In the US, How Do We Nip World War III in the Bud?

No one enters politics with the intention of destroying humanity. However, when a country is hijacked by private arms companies, world peace becomes a tradable commodity for capital gain. Now that US students are struggling to stop their country from provoking World War III, they shouldn’t have to do it alone.
May 20, 2024
Chen Ping
Researcher at the China Institute of Fudan University
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One of the major causes of the incessant wars in the world today is the privatization of the United States arms industry. The interests of this industry have bought and paid for the bipartisan Congress, fostering global conflicts to profit from war. Their earnings have been so substantial that the U.S.’s repeated failures in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Afghanistan have not triggered any self-corrective measures. Instead, these failures have intensified efforts to promote color revolutions worldwide. NATO’s eastward expansion disrupts the strategic parity between nuclear powers established during the Cold War, pushing the world to the brink of World War III and potential nuclear annihilation, with little regard for the destruction of Earth and humanity. The first step towards realizing the Chinese President’s vision of a community with a shared future for mankind is to dismantle the economic system that fuels American wars.

The U.S. war industry is propped up by five foundational pillars:

Firstly, it operates under private ownership, primarily by the arms industry.

Secondly, the development and acquisition of weapons are dictated by non-market prices set by the U.S. government, particularly the Pentagon.

Thirdly, there exists a revolving door between U.S. government officials and lobbying groups, who, during their tenure, advocate for military budgets benefiting arms corporations. In turn, upon leaving office, they receive substantial financial rewards from these companies.

Fourthly, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the U.S. government plays a pivotal role in shaping the information war, distorting truths about the origins and impacts of wars. It manipulates global news media to sway public opinion in favor of the war industry and influences democratic processes in other nations, effectively aligning their policies with the interests of U.S. war enterprises.

Fifthly, the United States leverages its control over international institutions such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. This enables U.S. domestic laws to supersede international regulations, establishing and upholding a “rules-based international order” that serves the interests of the U.S. war industry.

On the other hand, the financial oligarchy derived from the U.S. war industry controls the rating agencies in the financial market. These agencies give high credit ratings to arms companies and U.S. Treasury bonds that support the arms industry, while assigning low ratings to competitors and the livelihood industries of developing countries. They also depress the credit ratings of countries producing energy, food, and raw materials, creating significant leverage for the U.S. war industry. This ensures that even in the event of a military failure, the U.S. continues to reap high profits, making the entire world, including American citizens, bear the enormous costs of war.

At this moment, the student movement supporting the Palestinian people is awakening Americans and exposing the war profits of the U.S. arms industry. This movement is demanding that the American University Foundation divest from the Israeli arms industry, beyond mere moral criticism. It inspires us to fight the American war business similarly and to save the global community. We call on governments and civil society organizations worldwide, deeply affected by the U.S. war business, to unite and launch an international campaign against it. Our proposed actions are as follows:

First, a coalition of countries should propose a motion in the United Nations Security Council calling for the nationalization of the United States arms industry and the payment of armament expenditures from the government budget. This would force the U.S. government to prioritize domestic welfare over foreign wars and weaken the economic foundation of its war business. While the U.S. will likely veto this motion in the Security Council, the proposal should then be submitted directly to the UN General Assembly. If approved by a two-thirds majority, this would shift the governing rules and regulations from a U.S.-centric model to one based on the United Nations.

Second, if the U.S. refuses to implement the proposal or fails to pay its dues to the U.N., a majority of U.N. member states could consider relocating the headquarters and main offices of the U.N., the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) out of the U.S., leaving only branches to engage with U.S. politics. The current distribution of major United Nations agencies in the United States and Western Europe no longer reflects the new pluralistic global landscape. It is proposed that the new U.N. headquarters be located in Asia, with Shanghai as the ideal location, and additional branches in Africa and Latin America, to update the international order and better represent the entire world.

Third, led by the BRICS Bank and in collaboration with the central banks of countries with international reserve currencies, establish a new international financial rating agency to assess risk areas. This agency would provide competitive market ratings for municipal bonds issued by U.S. arms companies and state governments that support the arms industry. Insurance companies in China, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America could determine appropriate risk premiums. For instance, China’s financial regulatory authorities could impose export controls on Chinese products and restrict exports of strategic goods to U.S. states that support the arms industry. They could also require additional geopolitical insurance on exports of essential goods, effectively acting as an export tariff. The additional costs would ultimately be borne by U.S. consumers in those states, putting pressure on domestic U.S. politics. This pressure could encourage the rise of leaders like Nixon or Trump, creating economic space for a shift from global hegemony to traditional isolationism. Such a shift might lead the U.S. to retreat from NATO and relinquish its hegemony over Latin America.

Fourth, establish an advisory network against the business of war. Create a Wikipedia-like online institution, the “Anti-War Encyclopedia,” in major anti-war movement countries. This platform would be funded by the government and operated by civil society organizations. It would collect and categorize information, including but not limited to the following:

(a) Document the wars of expansion and overseas conflicts waged by the U.S. since its founding, highlighting instances of racial and cultural genocide (e.g., against Native Americans), the economic and demographic costs (Civil War, both World Wars, post-World War II conflicts), and the changes in domestic demographics and political structures (e.g., Chinese Exclusion Acts long after the construction of the Continental Railroad).

(b) Disclose war appropriations and economic sanctions bills led by U.S. Congress members, including the political contributions behind them and the network of lobbies employed by arms companies. Provide U.S. public information to assist financial regulators in China and other countries in downgrading financial ratings in the legislators’ districts, imposing export controls, increasing insurance premiums, and sanctioning the politicians behind U.S. arms dealers. This information could foster cooperation with the U.S. student movement, urging university foundations to divest from arms companies and expanding the movement from a humanitarian cause supporting the Palestinian people to a national campaign against World War III and nuclear war.

(c) Establish an “Anti-War International Think Tank” online to collect and popularize renowned anti-war works, such as John Maynard Keynes’s “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” and Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” along with notable figures and events opposing the Vietnam War. Highlight the heroic deeds of current student movements in the U.S. and globally, counter the racist narratives created by war-business-controlled media, promote educational reforms in mainstream institutions in the U.S. and the West, and train a new generation of professors and students dedicated to humanitarian missions. Launch an international anti-war movement involving economists, scientists, litterateurs, and educators.

Fifth, the crux of opposing the U.S. war business is to shift the U.S.-dominated global pattern, propelled by multi-level cooperation among China, Russia, Islamic countries, and nations of the South. China should expedite the construction of its domestic economic cycle, foster exchanges with Belt and Road Initiative countries, deepen economic ties with Russia and the Middle East, and accelerate the de dollarization in international trade. A new system for global commodity trading needs to be established to effectively counter U.S. sanctions and blockades against Chinese firms. It is crucial to educate our youth about the costs of decoupling from and competing with the U.S. arms industry, to accelerate the relocation of coastal industry inland, and to enhance the resilience of domestic markets to withstand the threat of nuclear war and triumph in the financial and economic confrontation with the U.S.

Finally, I would like to clarify my background: I am an experimental physicist specializing in nuclear fusion at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a theoretical physicist studying economic complexity at the University of Texas at Austin. I am not affiliated with any political party in China or the United States, and I have consistently voiced my opposition to the war industry. I was born in Chongqing, China, amidst the air raids of World War II, and have since lived and worked in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, California—cities that are focal points for scientific education and potential targets in nuclear strategies.

It would be difficult to find an American economist more acutely aware of the dangers posed by the U.S. arms industry worldwide, or a Chinese economist more deeply understanding of how the U.S. political and economic framework fuels this industry. At eighty years old, I refuse to lead a life detached from these critical realities. I am concerned for my descendants and friends in the United States and am even more troubled by the future of our global community. Despite efforts by the FBI and the financial news oligarchy to silence dissenting voices, the internet has empowered the youth to awaken and mobilize. As an elder statesman in this fight, I would like to stand with the young students to ignite the Anti War-Business Global Movement(ATWBGM)!


Chen Ping
Researcher at the China Institute of Fudan University
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