On June 22, 2016, Gerard Araud, French ambassador to the United States, twitted: "The next President will face a multipolar world where the U.S. will be the main but not the only power. Realism is the only possible agenda." This is a bold statement for an ambassador. Is the statement accurate?
In fact, one could argue the opposite. The United States is more powerful today than it has ever been. It is strengthening its grip on South America, in Argentina and Brazil, in particular. Venezuela is next. It controls Europe as never before thanks to NATO and an unrelenting anti-Russian propaganda. In South Asia including the Middle East, the United States destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. It subdued Iran with economic sanctions, forcing its leaders to ask for mercy. It has bases all over Africa. In Asia, its potential opponent is China. However, China is entering some are predicting will be a "lost decade", it may be in no position to challenge the United States.
This leaves Russia. It is singled out as the United States' main threat by neoconservatives. We are constantly reminded that Vladimir Putin's "Russian aggression" is an immediate threat to Poland and the Baltic States. Is it really?
NATO's 2014 military expenditures total $864 billion against $92 billion for Russia, i.e. a 9:1 ratio in favor of the NATO alliance. The gross domestic product picture is even worst. NATO's gross domestic product amounts to $37,378 billion against $1,860 billion for Russia, i.e. a 20:1 ratio. In a prolonged war, Russians would starve to death. NATO membership rose from sixteen in 1991 to twenty-eight today, in violation of the United States' verbal commitment not to move east as a quid pro quo for Germany's reunification (the Warsaw Pact was dissolved in 1991).* NATO's on-going war game in Eastern Europe is the largest military exercise on Russia's borders since Operation Barbarossa of June 1941. Russia is surrounded by ballistic missile sites, officially aimed at Iran. American troops are based in the Baltic States and Poland on a rotating basis.
Naturally, these developments cause great concern in Moscow. In June, at the Saint-Petersburg International Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin told Western journalists: "We know year by year what's going to happen, and they know that we know". He added: "the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction". If pushed too far, Putin will have no choice but react to American provocations.
If the French ambassador is right: today's unipolar world will eventually evolve into a multipolar world. But, for the moment, the United States is the dominant power. It faces no threat other than those it is dreaming up to achieve world hegemony, but this is a dangerous game. Neither Russia nor China will willingly pledge allegiance to Washington. As tension rises with Moscow, the risk of an inadvertent, accidental or deliberate nuclear detonation cannot be ruled out.** The United States is its own worst enemy. Its policies threaten its security and world peace for all.
*At the request of the United States, Russia is subject to economic sanctions. But the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine is not included because the United States uses it to orbit satellites critical to America's defense.
**In a study entitled: "Too close for comfort -- Cases of nuclear use and options for policy", a report by Chatham House lists thirteen cases of nuclear incidents during the Cold War which might have resulted in an undeclared war by mistake.