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11/23/2020

The US elections and their geopolitical repercussions

The US elections and their geopolitical repercussions

The United States presidential elections on November 3 has sparked two important outcomes, the first of which was the second largest turnout in US history, 67%, a number only surpassed 120 years earlier. The second major outcome was the high-level of polarization present in the course of the election, some of the most intense ever seen in US history. Terms such as red states, blue states, deplorables etc. were introduced or redefined during the election. Fear of a potential civil war is undoubtedly present for the first time since the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865, both inside and the outside of the nation. Could anyone have imagined Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan calling on the US Vice President Mike Pence to stage a coup and take over the government to prevent President Trump from destroying classified government documents on November 10, 2020?

A DECLINING HEGEMONY

The US presidential elections will have geopolitical outcomes not only for Turkey, but for the entire world… However, it seems that these election results might put us on the brink of new crises and instability around the world. The world may very soon have to face the provocative and destructive actions of a declining hegemony. Let us go back a little bit further in history to examine this.

After major events such as the two World Wars, the Korean and the Vietnam Wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the anti-Communist McCarthy era, the civl rights era, and finally the Cold War, the United States has now come to the brink of a civil war, just 30 years later. How did the US, despite having just defeated the Soviet Union, manage to waste this great victory and its legacy in just 30 years, despite having strong allies such as the NATO countries, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand? How did it reach the brink of a civil war and such major polarization? We are witnessing a situation that has no precedent in the history of the world. The American domination over the world was fully accepted at the end of the 1990s after the Cold War ended and the Russian Federation came close to a state of disintegration because of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, when China turned inward and was focused on its own manufacturing sector. NATO expanded to the East, Yugoslavia was destroyed and carved up into minor NATO states. The geopolitical changes were made very quickly in Europe.. but it was Asia and Africa that truly mattered. Geopolitical shakedowns have been made in many areas, from Afghanistan to Iraq, and from Libya to Syria, under the pretext of post-September 11 GWOT (Global War on Terror). US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could proudly say “We will adjust the borders of 22 countries in the Middle East.” back in 2004. Unfortunately, as a result, millions of innocent people have lost their lives, been injured or left disabled, forced to seek refuge; the body-count is still being tallied. A halt to this came in 2008. The global financial crisis and the subsequent withdrawal of the United States from the Russian-Georgian conflict during the same year, caused a new awakening for the world. Hegemony was now in decline. The 2012 financial recession, and the ongoing provocations in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and other crisis zones by the West, has created the conditions for the Washington Consensus to gradually lose power.

THE DECLINE ACCELERATES WITH TRUMP

Donald Trump was a reaction against these ongoing failures and rapid decline. Over the last four years, the Trump administration has made unprecedented changes to the world hegemony and the US domestic policies. Trump caused a paradigm shift with his anti-globalization isolationist theory and practice. Despite being a Republican President, he has strongly challenged the Washington Consensus, and this challenge has naturally disturbed the Military Industrial Complex and the financial power centers. This was because he did not wage war, at least not as it had been waged conventionally. Yet, the decline could still not be halted. The military, political and economic rise of China and its strategic partnership with Russia in many areas have strengthened the conditions for a multipolar world. The mismanagement of Covid-19, as well as the crisis management failures during the George Floyd protests on the home front, have contributed to the loss of prestige of the US. By denouncing unilateral practices and not recognizing the UN Security Council Resolutions with sensitive issues such as the situation of the Golan Heights and Jerusalem in the foreign policy while withdrawing from the important international agreements for global peace and the environmental issues, Trump has all but undone Washington’s reputation as a powerful and an honest broker.

BIDEN AND THE EXPECTED STORM

As we can hear from the media, the prospective members of the Biden administration are essentially a return to an Obama-era war cabinet. Many of those people are the neocons or prominent figures that contributed to the complicated picture created by the United States over the past 20 years. The names alone are painful clues for the upcoming era. However, the United States will not be able to recreate the same economic, political and military conditions that it had after World War II or during the cold war. This is because the people of the United States are divided into two. The common values, threats or and risk factors that unite them back together are long gone. The religious cults and racist and supremacist groups in the United States which provide no values to the social contract and are mostly focused on destroying state institutions, much like what FETO did to our country, are dragging this 250-year-old artificial state and the representative of the human civilization in the 20th-century into a pit of failure. This is possible because the social contract is no longer valid. Even the Democratic president-elect Joe Biden, who is backed by a neocon Republican like the President George W. Bush will no longer have any effective results anywhere he seeks to reinstate American domination. In other words, it is almost impossible for President Biden to re-establish the Washington Consensus under a multipolar world order. Despite the Establishment, the National Security Government (the Military Industrial Complex, Pentagon, Media outlets, Intellectuals, the Academy, the Intelligence agencies), Wall Street (Financial World) and the Federal Reserve being dedicated to this goal, the conditions and possibilities are simply not suitable. Serious structural problems in manufacturing and in economic growth, overall debt, unemployment rates, and most importantly, heavy social polarization prevent a new rise of the United States. Globalists and nationalists; coastal states (Blue America) and inland states (Red America); Republicans and Democrats; White Collar Workers and Blue Collar Workers; Urban citizens and Rural citizens; Conservatives and Liberals; Elitists and Deplorables; the educated and the uneducated, are all set against one another. (The number of citizens with a college degree has been declining every day in the US. For today, this rate is around 28%.). These differences and contradictions between these groups will only deepen the polarization further in the upcoming era. One of the most important outcomes of this polarization is in personal firearms ownership, which has reached an extreme level.

THE US, UNABLE TO ESTABLISH ORDER

At the current juncture, we cannot speak of a US neutrality, honest broker status, possibility for mediation, or to act as a game changer. We must instead speak of a superpower that has failed to contribute much more than financial crises, conflicts and wars while failing to establish order, either at home, or abroad, yet, which nevertheless still tries to claim global hegemony. The new President-elect Biden will be enthusiastic in his presumed role as the sole representative of the “Free World, Democracy and Human Rights”, much more so than Trump was. While the United States normalizes its own discrimination, brutality, human rights abuses in its home country, as a usual everyday practice, it will surely continue to try giving lessons of democracy and human rights lessons to China, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and Turkey. In the United States, it is now time for someone to recommend turning the country back to the status of a normal state and focus on recovering order. Otherwise, the unrest and the polarization will drag the United States even deeper toward the bottom. In truth, a total of 5 trillion dollars of investments in nuclear weapons since 1946, 11 nuclear aircraft carrier groups and thousands of fighter jets and battle tanks, have not been enough to rebuild the Pax Americana. This is because there is no such harmony or ideological unity among the institutions and organizations in the country. We should also add that the dollar’s ability to be a reserve currency is now beginning to fall from fashion. Today, the number of countries that hold a substantial amount of love and respect for the United States has decreased dramatically when compared to 1945. Paul Kennedy, a Yale University history professor, describes this phenomenon in his 1987 book ‘’The Rise and Fall of The Great Powers’’ with the term “imperial overstretch”. He describes it as the failure of a state which has been seizing power to handle global events in a way that contributes to its national wealth. The United States, with almost 200 overseas military bases, a defense budget close to Turkey’s national income, an intelligence budget of $80 billion, can deploy power wherever it wants on the entire globe, but fails to deploy prosperity or peace to itself. These wars, conflicts and military investments fail to bring any stability, prosperity or any prestige to its own nation. The United States has a national debt of $27 trillion. It is in a state where its infrastructure is outdated, its educational system has lagged behind, and the healthcare system has completely failed. The United States used to be known as the land of opportunities. It used to have a very powerful middle class. Now, that middle class has dissolved out. Now, a person who is born poor in the US, dies poor. We now witness a time period where the American Dream is turning into an American Nightmare. The chance of survival for a poor old man who gets Covid-19 in the US is less than 50%. COVID deaths in the last 10 months are more than the number of those who died in the Korean and Vietnam Wars (on the American side) combined.

WHAT THE WORLD CAN EXPECT OF THE BIDEN ERA

The most important goals of the United States in the new Biden era is to strengthen NATO; to prevail in the global power struggle by isolating surrounding Russia and China, and thereby re-establish the interventionist global leadership; to sustain the monopoly over the control of maritime trade routes and critical choke points as well as energy supply routes; to contribute to Israel’s security by neutralizing Iran first and then to continue the partitioning of the Arab world. In this process, Turkey is also on the list of countries that need to be aligned to US interests or even transformed if necessary. It should not be forgotten that one of the most viewed videos on social media in recent months is of Biden’s threatening views in regard to Turkey. On the other hand, the most important event which can be expected during the Biden era will be resistance to the Neocon interventionist policies, both inside and abroad. The circumstances are different from the artificial conditions created after the September 11 attacks. The most recent example of this resistance happened in Karabakh. The Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, a puppet of the orange revolution perpetrator Soros, was harshly repelled as he tried to corner down Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Russia did not even flinch for the entire 44 days when a country that it was allegedly protecting was beaten down. Thus, the adventure of Armenia, which leaned on the US elections as its support, ended in a huge defeat. This will surely initiate an even tougher period. Given Biden’s and his team’s high level hostility towards Russia, provocations, particularly in the Black Sea, will likely surge through Ukrainian and Georgian NATO membership applications. In this context, we can also say that the Syrian government and Russia will be targeted directly by the Biden administration. This maneuver could be used to pull Ankara back to the United States, which can end up in dangerous consequences. Atlanticist pro-mandate supporters in Ankara will surely use this situation as a tool as much as they can. We should also not expect the Biden administration to support Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean crises. This would be because this Greco-Turkish crisis gives the United States the opportunity to deploy troops to Greece. The same excuse could also be used for Southern Cyprus.

The victory in Karabakh on the other hand, gave the Asian powers a significant gain, and a moral advantage. This event surely had significant consequences for both countries which are currently being targeted by the United States. China and Iran will be targeted by the Biden Administration as much as they will target Russia in the new era. Sanctions, embargoes and threats against Iran have caused an investment and trade agreement worth $400 billion between China and Iran in January 2016. These investments, which take its main concern as the Belt and Road Initiative, actually have more geopolitical outcomes rather than economic ones. While it causes a Pakistan-Iran-China rapprochement, leaving India out. India is a key player for the United States and its hegemony, just like Turkey.

The Indian heritage of Ms. Kamala Harris from his mother’s side has played the most important role in her election as the Vice President. The US desperately needs India to isolate and balance China out with its global supremacy in the 21st century. Of course, such a development in US-India relations will negatively affect the Iranian Indian relations as well. Iran still contributes greatly to China on a geopolitical scale, with both its natural resources and its geography. For example, the railway project between Chabahar, Iran’s only oceanic port, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative, and Zahedan which stands at the Pakistani border, will have at least as much impact as the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). This path will be developed geometrically parallel to CPEC Corridor, stretching from the Gwadar Port in the Arabian Sea to China. It will undoubtedly reduce China’s dependence on the Strait of Malacca even further. Turkey is expected to be linked through either Chabahar or Gwadar Ports by the sea, or through railways via Kars, Tbilisi, Baku and Zahedan (in the future) and; after the victory of Karabakh, through Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan by land. The Bandar-e Jask oil terminal, being outside the Strait of Hormuz will be able to offer alternatives to China and Iran as well when necessary. The United States will continue to disrupt both China and Pakistan with India, especially with the Kashmir issue, to prevent or to delay these projects.

THE MOST CRITICAL COUNTRIES ARE TURKEY AND INDIA

Biden and his neocon administration will resort to provocation to prevent or delay hegemony from changing hands, using either economic, military or by hybrid forces like Soros in the new era. Turkey and India, the two most important countries of the rimland geopolitics, will surely play a key role during this process. We are not sure whether Turkey will start from a fresh page after the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, as if nothing happened with the patrons of the forces that threatened the existence of the nation, but it is our greatest wish that history will not repeat itself. When it comes to India, the fact is that Russia is the number one threat to the Biden administration, and that the Vice President, being of Indian descent, is likely to leave India facing one of the toughest choices in the coming period, perhaps since its foundation. Turkey and India taking the side of a neocon interventionist administration will surely not contribute to global peace and stability, especially during a period where the collapse of that hegemony is still ongoing.

(I celebrate the foundation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in its 37th anniversary. I wish unity and solidarity to the people of this island nation, in the memory of the strong and honorable past of the Turkic world in the future, where our motherland, foster land and the Blue Homeland will not be separated from each other forever. I commemorate Fazil Kucuk and Rauf Denktas, alongside all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their land with pride, gratitude and appreciation, and salute with condolences in their precious memories.)

Cem Gürdeniz
Admiral Cem Gürdeniz graduated from Turkish Naval Academy in 1979. As a deck officer, he served in different in destroyers and frigates. He assumed the Command of guided missile frigate TCG Gaziantep and the Third Destroyer Division. He completed his education in Turkish Naval War College and Armed Forces College. He holds two masters degrees from US Naval Postgraduate School and Université Libre Brussels (ULB) in personnel management and international politics respectively.He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral (lower half) in 2004 and upper half in 2008. He served as the Chief, Strategy and Agreements Department and then the Head of Plans and Policy Division in Turkish Naval Forces Headquarters. As his combat duties, he has served as the commander of Amphibious Ships Group and Mine Fleet. He retired in 2012 as a result of the Sledgehammer Bogus Case. He is the founder and Director of the Istanbul Koc University Maritime Forum. In addition to his native Turkish, he is fluent in English and French. Admiral GUrdeniz is the writer of numerous publications in multiple languages languages including ‘Bluehomeland Writings.’ He is a columnist at Aydınlık Daily and Yacht Magazine.

One response to “The US elections and their geopolitical repercussions”

  1. Ozan says:

    It was amazing article. I appreciate retired admiral Cem Gurdeniz for enlightening the Turkish youth. We will be protecting our blue homeland….

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