in Gaza demonstrate that no European Union or NATO subordinate will step out of line with the empire’s policy.

This so-called “Wolfowitz Doctrine” has placed the West into a series of endless, no-win, costly wars, which benefit only the Military-Financial Complex. But that Unipolar Order is unravelling, as seen in the recent failures in Ukraine, and the discrediting of Israel and the U.S.-U.K. in Gaza. In addition, a strong anti-colonial movement is emerging in the Global South, which is unwilling to defend an unjust system.

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