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General Analysis on Economic Expansion


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Is Halliburton Forgiven and Forgotten? Or How to Stay Out of Sight While Profiting From the War in Iraq (May 31, 2009)

At Halliburton's recent annual shareholders meeting in Houston, the company celebrated its $4 billion in 2008 operating profits. Though many companies have seen falling profits recently, Halliburton showed an impressive 22% return on assets. Halliburton's former subsidiary, KBR, has multiple open-ended, multi-billion dollar contracts to build and maintain the infrastructure of bases for the U.S. military. The Pentagon has awarded these contracts even though KBR has been accused of bribery, political corruption, murder. (TomDispatch)

Worries Rise on the Size of US Debt (May 3, 2009)

During the first quarter of 2009, the US federal deficit exceeded the highest record since World War II. The Congressional Budget Office projects that US household debt will rise to 51 percent of the GDP in 2009 and the US administration will need to borrow around US$ 2 trillion to fund its budget. As foreign countries become increasingly reluctant to buy US treasury bonds, the US government hopes to find a sustainable way to finance its deficit-driven budget. The concern rests on the government's ability to pay on its debt obligations without defaulting or jeopardizing future generations. (New York Times)

World Depression: Regional Wars and the Decline of the US Empire (March 25, 2009)

The financial crisis reflects a contradiction between the financial elite that concentrated capital and ordinary workers. US corporations took advantage of a cheap overseas labor in order to develop an economic system that channels money upwards. Author James Petras demonstrates that the world crisis is a product of the over-accumulation? process, which has deprived US workers of financial resources. This process has reduced government financial assets, increased debt and drained resources for many generations to come. (Lahaine)


Peak Oil and Energy Imperialism (July-August 2008)

Oil is the lifeblood of the US economy. The looming oil peak? in production has led the US government to use its foreign policy and military to guarantee US oil and energy security. The author argues that the US invaded Iraq to secure oil supplies, and that it threatens Iran which currently under-invests in its oil resources. The US also plans to increase its military bases in Africa because, by 2015, 25 percent of US oil imports will come from African countries. Equally troubling, is the indifference of the population of richer countries to this energy imperialism? (Monthly Review)

Garrisoning the Global Gas Station: Challenging the Militarization of US Energy Policy (June 12, 2008)

Since 1945, US foreign policy has equated energy security with national security. The establishment of US Central Command (CENTCOM) allows the military to act as an oil protection service? for US oil sources abroad. But this TomDispatch article argues that using the military to protect oil has backfired: it increased anti-Americanism around the world, risked the lives of US soldiers, and failed to secure a steady supply of oil. The author advocates moving the focus away from oil to alternative sources of energy.

The Arctic Oil Rush (May 2008)

Russia and the US compete for vast oil reserves in the Arctic, according to Vanity Fair. Although the UN currently prohibits oil exploration in the area under the Law of the Sea Convention, both countries claim territorial rights to the region stating that their continental shelf extends to the polar ice cap. The author warns that drilling for oil in the Arctic will speed up global warming, destroy fragile ecosystems, and threaten the existence of indigenous populations in the Arctic.

Oil for War (March 10, 2008)

Great powers can no longer secure energy resources through military means as the side with the most guns goes bankrupt? this essay claims. Iran has negotiated lucrative energy contracts with Iraq, whilst the US spends US$1 billion a week in fuel costs to secure Iraqs oil reserves. China and Russia project global influence through economic alliances that keep them out of the battlefield. This American Conservative analysis concludes that the US can either chase its own fuel tail? or adapt to a world where markets trump militarism.


Why the US Is the Only ‘Superpower’ (December 7, 2007)

John Perkins is the author of the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man in which he describes his three-decade long career as an international business operative. Perkins worked for a consulting firm that assisted international financial institutions and the US government to foment conditions that make other nations subservient with the citizens of poor countries paying the bill. (Combat Law)

The Geopolitical Stakes of Saffron Revolution(October 17, 2007)

The US media has acknowledged that the mass protest in Myanmar was due, in particular, to the extreme rise in gasoline prices, which ironically was a result of IMF and World Bank demands. However, this Asia Times article says that Washington helped orchestrate the protests to increase its influence in the Far East and secure access to oil.

Chevron's Pipeline Is the Burmese Regime's Lifeline (October 3, 2007)

As the junta continues to kill and imprison monks and civilians in Burma, the resource-rich, but sanctioned country stays economically afloat. Burma is rich in natural gas, something that US oil company Chevron benefits from. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, a former Chevron board member, speaks critically against the human rights violations in Burma, while remaining quiet on who is financing the military regime. (AlterNet)

AFRICOM: Round One in a New Cold War? (September 19, 2007)

US President George Bush announced the AFRICOM initiative just a week after the Chinese president started his African tour to discuss trade and development. The US interest in Africa departs from previous policy. In 1995, the Department of Defense said it had very little traditional strategic interest in Africa. But with Africa now exceeding the Middle East as the largest supplier of crude oil to China and the heavy Chinese focus on the African continent, the US administration seeks to make its presence felt. (In These Times)

Dealing With Africas Resource Curse (September 2, 2007)

Africas vast natural and mineral resources present immense opportunities for African countries to obtain much needed funds for development. However, the mineral and oil resources have mainly brought conflicts and led foreign powers such as the US and China to increasingly seek trade agreements and military presence on the continent. The competition for Africas resources has also caused increased corruption and internal dissent as profit benefits mainly the countries elites. The conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo present disturbing examples of the possible effects of the international economic expansion into Africa. (Monitor)

A New Cold War Over Oil (August 11, 2007)

The US-China showdown over African oil has led the Pentagon to establish an African Command (AFRICOM) branch of the military. US-friendly African armies, for example in Congo and West Africa, have absorbed AFRICOM into their command structures, thereby increasing US military presence on the continent. In addition, because the US cannot outbid China on oil dollar for dollar, it implicated China in the Darfur crisis, therefore undermining Chinese investments in Sudan and promoting UN intervention there. According to Professor Vijay Prashad, such oil-based international intervention in Africa will only create an Iraq there. (Frontline)

Nationwide Protests Rock Peru, Bush Seeks Allies in Latin America (July 19, 2007)

Peruvian citizens are protesting in large numbers after Peruvian President Alan Garcia signed on to a free trade agreement with the US. While Garcias shift toward neo-liberal economic policy benefits the national economy, it has not improved conditions for the majority of Perus population, which survives on less than a dollar a day. Many analysts argue that the Bush administration is trying to secure free trade agreements with Latin American countries including Peru, Colombia, and Panama in order to counter Venezuelan President Hugo Chavezs leftist influence in the region. (Toward Freedom)

Review Article: The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases (July 1, 2007)

The US operates military bases in 63 countries and deploys 255,065 military personnel in 156 countries. This Global Research article provides maps and statistics about US bases and argues that Washington uses its global War on Terror to justify its interference in countless countries where it has usurped natural resources and established its control over governments. International progressive groups and antiwar activists protest US military intervention, but neither they, nor the exorbitant costs of military operations, have succeeded in deterring the US from expanding its worldwide network of bases.

The Scramble for Africa's Oil (June 14, 2007)

The Pentagon is preparing to set up a unified military command for Africa called Africomto step up itswar on terrorismin the region and secure oil imports. Some analysts predict that within a decade US reliance on African oil will double and that Africom will serve to dissuade competition from China over Africa's abundant oil reserves. (New Statesman)

Scramble for Africa (May 2, 2007)

The Guardian assesses the exploitation of resources in Africa today that continues despite the end of colonialism. In the race for geo-political control and access to natural resources, the US has set up bases in African countries to establish its presence there, France and Britain have made large financial investments in some African countries, and China has sold arms to certain African governments while canceling debt and offering condition-free loans.

Bush's Arc of Instability (April 10, 2007)

The Bush administration attempts to bring down rogue regimes have failed, argues this TomDispatch article. After launching the war on terrorism US officials decided to target governments that makeup a so-called arc of instability an area that ranges from North Africa through Central Asia. The author claims that Washington sought uninterrupted access to these countries energy resources, but instead of stabilizing nations within this arc, US actions have made the region more volatile.

Diplomacy and Empire (Part II) (February 28, 2007)

By carrying out its foreign policy goals far more aggressively following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Bush administration risks losing the economic preeminencethat the US has had for much of the twentieth century, argues this Globalist article. The author states that Washington increasingly xenophobic policies and practices have resulted in a loss of US superiority in the science and technology sectors as cooperation with foreign companies declines and jobs are outsourced.

Skepticism Over US Africa Command (February 19, 2007)

This International Relations and Security Network piece highlights the skepticism facing US authorities over the proposal to set up a new military command center for Africa. Many critics argue that the motivation is the continent vast oil resources. They say that the Bush administration wants to ensure it has unfettered access to Africas oil and therefore it needs to be able to respond promptly to any crisis that might disrupt the flow.

Chavez Denounces US Economic PlanAgainst Venezuela (February 15, 2007)

In response to comments made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is destroying Venezuela economically and politically, the leader warned that Washington has adopted an economic plan for Venezuela. However, this Venezuelanalysis article cites figures from the Central Bank of Venezuela, which put annual growth in 2006 at 10.2 percent. Additionally, the author cites the results of a poll conducted by Chilean NGO Latinobarometro, which found that the majority of Venezuelans are happy with their democracy.


Militarism and US Trade Policy (December 15, 2006)

This article from Foreign Policy In Focus argues that security and military considerations increasingly dictate US economic policies. The Bush administration in 2002 released its National Security Strategy for the United States which declares free trade a national security interest. The author concludes that activists promoting economic and environmental justice must develop a common agendain order to challenge the new world order dominated by US policies that link economics with military interventions.

Hunting Hugo (October 25, 2006)

This Foreign Policy In Focus article claims that the strained relationship between the US and Venezuela revolves around the latters vast oil reserves. The Bush administration views Venezuelan President Hugo Chavezs attempts to strengthen ties with China and Chile - to expand the market for the countrys oil - as a substantial threat to US energy security. In response to this danger, the Bush administration has appointed a special intelligence gathering force on Venezuela, similar to the one set up for Iraq prior to the 2003 US-led invasion. Additionally, the US funds Chavez opposition groups in an attempt to get a US friendly president elected. However, this article argues that these efforts might prove futile due to Chavezs widespread popularity in Latin America.

Against An Imperial Internet (October 17, 2006)

The internet, the most democratic form of media that exists today, risks a corporate takeover a move which will crush competition, create a massive divide between rich and poor and, ultimately, undermine democracy. The Bush administration, through its majority control of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has thus far allowed corporations to increase their control over the internet, diminishing network neutrality. The highly influential corporate lobbyists in Washington have made clear their desire to create digital empires by thwarting attempts by US lawmakers to restore the independence of the internet. (TomPaine)

The March to War (October 1, 2006)

This Global Research report details the deployment of US naval ships to the Persian Gulf, arguing that Washington is preparing for attacks on Iran. Additionally, the author points out that the naval buildup in the Eastern Mediterranean under the auspices of NATO and the US support of Israel against Lebanon signal US attempts to expand the war in Iraq to encompass a large swath of the Middle East. The article concludes that the US aims to take down hostile regimes with these strategies and install pro-Western governments to ensure an uninterrupted flow of Middle Eastern oil.

No Longer No. 1, and No Wonder (September 27, 2006)

The US fell from 1st to 6th place in the 2006-2007 global competitiveness rankings published by the World Economic Forum. The article states that low taxation, deregulation, and increased litigation contribute to the decrease of US competitiveness. Conversely, corporations in Scandinavian countries benefit from government investments in the education and health of their populations. This Washington Post article concludes that if US corporations do not realize the detrimental effects of the economic strategies they often advocate, then they will remain less competitive in the global marketplace.

Economic Empire Building and Domestic Decay (September 4, 2006)

The author of this Information Clearing House article argues that the US aims to further its economic empire through domestic policies, such as decreasing Medicare funding and cutting taxes on corporations and the rich. These policies ultimately make more money available for foreign investment and economic and military expansion. The article concludes that if a domestic resistance to these policies rises it will present a formidable challenge to the empires expansion.

US Is Monitoring Commercial Presence of Iran in Venezuela (June 25, 2006)

The US is monitoring Venezuela-Iran economic ties closely as Iran plans to invest US$ 9 billion in this Latin American country. Washington says it suspects Iran might export terrorism but Venezuelan officials defend the friendship between the two members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Any evidence that Irans presence in the region is not strictly business would serve US attempts to block Venezuela from a seat in the UN Security Council. (Los Angeles Times)

A Warning to Africa: The New US Imperial Grand Strategy (June 6, 2006)

The US quest for influence in Asia rages forward with wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and perhaps Iran. With that region dominated, the next move may become a Scramble for Africa. Africas resource-rich region will see an increase in US military presence, warns the Center for Civil Society.

Peddling Democracy the US Way (May 4, 2006)

Author Chalmers Johnson analyzes US efforts to impose its political and economic system on other countries. While the US has justified many military interventions in the name of promoting democracy, Johnson argues that none of the over 200 interventions since World War II produced a democratic government. Focusing on East Asia, Johnson further argues that the region reached economic prosperity by completely ignoring US preaching of free trade and liberalization, while pursuing protectionism and government regulation of the economy. (TomDispatch)

Rights Take Backseat to Oil (April 28, 2006)

This Associate Press article argues that the Bush administration seems more concerned with acquiring foreign oil than the democratic aims it advocates. President George Bush is courting the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Equatorial Guinea, countries with known human rights violations. The US seeks to secure reliable oil resources to satisfy its 60 percent oil market dependency on foreign reserves.

What Imperialists Don't Say: Oil Is Behind Struggle in Darfur (April 27, 2006)

Many experts accuse veto-wielding China of blocking Security Council action against the Khartoum government to protect Beijing’s oil investments in Sudan. This article points out that the US, France, and UK also have oil interests in Sudan, especially in Darfur untapped oil reserves, which represent a vast amount of potential wealth at a time when the price of crude oil has skyrocketed. The author questions the imperialists' motives for pushing to replace the African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur with 20,000 UN troops. (Workers World)

Why Are We In Afghanistan? (April 10, 2006)

The US and Canada alongside them in Afghanistan primarily because of fossil fuel concerns. Afghanistan is strategically located in Central Asia and could function as a transit corridor for Caspian oil, circumventing Iran and Russia. The really central issues to the people, reconstruction and development, are not progressing. Actually, some conditions are worsening; Opium production has grown dramatically since the occupation. (Canadian Peace Alliance)

Wrong Fix for Foreign Aid (February 6, 2006)

The New York Times reports on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's proposal to reform the US foreign aid system and how it will negatively affect US development assistance. Once implemented, the US will give a larger portion of aid to promote its economic, political and military interests. Already this type of aid accounts for more than 50% of the countrys aid budget. The article asks the US Congress to pass a law that ensures a fair part of the aid actually going to real antipoverty efforts.

Oil, Gas and Imperialism (January 4, 2006)

This Guardian article argues that countries, not private corporations, remain the primary actors in the quest for global energy supplies. The US, Russia and China are the countries most involved in this modern energy imperialism which will bring more conflicts between oil producing and oil consuming countries.

The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse (January 18, 2006)

A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states, according to this Energy Bulletin article. The US taxes the rest of the world through inflation to finance its empire Its ability to do this depends on the role of the US dollar as the world currency, and the fact that oil trades exclusively in dollars. If crude would be traded in other currencies as well, for example in euros, this might erode the central position of the US in the international economic system. The proposed Iranian oil bourse could be the first step in that direction, and it could play a part in the tensions between Tehran and Washington.


The Real Threat of Fascism (September 30, 2005)

This CommonDreams article warns about the growing power of large commercial enterprises over politics in the US. The article argues that the growing political influence of a few giant corporations can threaten democracy in a similar way that big business played a role in producing the fascist regimes in Germany and Italy in the 1930s. This comparison brings to mind political commentator Thomas Friedmans famous quote the hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist.

A Suitable Boy: Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank (September 25, 2005)

Washington's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as the president of the World Bank is a calculated step to secure its economic and geopolitical interests around the world. This Focus on the Global South article argues that under Wolfowitz leadership the Bank will move even closer to US interests. The article also questions Wolfowitzs lack of training and experience in development and social issues, and raises concerns about his suitability for the position.

The Twilight Era of Petroleum (August 4, 2005)

Michael Klare warns of the impending oil decline, using a Chinese oil company's bid for US-based Unocal and a US-government sponsored "oil shockwave" war game to bring up the willingness of nations, especially the US, to use force to protect oil interests. But no amount of force in these "resource wars" can save the world from global economic crisis when output cannot match rising demand. In this TomDispatch article, Klare offers a valid solution a quick transition to alternative fuels but leaves out the answers on how this is possible and whether it will actually happen before its too late. (TomDispatch)

Attacking the World's Constitutions (August 2005)

Poor countries suffer from the severe social and economic consequences of neoliberal economic reforms that the Bretton Woods Institutions have imposed on them since the 1990s. These reforms, implemented through constitutional change, serve the political and economic interests of the rich countries. For instance, in Iraq, the US appointed an interim government that was bound by an interim constitution which protected the US-favored investment and privatization laws. The author warns that while the focus on constitutional change is political, the driving motive is to create market economies that further leads to neo-colonial exploitation.(IBON Features)

Chavez Stokes Confrontation Over US Role in Venezuela (July 19, 2005)

In a piece which puts much of the blame on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Washington Post explores the increasingly sour relationship between the US and Venezuela. To many in Latin America, Chavez represents independence and social justice, a champion of the oppressed and subjugated. To the Bush administration, he is a dangerous and confrontational opponent of economic liberalism who controls an important 1.5 million barrels of oil a day for US markets. Chavez has created an increasingly bold Venezuelan foreign policy, signaling his resistance of "US imperialism" and his anger at the US for supporting the coup that tried to overthrow him in 2002.

Matt Simmons' Bombshell: The Impending Decline of Saudi Oil Output (June 27, 2005)

The Bush administration and US oil experts base their energy strategy on one simple mantra: that Saudi Arabias oil fields can satisfy rising demand. But author and oil investor Matt Simmons refutes these claims soundly, arguing instead that Saudi Arabian oil output will inevitably decline in the near future. In this book review, Michael Klare warns that no other country has the reserves to match Saudi oil production. Ignoring such signs could fuel conflict and further devastate the world economy. (TomDispatch)

Colombia: Washington's Other Oil War (June 24, 2005)

This Global Research article argues that Washington has other motives for allocating $7.5 billion to Plan Colombia, a project aimed at reducing the drug trade in the country. Colombia exports most of its oil to the US and it also serves as a buffer zone for Washington against the growing left-wing governments on the continent, mainly Venezuela and Ecuador. The article questions whether the buildup of US military spending and training in oil rich parts of the country actually targets narcotics activity, or serves as a pretext to increase Washingtons presence in Latin America and benefit US oil companies.

Latin America: Docile No More (June 2005)

"If things go on like this, we will wake up one morning to find the country belongs to Coca-Cola." In Latin America, social movements against the almost blatant neo-colonization of US economic offensives are beginning to bear fruit. Across the continent, popular uprisings have led to the removal of several pro-US and pro-free trade leaders. Despite desperate attempts by the US government to win back its political and economic control, the White House may be losing its grip. (Le Monde diplomatique)

Chinese Influence on the Rise in Latin America (June 2005)

As the US promoted free-trade-free-market model fails to produce growth in Latin America, China is moving into Washington's backyard. The Chinese government is pursuing a massive investment invasionin Latin America, even befriending US enemieslike Cuba and Venezuela, in an economic offensive that is worrying US policymakers. Such investment links are likely to increase China's bargaining position in economic matters and solidify its position in the World Trade Organizationa shift in strategy that threatens to upset US dominance in Latin America as well as shifting the world balance of power. (Foreign Policy In Focus)

What Drives Support for This Torturer (May 16, 2005)

Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray argues that US oil and gas interests in Central Asia steer Washington's strong support for the repressive Uzbek government. In 2002, the US gave $200 million in military and security aid to Uzbekistan, a country where human rights violations and torture are widespread. (Guardian)

The Intensifying Global Struggle for Energy (May 9, 2005)

With booming global energy consumption and decreasing world supplies of oil and natural gas, the international competition for energy intensifies. This TomDispatch article warns that these increasing pressures on energy sources could provoke new conflicts and wars in the near future.

Ring Them Bells (May 2005)

This article draws attention to Washington's oil interests in Sudan and the motives of proponents of a US intervention. President George Bush's close ties with Sudan's intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Gosh expose US hypocrisy over what the Bush administration has labeled genocide in Darfur. Although Gosh's own government has accused him of directing attacks against civilians, Bush has forged close ties with him in the fight against terrorism. Gosh, described as Osama's designated minder in the 1990s could become a useful US ally, enabling Washington to chase oil profits in the name of humanitarian intervention. (Moscow Times)

Oil, Geopolitics, and the Coming War with Iran (April 11, 2005)

Iran's vast oil and gas reserves will play a large factor in the world's future energy equationand dictate the Bush administration's Iran policy, says author Michael Klare. Competitors China, India and Japan have all tapped into Iranian resources, but US firms still do not have access. While the US government may have evidence to support their claims over Iran's nuclear capabilities, Klare warns that Washington used such an excuse in Iraq. These geopolitical oil concerns, he says, will likely make Iran the next target for the US. (TomDispatch)


Crude Politics: the United States, China and the Race for Oil Security (April 1, 2005)

The need for oil security has shaped historical events such as Pearl Harbor, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and other foreign interventions. The Atlantic Monthly contends China's increasingly common oil deals with "rogue states" such as Iran pose a new challenge to US economic power. This article and map demonstrate the competing interests between the US and China, warning that the two countries could come to blowsif the cost and demand for oil continue to increase.

Why Wolfowitz? (March 17, 2005)

The tradition of the US choosing the World Bank President has allowed US corporations to have privileged access to developing countries, and the US has constantly fought efforts to democratize the world institution in order to maintain global economic power. Jim Vallette of the Institute for Policy Studies demonstrates that Paul Wolfowitz, the Bush administration's latest choice for the top spot, is steeped in blood and oiland will only further increase US control over oil reserves. (TomPaine)

Green Imperialism: Wolfowitz, Wars and the Wearing Down of Sovereign States (March 17, 2005)

The World Bank, the main organizer of development funds, can make or break nations and US President George Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as the Bank's President signals yet another move of US strategic interest. This Common Dreams author believes the World Bank is an indispensable tool of foreign policy that this administration wants to employ to the fullest extent to break the sovereign will of the third world, by withholding aid to countries that fail to align themselves with US policy.

Playing the Democracy Card (March 17, 2005)

Author Dilip Hiro draws upon examples of US involvement in the Middle East from the 1930s to the present, demonstrating that the US promotes democracy only for economic, military or strategic interestssuch as oil or presence of US military bases. The obvious double standard, "blatant myopia"in Hiro's terms, parallels past US foreign policy in Central and South America as well. (TomDispatch)

A Game As Old As Empire (February 16, 2005)

In an AlterNet interview, John Perkins declares that Washington's perpetual desire to control oil resources led the US to intervene in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and also caused the 9/11 attacks. Pointing out that several US corporations beat out countries on the world's largest economies list, Perkins laments that Washington has gone against the principles of democracy by overtaking foreign oil industries. Oil is a curse to the world he says, yet too few US citizens understand how or why.

The Spy Who Billed Me (January/February 2005)

To cut costs and fill rising demands, US intelligence agencies have increasingly outsourced jobs to private companies—and could devote nearly 50% of intelligence spending to these contractors in 2005, says Mother Jones. This growing trend worries the 9/11 commission and other critics, who cite Halliburton contracts in Iraq and Lockheed Martin interrogators at Guantanamo as examples of unchecked measures in desperate need of more oversight.

The Axis of Oil (January 31, 2005)

Access to cheap oil has often dominated and given leverage to US international policy. But as Washington’s attention remains focused on the Middle East and the Iraq insurgency, India and China have crept up on traditional US oil strongholds worldwide. This In These Times article warns of an inevitable “clash� as China and India let their energy needs dictate ties with Russia as well as Iran and other countries with strained US relations.

US Should Mend Relations with Venezuela's Senators (January 10, 2005)

Venezuelan democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez disapproves of many “imperialist� US policies and has stated that President George Bush wants to overthrow him. Under the pretense of fighting terrorism and drug trafficking, three US senators visited Venezuela—the fourth largest oil provider for the US—and claimed that the “mutual economic relationship� must continue. (Reuters)

US Isn't Stingy It's Strategic (January 7, 2005)

The US leads global economic aid in terms of amount but falls dead last in terms of percentage of national income. This International Relations Center article says the reason is the growing strategic link between aid and the “war on terrorism,� as seen by economic aid to countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Poland (part of the coalition in Iraq) and Indonesia (a Muslim ally). But recipients be warned, says the author: US pledges likely end in broken promises.



Global Capitalism and American Empire (August 10, 2003)

This article gives a historic overview of the US informal empire, defined as US economic and cultural penetration into other countries, sustained by US political and military might. The US began institutionalizing its economic dominance after World War II. Through the Bretton Woods institutions, the WTO, the G7, and NAFTA, the US increased its dominance by promoting neoliberal economic policies. But in order to keep its economic authority, the US will have to police the global social order. The author argues that such enforcement will prove difficult since, unsurprisingly, foreign populations do not show direct popular loyalty? to the US. (Alternatives)

The Economics of Empire (May 2003)

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund, dominated by the US, impose neoliberal economic policies on much of the developing world, with disastrous results for poorer countries. Meanwhile, wealthy countries hypocritically violate their professed free trade? principles when it suits them to do so. (Harper's


African Oil: A Priority for US National Security and African Development (January 25, 2002)

This report by the African Oil Policy Initiative Group recommends that the US Congress and the Administration should declare the Gulf of Guinea an area of Vital Interest? to the US? It calls for US military cooperation in sub-Saharan Africa to protect US investments in the region.



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