Podcast Show #35

The Boiling Frogs Presents Michael Sullivan

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Michael Sullivan discusses his book, the American Adventurism Abroad, on how the United States, over the past 60 years, encompassing both the Cold War and the “war on terror,” came to succeed the earlier European imperial powers as arbiter of the international economic system. He compares the current expansionist policies of the United States with those of earlier empires, and makes judgments about the outcome of those activities. He tells us how the two rubrics of “fighting communism” and “war against terrorism” are essentially cover stories for a policy of global power projection in pursuit of world hegemony. Professor Sullivan talks about American neo-colonialism in the Western Hemisphere during the era of gunboat diplomacy, how America’s hostile reactions to the 1979 events in Iran and Afghanistan drove the creation of America’s expanding Middle East, the not so clear identity and objectives of NATO today, and more.

msullivanMichael J. Sullivan III is Professor of History and Politics at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is the author of Measuring Global Values: The Ranking of 162 Countries, and Comparing State Polities: A Framework for Analyzing 100 Governments, and of articles on arms control and nuclear non-proliferation in journals such as International Organization, Journal of International Studies, and Strategic Digest. Professor Sullivan has received research grants or fellowships from the World Policy Institute, the Pew Foundation Glenmede Trust, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He is also winner of the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Here is our guest Michael Sullivan unplugged!

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Comments

  1. Very good information. Thanks! So many others try to put a spin on all this.

  2. Great interview again.

    Assuming that the U.S. military does eventually exhaust its finances and is forced to scale back, do you think that this will also carry over to other areas of U.S. interventions as well?

    (Other areas meaning covert proxy wars such as the kind Brzezinski and Reagan carried out, economic imperialism in the manner John Perkins describes it, etc.)

    You’d like to think it will, but I fear it may take much longer for that process to play itself out.

    It would be interesting to hear some expert opinions on this subject.

  3. Kingfisher says:

    “Assuming that the U.S. military does eventually exhaust its finances and is forced to scale back, do you think that this will also carry over to other areas of U.S. interventions as well?
    (Other areas meaning covert proxy wars such as the kind Brzezinski and Reagan carried out, economic imperialism in the manner John Perkins describes it, etc.)”

    @Silver7,

    The US has tried to bring stability to Afghanistan, and to bring Central Asia into its area of influence. As the US military withdraws from Afghanistan, the country will revert back to its historical role as a buffer state between empires and regional powers. This means a continuous state of conflict and instability as tribal groups and warlords compete for power. The different warlords and tribes will be backed by foreign powers in varying ways; Pakistan will have their guys, the Russian’s will have their own, so too Iran, India, Turkey, China, and the US.

    It is also likely the US will conduct covert action in Afghanistan for purposes of counterterrorism. The fear will be that Afghanistan will become an al-Qaeda sanctuary again. The aim will be to deny AQ a safe-haven and to keep them on the run. To do so the US can use various methods, ranging from secretly backing tribal groups and warlords to conducting special operations raids and drone strikes.

    This will all be significantly cheaper than current military operations in Afghanistan. Where it will differ from Reagan, is that Reagan sought to roll back the USSR in a bi-polar struggle. Reagan sought to “win”; in this era the US will seek to “contain” multiple powers.

    As far as the economic stuff goes, I’ve mentioned my thought about Perkins before; but I would submit that the US and its citizens are now on the receiving end of the global financial shaft this time.

    KF

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