The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire

Counterpunch, By Mike Whitney, August 25

The main architect of Washington’s plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski’s article in The American Interest titled “Towards a Global Realignment” has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extent US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia. Brzezinski, who was the main proponent of this idea and who drew up the blueprint for imperial expansion in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, has done an about-face and called for a dramatic revising of the strategy. Here’s an excerpt from the article in the AI:

“As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture.

Five basic verities regarding the emerging redistribution of global political power and the violent political awakening in the Middle East are signaling the coming of a new global realignment.

The first of these verities is that the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.” (Toward a Global Realignment, Zbigniew Brzezinski, The American Interest)


Repeat: The US is “no longer the globally imperial power.” Compare this assessment to a statement Brzezinski made years earlier in Chessboard when he claimed the US was ” the world’s paramount power.”

“…The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world’s paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power.” (“The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives,” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997, p. xiii)

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Raja

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  • If Mr Brzezinski were consistent, he would vote then for the Green Party, which has correctly said, all along, that the effort to maintain hegemony by means of military force was mistaken.

  • What a shift! Brzezinski is the spokesman for very powerful interests. Ultimately (or maybe hopefully), it doesn’t matter who is elected, the conduct of foreign policy will be made well above their pay grade. From this timely shift on Brzezinski’s part, it seems we’re in for less bellicosity and gamesmanship and more cooperation.

    • This is not a timely shift. This realignment was entirely foreseeable, by Zbig and by anyone who hadn’t locked themselves into an response-driven analytical straitjacket or relied on the interpretations of someone who had.

      “It’s unclear that American exceptionalism will survive a multipolar networked age. I’m guessing it’s going to take a hell of a beating, at a minimum…” Some guy – 10 years ago.

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