Back in the 90s the international news media had us terrified of rogue states. The Berlin Wall came down and with it fell the Soviet Empire, and all of a sudden a new fear was unleashed. Russia’s Black Sea fleet was pillaged and sold off for scrap, and no one really knew where all the nuclear warheads had gone. It wasn’t only the nukes that had gone walkabouts; the Soviet Union’s top physicists and nuclear scientists were on the dole and weren’t seriously going to hang about until someone put food on their tables. They went looking for new paymasters and found them in countries like Iran and North Korea. The fear had always been that nations that were unknown quantities would get ‘the bomb,’ and now that they have it we have entered the age of the rogue state.
Without the ballast of the USSR and Warsaw Pact to maintain the east-west balance of power the United States’ imperialist ambitions were unfettered. In just over a hundred years the US had progressed from continental genocide with the Monroe Doctrine and the 1889 defeat of the Sioux to the Wolfowitz Doctrine and global domination theory. It turns out, after a decade and a half of continual war, that the rogue state was a manufactured panic; a bogeyman of US foreign policy behind which the real threat lurked – the US’ own military-industrial complex and its designs on global corporatist hegemony.
Since at least the end of the Second World War the bureaucratic machinery within the United States has been on the offensive, cynically employing the rhetoric of ideology to legitimise its own imperialism. Its first great standoff in this project was against the Soviet Union, but some while before the Cold War. In 1918 the States’ intervened in the Russian Civil War, and ever since this defeat was – as it still is – a continual thorn in the side of Russia. Russian weakness since 1991 has opened up a bi-hemispherical market for US expansion, and it certainly hasn’t missed an opportunity to intervene in conflicts where it sees a strategic end. More than this, it has used non-state terrorism to launch a global policy of state-sponsored terrorism, leading to the present crisis of unending global war.
Regardless of America’s fearmongering over rogue states there is a serious rogue state problem in international politics, and that is the United States itself. Throughout its growing list of campaigns in the Middle East the US has systematically flouted international and human rights law, and has made it a matter of policy to antagonise Putin’s Russia, North Korea, Iran, and every other country that resists freedom and democracy (code for US domination). Not one of the US’ objectives has been met since 9/11, and this is because these objectives of defeating terrorism, stabilising nation states, and spreading democracy were never part of the plan. They were only ever the pretext – the casus belli. US foreign policy has roundly destabilised otherwise stable states, reducing many to chaos and terrorised by mercenary armies which operate beyond any law. This rogue state has made the world a very dangerous place.