It doesn’t matter whether it’s the US’ brand of “democracy” for export or the national-specific model of government that strengthens non-Western states, the theoretical concept behind this system has been weaponized by military intelligence agencies worldwide in a back-and-forth competition to change or retain the “deep state” status quo.
Most people are familiar with US’ clandestine and militant export of “democracy” across the globe in order to remove uncompliant leaders and promote its enduring geostrategic interest to retain its own unipolar hegemony, but comparatively fewer have ever thought about how this very same system is actually a method of control no matter what iteration it ultimately takes. This isn’t a judgement but a fact – democracy is really a tool that’s expertly wielded by its “deep state” practitioners in order to retain the status quo in their states.
Whether this is “good” or “bad” depends on one’s perspective – most people in the Alternative-Media Community would argue that it’s the former so long as the country in question is protecting their independent policies from outside (US/Western/Gulf) interference and striving to construct the Multipolar World Order, while the Mainstream Media would of course see this as the latter by derogatorily framing it as a “managed democracy” or at worst a “dictatorship’. Along the same token, the Alternative-Media Community believes that the US is a fake democracy and practices an insincere iteration of this ideology, while the Mainstream Media extols it as the best model in the world.
Nevertheless, this article isn’t about arguing whether democracy is a good or bad system, or even rendering judgement on the variation that certain countries have chosen to implement, but to describe how the ideology itself has come to constitute the core of military intelligence operations across the world in carrying out long-term offensive and defensive missions.
The Four-Step Strategy
Military intelligence is almost always directed against foreign targets and there are multiple ways to describe the practice of this art, but the most relevant one is to draw attention to a four-step process that interestingly begins and ends with democracy. The first step is to develop concepts that can serve to widen societal divisions (second step) that provoke a crisis (third step) and allow for the implementation of reverse-engineered end game solutions (final step). While there are many theories that can catalyze this sequence and conclude it, regardless of whether they’re the same for fulfilling both roles or are different, democracy is the most effective for ‘killing two birds with one stone’.
Part of the universal appeal for democracy is that people believe that it’s the best way to hold decision makers accountable in ensuring that they fulfill their promises to increase the living standards for the general population and empower individuals to actualize their full potential. Democracy, however, is also the proverbial Pandora’s Box, and there’s no going back once the ideals of this theory have either been introduced or practiced in a society.
The Secret Ingredient Of Hybrid War
By its very nature, democracy is capable of widening societal divisions, especially in the identity-diverse and mostly post-colonial states of the “Global South” that are increasingly occupying a more significant geostrategic position in world affairs due to their location and economic potential, which satisfies the second step of military intelligence operations. Depending on the composition of the targeted country, which the US can become intimately aware of through big data social media analytics and a presumably de-facto covert revival of the brief Cold War-era “Project Camelot”, various Hybrid War scenarios can be hatched for bringing the state to crisis and weaponizing the consequent chaos in order to implement the reverse-engineered “solution” for normalizing the resultant systemic change.
Put plainly and in the context of the US’ militant proselytization of “democracy”, the ideal or some relevant variation thereof becomes appealing to the targeted population and eventually encourages or serves as a front for destabilizing societal divisions that eventually disrupt the status quo by catalyzing a crisis and paving the way for a regime change against the government. To visualize the process in its most naked conceptual terms:
⇒ SOCIETAL DIVISION/DISRUPTION ⇒
⇒ CRISIS ⇒
⇒ IMPLEMENTATION OF PREDETERMINED ‘SOLUTION’
Democracy is the US’ ideological weapon of choice because it allows for the management of “creative destruction” within the system that periodically allows the public to peacefully vent their frustrations by electorally recycling their civilian elites without interfering with their country’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (or “deep state”). This is advantageous from an external perspective of hegemony because it allows the US to indirectly retain control over its vassals, or when needed, manipulate the democratic process in order to “legally” install their public placeholder of preference.
Moldovan President Igor Dodon (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
There are times, however, when democracies fail to prevent the emergence of system-threatening elite, in which case the US instrumentalizes various “deep state” levers of pressure against the elected “revolutionary” in order to offset their planned changes just like it’s presently doing to Moldovan President Dodon. If the newly elected figure can’t be co-opted like Tsipras was or functionally neutralized like US-ally India is attempting to do to the newly elected Chinese-friendly communist government in Nepal prior to its official formation in what should be the next coming months, then it’ll either resort to carrying out a coup or launching a Hybrid War. Should that fail, then the direct military intervention of its “Lead From Behind” partners or even the US itself becomes possible per the Libyan model.
Having explained the external manipulation of democracy for offensive geostrategic and regime change ends by the US, it’s now time to discuss how it’s been used by countries for defensive purposes as well.
The Defensive Weaponization Of Democracy
Democracy is a means, not an end, and it’s become a tool for perpetuating the “deep state” status quo in keeping the permanent bureaucracy in power (and sometimes even the public one as well) while superficially or sincerely giving the citizenry a chance to hold certain decision makers to account in the hopes that they’ll eventually bend to the majority’s political will in carrying out policies that will ultimately benefit the people. As such, democracy becomes nothing more than a pressure valve in the most cynical sense for distracting the masses by indoctrinating them with the belief that this is the most effective means for actualizing real change while staving off any real systemic threat to the “deep state”.
Democracy or some variation thereof almost always remains the first and final step of this process, while the natural divisions that it creates (second step) are handled through the controlled “crisis” of elections (third step).
Like was mentioned at the beginning of the analysis, this could be interpreted as “good” if it prevents a violent and possibly externally supported minority from overthrowing an elected multipolar government or “bad” if it enables an unpopular public leader or “grey cardinal” (“dictator”) to remain in power contrary to the genuine will of the majority of the population, though it must be qualified that the latter state of affairs could be manipulated through foreign infowars in order to manage the masses’ perception to this end. Either way, the “creative destruction” inherent in democratic systems gives the “deep state” the best chance for controlling the citizenry in the most cost-effective manner, controversially limiting the pace of actual change in contravention of democracy’s original conceptual mission to let this process flow freely and according to the public’s will.
Offense vs. Defense
When the US supports groups relying on “democratic” slogans to overthrow the leadership of other democracies (whether Western like in Poland or national-specific such as in Syria), it’s counting on them to introduce another variant of democracy to “justify” their usurpation of power and create a smokescreen for carrying out a “deep state” purge afterwards to replace the prior decision makers with their own. Conversely, the defensive application of democracy is used to cycle out unpopular leaders and “safely” introduce new ideas into the governing apparatus that aren’t “revolutionary” enough to “rock the boat” and threaten the “deep state”, thus giving the public a means through which they can periodically provide constructive feedback and channel their frustrations by pointing the authorities in the direction that they need to go in order to retain the masses’ support.
The above-mentioned two examples represent the conclusion of military intelligence’s weaponization of democracy according to the offensive and defensive manifestations of the four-step sequence because it begins and ends with democracy itself, albeit sometimes “re-normalizing” the concept in the final phase depending on whether there is a visible (electoral) shift in the public elite. Like it was earlier remarked, the controlled nature of “deep state” elites managing “creative destruction” within their systems is contrary to the pure theoretical definition of democracy in allowing this process to freely unfold based on the public’s will. One should be careful to avoid attaching any judgement to this observation, however, because the proliferation of mass & social media, as well as the ease with which foreign forces can manipulate targeted citizenry abroad through these means, suggests that having certain “safeguards” might actually be a responsible move, though provided that it’s not abused.
The Trump Anomaly
With all of this in mind, Trump’s election was a real revolution because the same system-threatening development that occasionally occurs abroad in endangering the “deep state” actually took place within the US itself, and without any external meddling to boot. “The Kraken” is now trying to carry out changes within the same “democracy” that had hitherto assumed that it was immune from anything of the sort ever happening, which is why hostile “liberal-globalist” members of the “deep state” are activating levers of institutional pressure to counteract his changes just like what Trump’s Administration is ironically doing against Moldova’s Dodon. Even so, Trump is pragmatic enough not counterproductively inhibit the democratic execution of his desired vision by Congressional means and has thus worked with certain “deep state” figures when necessary, hence why his former Trotskyite ally Bannon backstabbed him in an unsuccessful bid to break what he truly believe was Trump’s “counterrevolutionary” Presidency.
There is nothing inherently “good” or “bad” about democracy, as such judgement calls are subjective, but one can objectively argue that the model itself is the most effective one for fulfilling military intelligence’s four-step mission, whether operationalized for offensive use abroad like the US does or defensive reasons at home such as how it’s employed by Iran. This, too, isn’t a “good” or “bad” thing, but is simply a fact of life that few people have become aware of because the existence of some sort of democratic motions is now taken for granted almost all across the world and has, to channel the fourth and final step of the military intelligence process, become “normalized”. This isn’t to say that the “solution” is to dilute democracy, or even that a “solution” is necessary at all, but just to draw attention to a little-known aspect of modern-day life that often eludes the notice of most political analysts and encourage readers to think outside the box in reconceptualizing the world around them.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare.