Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday while commenting on the US military’s new National Defense Strategy unveiled by Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday.
Unveiling the defense strategy, Mattis said the United States is switching its priority to countering Chinese and Russian military might after years of focusing on the so-called “War on Terror,” which was launched following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.
The Pentagon chief warned of “growing threats” from Russia and China, saying the US military’s advantages over the two countries have eroded in recent years.
‘War on Terror served US imperialism’
“The bogus ‘War on Terror’ which served US strategic interests by targeting and destroying governments that refused to buckle under to US dictates has reached its limits and is no longer serving its purpose of containing Russia and China, the two nations that the US most fears as potential threats to continued US global hegemony,” Professor Etler said.
“The ‘War on Terror’ served as a rational to spread US imperialism's tentacles throughout the world when both Russia and China were relatively weak and could not be construed as credible threats. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Socialist Bloc and Communism, Russophobic hysteria could no longer be used to justify the Military-Industrial Complex’s bloated budget and US imperialism's global juggernaut,” he added.
“China was still comparatively weak and the hope was that it could be subverted internally by a variety of means ranging from the spread of neo-liberal ideology among the political and economic elite, the fanning of separatist sentiments along China's periphery (i.e. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang) and the emergence of a corrupt, opportunistic stratum within the Communist Party of China that could be suborned by US inducements to betray China's independence,” he stated.
“The rise of Putin in Russia and Xi Jinping in China dashed US hopes of maintaining its unipolar power. Putin resisted the US/NATO push to neuter Russia by placing pro-Western regimes and NATO forces on its eastern and southern flanks,” Etler said.
"The plan was for pro-Western ‘Atlantisists’ within the Russian elite to replace Putin with a willing stooge who would play ball with Washington and Brussels and forsake Russia's independence of action and sovereignty as a willing vassal of Uncle Sam. Xi Jinping also cleaned house in China, purging the Communist Party of corrupt elements, waging an assault on pro-Western neo-liberals and clamping down of CIA sponsored separatists, while asserting Chinese sovereignty along its periphery,” he noted.
“The Russia intervention in Syria and China's move to consolidate its international influence through the deployment of its Belt and Road Initiative turned the tables on Washington and placed it on the defensive. Hence the Empire's strategy of spreading chaos as a means to destabilize potential adversaries has failed miserably,” the commentator said.
‘War on Terror was a War of Terror’
Professor Etler said, “In other words, the ‘War on Terror’ which in reality was a ‘War of Terror’ against the world's people has failed as a strategy to enforce US global hegemony. The new assessment as stated in the Pentagon report is that, ‘China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within the system by exploiting its benefits while simultaneously undercutting its principles and 'rules of the road.’”
“The US ‘War of Terrorism’ against the people of the world has thus for all intents been lost by the resistance of both Russia and China, although skirmishes will continue as a secondary objective,” he pointed out.
“The new imperialist strategy is to once again directly target both Russia and China as arch enemies. This new strategy will be employed irrespective of whatever political tendency holds power in Washington. It is in essence the final battle between the old and the new global political and economic orders,” the scholar concluded.