Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Fentanyl Crisis is a Reverse Opium War

Just as an aside here is an excerpt from Unrestricted Warfare (page 42 in the original FBIS translation from 1999).  Note the reference to "drug warfare."  So are we experiencing "a reverse opium war?"  I think the subtitle in the article explains why someone would want to create a larger drug crisis in America.

Aside from what we have discussed above, we can point out a number of other means and methods used to fight a non-military war, some of which already exist and some of which may exist in the future. Such means and methods include psychological warfare (spreading rumors to intimidate the enemy and break down his will); smuggling warfare (throwing markets into confusion and attacking economic order); media warfare (manipulating what people see and hear in order to lead public opinion along); drug warfare (obtaining sudden and huge illicit profits by spreading disaster in other countries); network warfare (venturing out in secret and concealing one's identity in a type of warfare that is virtually impossible to guard against); technological warfare (creating monopolies by setting standards independently); fabrication warfare (presenting a counterfeit appearance of real strength before the eyes of the enemy); resources warfare (grabbing riches by plundering stores of resources); economic aid warfare (bestowing favor in the open and contriving to control matters in secret); cultural warfare (leading cultural trends along in order to assimilate those with different views); and international law warfare (seizing the earliest opportunity to set up regulations), etc., etc In addition, there are other types of non-military warfare which are too numerous to mention. In this age, when the plethora of new technologies can in turn give rise to a plethora of new means and methods of fighting war, (not to mention the cross-combining and creative use of these means and methods), it would simply be senseless and a waste of effort to list all of the means and methods one by one. 

And I cannot resist including this excerpt from page 87 which also includes reference to drugs but I think the entire spectrum of "non-military wars" it lists is pretty prescient for 1999:

Perhaps people already have no way of accurately pointing out when it first began that the principal actors starting wars were no longer only those sovereign states, but Japan's Shinrikyo, the Italian Mafia, extremist Muslim terrorist organizations, the Columbian or "Golden New Moon" drug cartel, underground figures with malicious intent, financiers who control large amounts of powerful funds, as well as psychologically unbalanced individuals who are fixed on a certain target, have obstinate personalities, and stubborn characters, all of whom can possibly become the creators of a military or non-military war.

Conclusion from the article:

So while the United States. continues to lose it’s geopolitical focus and wrestles with internal demons, the twenty-first century is tilting everyday away from the high flying Eagle and once more to the reawakened and rising Dragon of the East. To the degree that Fentanyl and opiates in general facilitate this process, it could be viewed as just another rhyme in the longue duree of ever oscillating rising and falling power.

The Fentanyl Crisis is a Reverse Opium War

If America sees its vigor sapped over time through addiction and domestic fractiousness, then it will be a much weaker challenge on the international stage.
The National Interest · by Greg R. Lawson · December 26, 2017
“History does not repeat itself. But it does rhyme,” is a famous quote that is often attributed to Mark Twain. Today, not only is history rhyming, but it is taking a deeply ironic turn while doing so.
One hundred and fifty years ago a two-millennia-old civilization in the East was hooked on opium and watched as its once perceived centrality in world affairs was eradicated by an upstart empire from the West upon which it was claimed that “Sun Never Sets.” Today, the inheritor of that empire’s tradition is being flooded by a synthetic opiate even as the old Eastern empire shakes off it’s century-plus torpor and seeks to unite the Eurasian landmass in a way that would have stunned that great geopolitical thinker, Sir Halford Mackinder.
We are now in a sort of reverse Opium War, except this time, it is the United States, not China, that is the victim.
Recall that at the dawn of the nineteenth century China was still the largest economy in the world. By the end of the century, it’s ruling Qing dynasty was on its last legs after being hooked on opium by the British Empire. It was subsequently defeated in a series of wars with the European powers, forced to open its ports to foreigners, and barely survived one of—if not the most—deadly civil war in human history: the Taiping Rebellion.
Yet, it was the Opium Wars that truly presaged what is now known as the “Century of Humiliation” in China. Not only would the final imperial dynasty soon fall but also a gravely weakened China would spend the first half of the twentieth century consumed by civil war. Then to add insult to even greater injury, China would find itself occupied by their assertive Asian neighbor, Japan. This vast humiliation only began to end when the Japanese were evicted from China at the end of World War II and Mao’s Communists, like the Chinese emperors of yesteryear, reunified China.
Fast forward a single generation and the new quasi emperor of China, Xi Jinping, seeks to ensconce the “China Dream” as the new guiding force for a proud nation while simultaneously and permanently laying the “Century of Humiliation” behind it. Much ink has been spilled on this rise, its implications for Asia, and the potential for the so-called “Thucydides Trap” to ensnare the current global power, America, and China, in a war.
What the foreign-policy cognoscenti have noted less often, however, is the deeply ironic twist of fate that we are witnessing every single day in America. The Opiate Crisis is very real. Every day nearly ninety Americans are dying due to an overdose on opioids. This problem is particularly problematic in the old American “Rust Belt” in the Midwest. Ohio, the state where this author lives, has beenparticularly hard hit with an estimated two hundred thousand Ohioans afflicted with this addiction. This has forced policymakers to scramble to fund lifesaving drugs and treatments for the addicted. Yet, it seems the crisis is overrunning all of these efforts. This is largely due not just to the opiate derived heroin, but also because of the synthetic opioid—Fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50-100 percent more potent than morphine, greatly addicting and far easier to overdose on. And today, the vast majority of Fentanyl coming into the United States comes from China.
While the Chinese government has taken some action to stem this massive flow, time will only be able to tell how successful it will be, and maybe, how successful China even wants it to be. After all, a nation that sees its vigor sapped over time through addiction and domestic fractiousness is a much weaker challenge on the international stage. Such a nation is much easier to be brushed aside by those seeking to claim their perceived rightful place in the global pecking order. Based upon history, China should know better than most.
So while the United States. continues to lose it’s geopolitical focus and wrestles with internal demons, the twenty-first century is tilting everyday away from the high flying Eagle and once more to the reawakened and rising Dragon of the East. To the degree that Fentanyl and opiates in general facilitate this process, it could be viewed as just another rhyme in the longue duree of ever oscillating rising and falling power.
Greg R. Lawson is a Contributing Analyst at Wikistrat, Inc., a geostrategic consulting firm. The views expressed in this article solely reflect those of the author.
Image: Firefighters in hazmat protection remove items from a vehicle in which several drug overdose victims were found, in addition to a powder believed to be fentanyl, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S., August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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