Fortress America Returns?

Dale Amon may have hit on the goal of US foreign policy under the Bush Administration. It isn’t about empire – it’s about disentangling the US from places like the Middle East, Europe, and Korea. In Mr. Amon’s words: "the return to Fortress America."

Could this be the overall plan? It is possible, and it does have its advantages. However, I don’t see disengagement as being possible. In an age of terrorism all the missile shields and naval forces in the world cannot prevent conflict from striking directly at this nation. However much one might like for the US to disengage itself from the world, the results of that would likely only decrease our security.

3 thoughts on “Fortress America Returns?

  1. “Fortress America” is becoming less of an option for us thanks to global market forces driven by the greed of our corporations seeking ever-cheaper labor for integral manufactured goods in the third world, and often cases, our political enemies.

    We are already dependent on foreign-made garments and footwear, and despite half-hearted tariffs imposed upon steel, we are probably no more than five years away from seeing the death of the US steel industry. Even American agriculture can be expected to become increasingly irrelevant as superior soil conditions in South America and Asia will eventually yield better crops at a lower price than what America can produce. The ramifications for losing these industries put a substantial liability on our national defense prospects and if the steel industry does collapse and the agriculture industry is crippled, any gains we make with our attainment of Iraqi oil fields will look inconsequential by comparison.

    Therein lies the problem. The nation’s increasingly bend-over-backwards-to-accommodate-business-even-at-the expense-of -the-collective-good trade policy has made “maximizing the efficiency of production” priority #1. Who gets stripped of their livelihood in the process has never been a concern to the policy’s supporters, but at wartime, we should perhaps be asking ourselves if the nation’s ability to cover its own defense needs trumps the narrow-minded tunnelvision of our trade policy which is being crafted by politicians who can’t see past the dollar signs in the eyes of their corporate contributors.

    War with China is a very plausible, if not likely, scenario, in the 21st century. We are currently placing more and more of our manufacturing capacity into Chinese borders, which could prove to disastrous in the event of war given the centrallization of the world’s production economy in China. They could impose economic sanctions against America and our soldiers would be naked and unarmed.

    There’s more to national security than oil. The sooner conservatives realize this, the sooner they can get past the idea that domination of the world’s oil supplies will not in itself generate a “Fortress America” when we are moving in the exact opposite direction on other resources.

  2. “Pre-emption may be the worst of all possible foreign policies, until you consider the alternatives.”

    Not angering the entire international community?

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