24.06.2024 Author: Veniamin Popov

Is the US on the brink of civil war?

Is the US on the brink of civil war

For decades, the US government has supported wars, insurgencies, covert operations and the overthrow of unfriendly governments abroad. Today, pundits are wondering whether the era of the “American Century” has come to an end.

Many Americans are now turning to Civil War narratives for information as concerns grow about potential civil unrest. A number of leading scholars are debating whether the US is on the path to a new civil conflict and whether the end of the era of the ‘American Century’ is truly at hand.

The deadly export democracy of the United States

This is the focus of William Blum’s book “America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy. The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else. America has spent trillions of dollars on its wars, killing and displacing millions of people.

According to research by Brown University’s Watson Institute, the US has spent a total of $8 trillion in the 20-year war on terrorism: some 4.5 million people have died and 38 million people have become refugees as a result of this “war”. (This does not include those left disabled, psychologically traumatised or otherwise affected).

A long list of books, studies, magazines, journals, newspaper articles, films, including documentaries, confirm that America is constantly at war, mostly with imaginary and artificially created enemies all over the world. The war with Iraq under the pretext of searching for weapons of mass destruction, the war in Afghanistan under the pretext of establishing democracy. Now it is support for Israel, which is engaged in genocide against the Palestinians, stealing natural resources from African and Asian countries, fomenting conflicts, etc., etc., etc.

Decades of neglect of ordinary Americans suffering from the arbitrary actions of the authorities may be reaching a boiling point – hence the debate about whether the US is on the brink of civil war.

Americans themselves realise something is wrong at home

On America’s serious domestic problems, Nicholas Kristof writes in his article “America’s greatest threat is America itself” and Jack Weinstein in his article “America’s greatest threat to national security”. According to the latter, “major international disinformation campaigns targeting Americans are the most serious threat to the security of our republic”.

For decades, the American ruling class has turned a blind eye to a wide range of domestic problems, including inflation, rising poverty rates, homelessness, unemployment, health care, mass murder, drugs, policing and racism.

America funds and supports illegal wars around the world and leaves insufficient resources for human development at home. Obviously, it would take many volumes to list all American misadventures: the list of support for atrocities in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Latin America is endless. How many academics, journalists, politicians and writers have lost their jobs because of the United States’ criticism of Israel and unconditional support for it, yet it is precisely these policies that have led to genocide.

There has been much published recently that America is on the verge of revolution and disintegration. The recent confrontation between the state of Texas and the federal government has reached a serious point, and some experts warn that a similar situation could happen in any American state.

Signs of a cultural divide

The Jerusalem Post of 9 June quotes findings by the Pew Research Centre that the divide in American society, mainly between Biden and Trump supporters, is approaching the form of a culture war. This applies to many issues – gun ownership, the legacy of black slavery, immigration, gender identity, the criminal justice system, the separation of religion and state, feminism, etc.

Joe Biden supporters (83%) say the increase in the number of guns in the US plays a negative role. An overwhelming majority of Trump supporters (85%) say Americans’ rights to own guns should be protected.

8 in 10 Biden supporters say white people enjoy advantages that black people don’t have. Just 22% of Trump supporters agree.

86% of Biden voters said religion should be kept separate from government policy, while only 56% of Trump supporters said the same.

9 in 10 Trump supporters said gender is determined at birth, while 60% of Biden supporters said gender can be different from birth.

60% of Biden supporters support legalising same-sex marriage, while only 11% of Trump supporters agree.

About the same ratio applies to abortion – 88% of Biden supporters said it should be legal.

Nearly 60% of Trump supporters say society would be better off if people prioritised marriage and family, compared with 19% of Biden supporters.

Deporting illegal immigrants is supported by 63% of Trump supporters and only 11% of Biden supporters.

Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yaşar Yakış recently noted that all this gives the impression that “a lot of things are rotten in American society”: commenting on the recent trials of Trump and Biden’s son Hunter, he concludes that both US presidential candidates are showing signs of weakness.

The tense atmosphere in US public life is exacerbated by the possibility of economic turmoil: on 11 June, Bloomberg reported on the expected increase in the number of US regional bank failures due to “a very high concentration of troubled commercial real estate loans”.

Washington playing a losing game

The American press is increasingly writing about the miscalculations of American foreign policy, noting that America has long ceased to lead the world: Attempts by the US to expand its presence are meeting with serious resistance, prompting Washington to redouble its efforts “while much of the world recoils. It’s a losing game, and the Americans will have to risk more and spend more to keep playing it.

The magazine “Foreign Affairs” published a major article on 11 June entitled “America is losing the Arab world”. This process of weakening American influence is also characteristic of other parts of the world. Even newspapers loyal to the Democrats recognise that China and Russia are becoming increasingly attractive in the Global South against the backdrop of a clumsy, haphazard American foreign policy. This was best captured by CNN in “Weakened Western leaders gather in Italy to discuss an unruly world”: the G7 comprises the largest industrialised countries, but its leaders are politically weak and the problems of Ukraine and Gaza remain unresolved.

Bret Stephens, a columnist for the arch-democratic New York Times, drew an intermediate conclusion for the moment, noting that three things are needed to strengthen America’s role: first, to solve the Gaza problem; second, to win in Ukraine, by organising an air corridor to Kiev in the spirit of Harry Truman’s Berlin airlift; third, to impose an asylum ban on migrants. Since all this is unrealistic, “a victory for America and for Biden’s place in history may be his decision not to run”.


Veniamin POPOV, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Candidate of Historical Sciences, especially for online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

Related articles: