6/28/14 World War 1: its roots and 100 year results, part 1

"People who shut their eyes to reality invite their own destruction, anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster."
James Baldwin 1924-1987

Note how NYT deflects the nature of the imperialist war for global hegemony -- which incidentally "also featured the initial step of the United States as a global power" - turning the world destabilizing effects into causes of US-led wars today to maintain the global domination won through imperialist wars. Plus its revealing omission of the world-shaking 1917
Bolshevik revolution that has driven US-European geostrategy even after Putin signed the SU's dissolution - before it became a forbidden US capitalist rival:
World War 1 brought fundamental changes to the world
World War I could be said to have begun in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, by a young nationalist seeking a greater Serbia. The four and a half years that followed, as the war spread throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, reshaped the modern world in fundamental ways.
The war destroyed kings, kaisers, czars and sultans; it demolished empires... gave independence to nations like Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries and created new nations in the Middle East with often arbitrary borders; it brought about major cultural changes,...It also featured the initial step of the United States as a global power....the war still casts a long shadow, refracted through what can now seem the inevitability of World War II and our tumultuous modern history. This is also, after all, the 75th anniversary of the start of that war and the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The end of the Cold War was in a sense a return to the end of World War I, restoring sovereignty to the countries of Eastern Europe, one reason they are so eager to defend it now. Analysts wonder if the period of American and European supremacy itself is fading, given the rise of China and the return of traditional nationalism, not just in Russia but in the many euroskeptic voters in France, Britain and Denmark.... Some analysts compare Germany after the war to Russia now, arguing that just as Germany rejected the “Carthaginian peace” at the end of World War I, so Russia is now rejecting the “settlement” of the Cold War, seeing it as unjust, chafing over its defeat and prompting a new Russian aggressiveness and irredentism.
Some question whether the lessons of 1914 or of 1939 are more valid today. Do we heed only the lessons of 1939, when restraint was costly, and miss the lessons of 1914, when restraint could have avoided the war?
Some see a continuing struggle between Germany and Russia for mastery of Europe, a struggle that marked both world wars and continues today, not just in Ukraine, where a century ago its people fought on both sides. Others see World War I, as it began in Sarajevo, as the third Balkan War, while the post-Cold War collapse of Yugoslavia model...continues to present unresolved difficulties for Europe in Bosnia, Kosovo and beyond. Similar tensions persist in Northern Ireland...
Others point to the dangers of declining powers faced with rising ones, considering both China and the Middle East, where the Syrian civil war and the advance of Islamic militants toward Baghdad are ripping up the colonial borders drawn up in the Sykes-Picot agreement by the French and British, with Russian agreement, in 1916, the middle of the war, when the Ottoman Empire was cracking. The carnage at Gallipoli helped shape the national identity of the inheritor state, modern Turkey, let alone Australia...the Balfour Declaration, which drew British support behind the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, was signed during the war in November 1917....

imperialist roots of world wars and subsequent global destruction for world rule:
Part 1: Iran and Imperialism's “Great Game” of Empire, by Larry Everest
Part 1 begins in the mid-19th century with Iran a prime target of rival powers in imperialism’s “great game” for global dominance...

... World War 1: Dividing the Region and the Spoil
During World War 1 Iran was again a battleground of rival imperialist powers. It had declared neutrality in the war, but British forces quickly invaded southern Iran to guard Britain’s oil lifeline and there was heavy fighting in Iran. The Western powers—the British and French in particular—claimed they were fighting World War 1 to free the Middle East from the yoke of feudal, authoritarian Ottoman rule. In fact, they were fighting to determine which European power would control the Middle East—for its strategic location and its vast oil potential. 
While promising independence to the region’s peoples, the British, French, and Russians were secretly negotiating to carve up the Middle East between them.  The world only knows this because in 1917 Lenin’s Bolsheviks overthrew Russia’s Czar and published the Czar’s secret treaties, including the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, which the revolutionaries discovered in the Foreign Ministry archives. Russia’s revolutionary government repudiated Sykes-Picot—which had given Russia Constantinople (now Istanbul); land on either side of the Bosphorus Straits; and large chunks of the Turkish provinces bordering Russia. The new revolutionary government also annulled all Czarist claims on Iran, encouraged Iran to resist British domination, and pledged friendship to Iran and support for its independence and territorial integrity. 
The British stepped up their intervention in Iran, resolving “to stop at all costs the spread of communism to Iran, and to use [Iran] as a front-line base in its anti-Bolshevik campaign,” including by aiding Russian counter-revolutionaries in northern Iran. (Saikal, p. 17) In 1919 Britain imposed the Anglo-Persian Agreement on Iran, giving Britain exclusive control over "Iran's army, treasury, transport system and communications network.” To secure this power, the British “imposed martial law and began ruling by fiat." (Kinzer, p. 39) Beginning in 1921, the British supported a series of military coups by the ruthless Reza Khan, who ultimately declared himself the new Shah in 1926. This began the Pahlavi dynasty where Reza Shah, as a puppet of British imperialism, carried out brutal repression against any rebellion from among the Iranian people.
The U.S. Fights for a Share of the Oil Spoils
Because up to this point, the United States had not been a major player in the Middle East, many in the region saw the U.S. as reform-minded without an imperialist agenda... heightened by President Woodrow Wilson’s “14 Points” declaration which followed the war and verbally upheld the right of self-determination for nations.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes a fierce imperialist rivalry for oil and power was brewing.  After World War 1, fears rose of a global oil shortage. In 1920 the U.S. vigorously protested the monopolization of Middle East oil by Britain and France, and a huge struggle between rival oil cartels (and their respective states) ensued.
By1928 the British were forced to give U.S. firms a cut of Iraqi oil, thanks to America’s rising global power and the leverage exerted by U.S. firms: Standard Oil (now Exxon) supplied half of Britain’s oil. Oil historian John Blair described the resulting “Red Line” agreement as “an outstanding example of a restricted combination for the control of a large portion of the world’s supply by a group of companies which together dominate the world market for this commodity.” (Everest, pp. 38-39)...

"Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused."
President Woodrow Wilson (unpublished paper, 1907, quoted in "The Rising American Empire," by Richard Warner Van Alstyne, 1960)


Hegemonic Quicksand
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: American Primacy and Its Discontents http://www.kas.de/upload/dokumente/brzezinski.pdf
Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power
By 1991, following the disintegration first of the Soviet bloc and then of the Soviet Union itself, the United States was left standing tall as the only global super-power. Not only the 20th but even the 21st century seemed destined to be the American centuries. But that super-optimism did not last long.... the financial catastrophe of 2008 jolted America and much of the West – into a sudden recognition of its systemic vulnerability... the East was demonstrating a surprising capacity for economic growth and technological innovation. That prompted new anxiety about the future, including even about America’s status as the leading world power...

"Prevent the Re-Emergence of a New Rival" Defense Planning Guidance for the Fiscal Years 1994-1999 (excerpts)
March 8, 1992 NYT, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE1D7173AF93BA35750C0A...
This Defense Planning guidance addresses the fundamentally new situation which has been created by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the disintegration of the internal as well as the external empire, and the discrediting of Communism as an ideology with global pretensions and influence. The new international environment has also been shaped by the victory of the United States and its coalition allies over Iraqi aggression -- the first post-cold-war conflict and a defining event in U.S. global leadership. In addition to these two victories, there has been a less visible one, the integration of Germany and Japan into a U.S.-led system of collective security and the creation of a democratic "zone of peace....
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia.

There are three additional aspects to this objective:
First, the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.
Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order.
Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role. An effective reconstitution capability is important here, since it implies that a potential rival could not hope to quickly or easily gain a predominant military position in the world.[...]

On This Day: Dissolution of Soviet Union Declared
Dec. 8, 1991, the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine declared the death of the Soviet Union and formed a Commonwealth of Independent States.
“The U.S.S.R. Is Ceasing Its Existence”
The three leaders, Boris Yeltsin of Russia, Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine and Stanislav Shushkevich of Belarus, met secretly for two days... At the conclusion of the meeting, they released a statement proclaiming the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). “As founding states of the U.S.S.R...we declare the U.S.S.R. is ceasing its existence as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality"... Born out of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution after a brutal civil war...the Soviet Union that came into existence formally Dec. 30, 1922 eventually expanded to occupy one-sixth of the Earth's surface, gobbling up the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia during World War II, as well as sizable chunks of prewar Poland and Romania....
The three also agreed to establish unified control over the Soviet Union's 27,000 nuclear warheads, currently in the three Slavic republics and Kazakhstan. and to coordinate foreign relations and economic activity... "a unified command of a common military-strategic space," coordination of foreign policy among member states, common transportation and communication systems, and a common economic and customs union...to coordinate radical economic reforms aimed at creating a free-market system and free enterprise in place of Communist central planning...
The dramatic move by the three republics, which account for 70 percent of the Soviet Union's 290 million population and 80 percent of its industrial output, has far-reaching constitutional implications that are likely to take some time to unfold....The dominant Soviet republic has a population of 147.4 million, controls most of the Soviet Union's natural resources and stretches across the entire Eurasian land mass, from the Baltic Sea to the Sea of Japan...
Western governments will deal with individual republics...White House spokesman said Russian President Boris Yeltsin discussed the new commonwealth with President Bush today in a 30-minute telephone conversation...Secretary of State James A. Baker III said in a TV interview "the Soviet Union as we've known it no longer exists," but warned there is still a risk of civil war amid the ruins of the Soviet empire...

Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age
By Robert M. Gates, Foreign Affairs , January/February 2009
The United States cannot take its current dominance for granted and needs to invest in the programs, platforms, and personnel that will ensure that dominance's persistence.... Other nations may be unwilling to challenge the United States fighter to fighter, ship to ship, tank to tank. But they are developing the disruptive means to blunt the impact of U.S. power, narrow the United States' military options, and deny the U.S. military freedom of movement and action....The United States' ability to deal with future threats will depend on its performance in current conflicts. To be blunt, to fail -- or to be seen to fail -- in either Iraq or Afghanistan would be a disastrous blow to U.S. credibility, both among friends and allies and among potential adversaries.[...]

The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century
by Thomas P. M. Barnett, http://search.barnesandnoble.com/used/results.aspx?usedpagetype=usedcpslisting&TTL=The+Pentagon's+New+Map&CNT=Thomas+P.+M.+Barnett
Barnett, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, takes a global perspective that integrates political, economic and military elements in a model for the post-September 11 world... argues that terrorism and globalization have combined to end the great-power model of war developed over 400 years, since the Thirty Years War. Instead, he divides the world along binary lines. An increasingly expanding "Functioning Core" of economically developed, politically stable states integrated into a global system is juxtaposed to a "Non-Integrating Gap," the most likely source of threats to U.S. and international security. The "gap" incorporates Andean South America, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and much of southwest Asia. According to Barnett, these regions are dangerous because they are not yet integrated into globalism's "core." Until that process is complete, they will continue to lash out... the "non-integrating gap" will give rise to instability and terrorists threats in the future. This is the central idea upon which he rests his discussion of U.S. global military strategy. He argues the U.S. must aggressively use its military to integrate dysfunctional states into the core, as he believes we are doing in Iraq ...though the mission requires a significant reordering of the military...