What Uncle Sam Really Wants Copyright © 1993 by Noam Chomsky
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The main goals of US foreign policy

Protecting our turf

Relations between the United States and other countries obviously go back to the origins of American history, but World War II was a real watershed, so let's begin there.

While most of our industrial rivals were either severely weakened or totally destroyed by the war, the United States benefited enormously from it. Our national territory was never under attack and American production more than tripled.

Even before the war, the US had been by far the leading industrial nation in the world -- as it had been since the turn of the century. Now, however, we had literally 50% of the world's wealth and controlled both sides of both oceans. There'd never been a time in history when one power had had such overwhelming control of the world, or such overwhelming security.

The people who determine American policy were well aware that the US would emerge from WW II as the first global power in history, and during and after the war they were carefully planning how to shape the postwar world. Since this is an open society, we can read their plans, which were very frank and clear.

American planners -- from those in the State Department to those on the Council on Foreign Relations (one major channel by which business leaders influence foreign policy) -- agreed that the dominance of the United States had to be maintained. But there was a spectrum of opinion about how to do it.

At the hard-line extreme, you have documents like National Security Council Memorandum 68 (1950). NSC 68 developed the views of Secretary of State Dean Acheson and was written by Paul Nitze, who's still around (he was one of Reagan's arms-control negotiators). It called for a "roll-back strategy" that would "foster the seeds of destruction within the Soviet system," so that we could then negotiate a settlement on our terms "with the Soviet Union (or a successor state or states)."

The policies recommended by NSC 68 would require "sacrifice and discipline" in the United States -- in other words, huge military expenditures and cutbacks on social services. It would also be necessary to overcome the "excess of tolerance" that allows too much domestic dissent.

These policies were, in fact, already being implemented. In 1949, US espionage in Eastern Europe had been turned over to a network run by Reinhard Gehlen, who had headed Nazi military intelligence on the Eastern Front. This network was one part of the US-Nazi alliance that quickly absorbed many of the worst criminals, extending to operations in Latin America and elsewhere.

These operations included a "secret army" under US-Nazi auspices that sought to provide agents and military supplies to armies that had been established by and which were still operating inside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe through the early 1950s. (This is known in the US but considered insignificant -- although it might raise a few eyebrows if the tables were turned and we discovered that, say, the Soviet Union had dropped agents and supplies to armies established by Hitler that were operating in the Rockies.)

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