The End of Pax Americana?

Written by Adam English
Posted April 1, 2022

While the U.S. sits comfortably distant from any potential foes, a startling new set of numbers was just released by the United Nations.

We are now seeing the most armed conflicts across the globe since the end of World War II.

In many ways, it marks the end of an era.

Pax Americana has long been used to describe the relative peace we've seen over the last fifty years.

Many terrible wars were fought, especially through the policy of communist containment. Of that there is certainly no doubt.

But the world has long since moved on, it is arming up, and instability is spreading.

Pax Americana may very well be dissolving and we're already being forced to adapt to this new, deadly reality.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Peacebuilding Commission on Wednesday that some two billion people live in conflict areas today.

A total of 84 million people were forced to flee their homes this year, meaning that figure doesn't even include the four million refugees from Ukraine or the 6.5 million internally displaced citizens.

This year Guterres expects at least 274 million will need humanitarian assistance, a 17% increase over 2021, costing $41 billion.

56 state-based conflicts last year fueled an increase in global defense spending to nearly $2 trillion.

These are terribly dire numbers. They'll only get worse.

Most troubling is the rapid rise of new world powers. Russia is being humiliated in many ways in Ukraine, but its failures are not affecting its total forces and it will continue to arm itself through its robust domestic defense industry.

China continues to heavily invest in weapons that are specifically designed to target U.S. forces and capabilities, all while ramping up its belligerence in the Pacific.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., the recent budget proposal from the Biden administration shows that it is not getting the picture.

National security is at the very end of the 185-page document, seemingly hinting at its priority.

The Department of Defense budget proposal calls for $773 billion. That's $30 billion more than what Congress approved last year. However, the President's goals for that money are spread across the board.

Money would be shifted from procurement of equipment to development, and new priorities like climate change and global health are being added, which will inevitably compete for funding.

It adheres to a misguided idea that we will continue to be able to stay at a geopolitical arm's distance, or continue to play whack-a-mole with poorly armed terrorist organizations.

It calls repeatedly for “integrated deterrence” but it's basically just a talking point, backed with little to no language about what that means or how to implement it as a cohesive policy.

In short, the Biden administration is acting like Pax Americana is chugging along just like always in spite of a literal world of evidence.

However, there is a part of the defense planning and budget that Biden dare not touch.

A shadowy corner that has driven virtually all major defense tech breakthroughs since World War II, through all these years of relative peace, and will continue on without political meddling.

A big part of defense spending goes to what is collectively called the “Black Budget.”

More than $80 billion is funneled into it every year, and from there into a handful of cutting-edge companies.

Companies my friend and colleague Jason Simpkins has followed for years.

Congress is fiercely protective of these programs. So is the Department of Defense. After all, these are the crown jewels of American dominance.

Jason just released a new report on one of these companies that is working on a revolution with “Black Budget” funding. One that is poised to bleed over into the rest of society.

I can hardly do it justice, so I'll defer to Jason and his sources on this one.

In the meantime, I'll just be glad that bad politics won't be interfering with the most effective corner of defense spending and development the world has ever seen.

Take care,

adam english sig

Adam English
Editor, Outsider Club

follow basic @AdamEnglishOC on Twitter

Adam's editorial talents and analysis drew the attention of senior editors at Outsider Club, which he joined in mid-2012. While he has acquired years of hands-on experience in the editorial room by working side by side with ex-brokers, options floor traders, and financial advisors, he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by retail investors after starting at the ground floor in the financial publishing field. For more on Adam, check out his editor's page

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