Photo of FOB Rhino (Camp Rhino) in Afghanistan
Photo of FOB Rhino (Camp Rhino) in Afghanistan

When the Department of Defense issued its annual Real Property Inventory, Dmitry Orlov, an investigative reporter and author of The Five Stages of Collapse, was curious to see how the American empire was doing. To his astonishment, looking back as far as 1957, Orlov discovered that it is shrinking, declining sharply last year and continuing a trend of shrinkage going back for more than a decade:

The US may still have control of its domestic and territorial bases, but it has suffered huge losses of foreign military bases and acreage. Since reaching “peak foreign military bases” in 2004, the US now has just 64% of them — a loss of over a third in a decade! In the case of acreage the US retains 69% of its peak acreage in 2006, so it has lost 31% of its foreign military acreage — also close to a third. If you want to guess at what’s behind these numbers, you might want to look at them as the fallout from disastrous US foreign policy,

Orlov offers another possible reason: The cost of building a worldwide empire is now generating negative returns on investment thanks to the interest being charged on the debt incurred to build it. Regardless of the reason, says Orlov, “the trend is unmistakable,” and he predicts the shrinkage will continue over the next 20 years, noting that “the collapse does not have to be precipitous. It could be gradual, theoretically.” Orlov continued:

But a moment may arrive well before empire is all gone when the suspension of disbelief that is required to keep US government finances from cratering ceases to be achievable — regardless of the level of propaganda, market distortion, or US officials smiling, waving and lying in front of television cameras. Thus, we have two estimates. The first estimate is objective and based on US government’s own data: two decades or less. But we also have room for an estimate that is subjective yet bracketed: anywhere between later today and two decades (or less) from now.

Written by: BOB ADELMANN – continue at THE NEW AMERICAN


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