In America’s weird empire, dependents call the shots. Soon we will be suffering he consequences.

by David C. Hendrickson, Responsible Statecraft

The alliance system of the United States is frequently called an empire, and for good reason. But it is a peculiar form of empire, in which the metropolitan center seems directed and ruled by the periphery. In the classic idea of empire, rule flowed from the top down. Not in this one.

This inversion is nowhere more evident than in the relationship between the United States and Israel. Biden responded to the October 7 attacks by giving Israel total support for its aim of destroying Hamas. The same pattern is apparent in policy toward Ukraine. For 18 months, the Biden administration did not dare to set limits on Ukraine’s war aims, though these anticipated, absurdly, total victory over Russia, with Vladimir Putin in the dock at the end.

Zelensky and Netanyahu shake hands in front of their respective flags

These certitudes, however, have begun to shake. Within the administration, there seems to have been a great awakening over the last few weeks that neither course is sustainable. The gist of recent reporting is as follows: the Ukrainians are losing the war and have to acknowledge that fact, better now than later. The Israelis are behaving barbarically and have got to be reined in, else our reputation in the world is ruined.

On the Ukraine front, there were two bombshells. One was an NBC story that painted a dire picture of the military situation and reported that U.S. and European diplomats were telling Ukraine of the need to restrict its aims. It’s too late in the day to hope for anything other than a stalemate, said one former administration official: “it’s time to do a deal.”

Read More