In Blowback, published before 9/11, Chalmers Johnson warned that secret U.S. operations in Iraq and elsewhere around the globe would exact a price at home. Now, in a series of essays written over the last three years, Johnson measures that price and the resulting dangers America faces as its power wanes. The nation's reliance on Pentagon economics, a global empire of bases, and war without end is, he declares, nothing short of "a suicide option."
Dismantling the Empire explores the subjects for which Johnson is now famous, from the origins of blowback to Barack Obama's Afghanistan conundrum, including inept spies, bad behavior in other countries, ill-fought wars, and capitulation to a military that has taken ever more control of the federal budget. There is, he proposes, only one way out: President Obama must begin to dismantle the empire before the Pentagon dismantles the American Dream. If the nation does not learn from the fates of past empires, he suggests, its decline and fall are foreordained. This is Johnson at his best: delivering both a warning and an urgent prescription for a remedy.
Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, is the author of the bestselling books Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis, which make up his Blowback Trilogy. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the London Review of Books, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, and TomDispatch.com. He lives near San Diego, California.
THE SUICIDE OPTION
During the last years of the Clinton administration I was in my mid-sixties, retired from teaching Asian international relations at the University of California and deeply bored by my specialty, Japanese politics. It seemed that Japan would continue forever as a docile satellite of the United States, a safe place to park tens of thousands of American troops, as well as ships and aircraft , all ready to assert American hegemony over the entire Pacific region.
Introduction: The Suicide Option 1
Part I: What We Did
1. Blowback World 11
2. Empire v. Democracy 29
3. The Smash of Civilizations 40
4. Peddling Democracy 52
Part II: Spies, Rogues, and Mercenaries
5. Agency of Rogues 67
6. An Imperialist Comedy 84
7. Warning: Mercenaries at Work 93
Part III: Baseworld
8. America's Empire of Bases 109
9. America's Unwelcome Advances 120
10. Baseless Expenditures 129
Part IV: The Pentagon Takes Us Down
11. Going Bankrupt 135
12. The Military-Industrial Man 148
13. We Have the Money (If Only We Didn't Waste It on the Defense Budget) 158
14. Economic Death Spiral at the Pentagon 163
Part V: How to End It
15. Dismantling the Empire 183
Note on Sources 197