chapter  2
20 Pages

American insecurities and the ontopolitics of US pharmacotic wars


International insecurity today stems from many sources. Some of these, such as global climate change or the unanticipated effects of genetically modifi ed organisms (GMOs), are novel and unprecedented, while others (global pandemics or impending fossil fuel shortages, for instance) are familiar in kind if not in scale. One source of growing insecurity around the world, however, is both familiar and unprecedented: the already overwhelming and still-increasing military preponderance of the United States.1 With some four percent of the world’s population, the United States currently spends approximately as much on preparing for and fi ghting wars as the rest of the world combined. Its conventional armed forces are already an order of magnitude more powerful than those of any currently imaginable foe, and its nuclear arsenal is so superior to those of any possible combination of adversaries that, for the fi rst time in at least four decades, one country is now arguably on the brink of attaining a usable nuclear first-strike capability.2 This combination of essentially limitless destructive capability and strategic invulnerability will render the American armed forces capable of unilaterally annihilating any or all signifi cant counterforce and countervalue targets-indeed, human life itself-anywhere on the planet without fear of remotely commensurate military retaliation. American presidents, who exercise unique command authority over this arsenal, will thus soon wield the power to summon the angel of death itself, the undiscriminating Destroyer Angel of the Bible (lammal’ak hammashit in Hebrew or olothreuon in Greek) who, once unleashed, cannot be called back, not even by God.3