Vital Signs

Imperial Dusk

Whether it ends with a whimper or a bang, the American Empire is ending.  WikiLeaks shows that the empire can no longer control the dissemination of information.  Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen show it can no longer militarily defeat insurgencies.  Brazil, China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, and even Bolivia show it can no longer dictate the foreign or domestic policies of other countries.  Compared with previous empires—Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Mongol, Ottoman, and British—which spanned centuries, or the Soviet Union’s, which lasted 70 years, Washington’s will be remembered for being arguably the shortest-lived imperial misadventure in history.

Washington will lose the ability to project its power not only directly across the world but indirectly through Third World client states, particularly those in Latin America.  With no existing power—not Russia, China, India, Japan, or the European Union—capable of adequately replacing U.S. political, military, and economic assistance to sustain the governments of such states, an opportunity may emerge for indigenous nations in Mexico and Central America to regain their political independence.

The American Empire, however, is still formidable and will resist this as long as possible.

The U.S. government has approximately 6,000 military bases and/or warehouses located within...

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