A new type of warfare has sprung up in our era: transnational warfare. These are not wars between states; that was the old model: Germany attacks France, France takes Egypt, and so on. These, rather, are wars conducted only incidentally through states. And they present a serious threat to the future.
By now we’re all familiar with the four big transnational wars:
The War on Drugs
The War on Terror
The War on the Internet (Cybercrime)
The War on Cash
All four of these wars are being fought across borders… with just a polite hat tip to those borders as they step over. More importantly, these wars were begun with little or no explanation of how they were modifying the Westphalian order of states that has been the world model since 1648. They were well-sold to the public of course, with the typical and always-effective applications of fear, but how these wars would modify the world order and what might come of it was very little discussed.
A Brief Overview
Briefly, here are background facts on the big four:
The War on Drugs
The American “war on drugs” began in the early 20th century and has steadily escalated to the point where the Drug Policy Alliance estimates that it spends $51 billion per year, with absolutely disastrous results. It was sold initially as a quasi-racist and anti-immigrant measure, then escalated in the Nixon presidency as a sop to the conservative half of the country. (See FMP #11 for details.)
The war on drugs was the program that cleared the way for subsequent implementations of transnational warfare.
The War on Terror
This war, as we all know, took form after the 9/11 tragedy (though it was hardly new at that time). The costs of this war are well into the trillions of dollars and has a death toll in the hundreds of thousands. And of course, it is continuing as it moves through the Middle East and Africa.
The War on the Internet
This is a newer one, and the fear is ginned up every time some large entity gets hacked. (I will refrain from inserting a discussion on how the government-corporate alliance makes cyber-attacks inevitable.)
The War on Cash
Switzerland, Denmark, and other countries are now charging interest on deposits at their banks. France and Italy have banned any transaction over €1,000 from using physical cash; Spain has banned transactions over €2,500; and Uruguay has banned transactions over US$5,000. Furthermore, several countries have said they want to move to a cashless society.
Beyond this, the OECD, the US, and others are trying very hard to shut down offshore commerce.
Again very briefly, here are the reasons why Western governments require transnational warfare:
The sovereignty trap. Nation-state rule is being undermined by something I call a “sovereignty trap.” It works like this:
The system of sovereign states requires the operators of nation states to respect borders and not to cross them without publicly declaring their reasons.
By hiding in a state that can’t or won’t hurt them, criminal groups are insulated from the other states of the world. Al Qaeda for example hid for a long time in Sudan, then in Afghanistan. National borders can provide excellent protection for criminal groups.
Certain non-state organizations are able to create and support corrupt states, essentially renting their infrastructure and hiding behind their sovereignty. This strategy was held in check under a bipolar US/Soviet world, but it has since become viable. This is why the US, UK, and other large powers require transnational warfare; without it, they’d have to reconsider the system of sovereign states.
In addition to this, each of the big four carries its own reasons.
The war on drugs thrives on inertia. It is far too large for any politician to cut. Furthermore, it is surrounded by childish but effective rhetoric. (“So, you want children to have access to cocaine?”) And the US program, while clearly the largest, is far from alone.
The war on terror keeps militaries and intel groups rich and powerful. They are keeping US police departments rich as well. And at this point, a good deal of Western culture is focused around the war on terror; breaking the expectations of millions of people at once would call far more into question.
Uncontrolled information is bad for obedience. Thus the war on the Internet. Once minds get unfiltered information, thoughtless obedience tends to decline. At the same time, modern political systems are built on an assumption of near-100% obedience. Most Internet traffic has by now been routed into government-aligned systems like Facebook, and regulations to drive out noncompliant outlets are circulating in capital cities.
The war on cash protects governments from fiscal collapse. If the fiat currencies of the major nations collapse (as they must eventually), readily available cash and other untraceable currencies would make governance in its current form impossible. Therefore, they must be eliminated or controlled.
Beyond all this, the entire industrial model of civilization is fading away and must be maintained contrary to nature. You can find details on this in issue #65 of my subscription newsletter.