The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up On Empire

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Whitney via,

The main architect of Washington’s plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski’s article in The American Interest titled “Towards a Global Realignment” has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extent US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia. Brzezinski, who was the main proponent of this idea and who drew up the blueprint for imperial expansion in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, has done an about-face and called for a dramatic revising of the strategy. Here’s an excerpt from the article in the AI:

As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture.


Five basic verities regarding the emerging redistribution of global political power and the violent political awakening in the Middle East are signaling the coming of a new global realignment.


The first of these verities is that the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.”


(Toward a Global Realignment, Zbigniew Brzezinski, The American Interest)

Repeat: The US is “no longer the globally imperial power.” Compare this assessment to a statement Brzezinski made years earlier in Chessboard when he claimed the US was ” the world’s paramount power.”

“…The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world’s paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power.” (“The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives,” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997, p. xiii)

Here’s more from the article in the AI:

“The fact is that there has never been a truly “dominant” global power until the emergence of America on the world scene….. The decisive new global reality was the appearance on the world scene of America as simultaneously the richest and militarily the most powerful player. During the latter part of the 20th century no other power even came close. That era is now ending.” (AI)

But why is “that era is now ending”? What’s changed since 1997 when Brzezinski referred to the US as the “world’s paramount power”?

Brzezinski points to the rise of Russia and China, the weakness of Europe and the “violent political awakening among post-colonial Muslims” as the proximate causes of this sudden reversal. His comments on Islam are particularly instructive in that he provides a rational explanation for terrorism rather than the typical government boilerplate about “hating our freedoms.” To his credit, Brzezinski sees the outbreak of terror as the “welling up of historical grievances” (from “deeply felt sense of injustice”) not as the mindless violence of fanatical psychopaths.

Naturally, in a short 1,500-word article, Brzezniski can’t cover all the challenges (or threats) the US might face in the future. But it’s clear that what he’s most worried about is the strengthening of economic, political and military ties between Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and the other Central Asian states. This is his main area of concern, in fact, he even anticipated this problem in 1997 when he wrote Chessboard. Here’s what he said:

“Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America’s status as a global power.” (p.55)


“…To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” (p.40)

“…prevent collusion…among the vassals.” That says it all, doesn’t it?

The Obama administration’s reckless foreign policy, particularly the toppling of governments in Libya and Ukraine, has greatly accelerated the rate at which these anti-American coalitions have formed. In other words, Washington’s enemies have emerged in response to Washington’s behavior. Obama can only blame himself.

Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin has responded to the growing threat of regional instability and the placing of NATO forces on Russia’s borders by strengthening alliances with countries on Russia’s perimeter and across the Middle East. At the same time, Putin and his colleagues in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have established an alternate banking system (BRICS Bank and AIIB) that will eventually challenge the dollar-dominated system that is the source of US global power. This is why Brzezinski has done a quick 180 and abandoned the plan for US hegemony; it is because he is concerned about the dangers of a non-dollar-based system arising among the developing and unaligned countries that would replace the western Central Bank oligopoly. If that happens, then the US will lose its stranglehold on the global economy and the extortionist system whereby fishwrap greenbacks are exchanged for valuable goods and services will come to an end.

Unfortunately, Brzezinski’s more cautious approach is not likely to be followed by presidential-favorite Hillary Clinton who is a firm believer in imperial expansion through force of arms. It was Clinton who first introduced “pivot” to the strategic lexicon in a speech she gave in 2010 titled “America’s Pacific Century”. Here’s an excerpt from the speech that appeared in Foreign Policy magazine:

“As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia-Pacific region…


Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology…..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia…


The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia…and our investment opportunities in Asia’s dynamic markets.”

(“America’s Pacific Century”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton”, Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)

Compare Clinton’s speech to comments Brzezinski made in Chessboard 14 years earlier:

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… (p.30)….. Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. ….About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s GNP and about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.” (p.31)

The strategic objectives are identical, the only difference is that Brzezinski has made a course correction based on changing circumstances and the growing resistance to US bullying, domination and sanctions. We have not yet reached the tipping point for US primacy, but that day is fast approaching and Brzezinski knows it.

In contrast, Clinton is still fully-committed to expanding US hegemony across Asia. She doesn’t understand the risks this poses for the country or the world. She’s going to persist with the interventions until the US war-making juggernaut is stopped dead-in-its-tracks which, judging by her hyperbolic rhetoric, will probably happen some time in her first term.

Brzezinski presents a rational but self-serving plan to climb-down, minimize future conflicts, avoid a nuclear conflagration and preserve the global order. (aka–The “dollar system”) But will bloodthirsty Hillary follow his advice?

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Yars Revenge's picture

"But will bloodthirsty Hillary follow his advice?"

Correction, will TRUMP follow his advice? 

And the answer: yes, thank goodness

O C Sure's picture



I am finding the "sponsored stories" more interesting than the Z.


cheka's picture

what a load of crap

china is no enemy, nor competitor.  anyone that doubts that should google china most favored

and it that's not enough (although it is plenty), google the bailouts from last drama -- frbny funneled lots of frn their way

Stackers's picture

This is what scares me about Hillary the most. She still thinks in 1990's American-global power dynamics that would lead to WW-III in current shifting power structures.

eforce's picture

America will likely go through the same shake up Russia did in the 90s, but under the management of Trump.

The PRC will also imo, as all states must be democratic before we can have world government.

Manthong's picture

“Obama can only blame himself.”

Well, at least he has Obamacare as a trophy legacy item.

leanux's picture
leanux (not verified) Manthong Aug 26, 2016 9:24 PM

The current conflict with Russia has nothing to do with Empire.

beemasters's picture

They really just don't know what they are doing apart from sounding like experts.

weburke's picture

world war one was a war between three cousins.

but you think it was this or that.

Déjà view's picture

Monroe Doctrine and southern border issues should keep them busy in coming years.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Déjà view Aug 27, 2016 2:09 AM

It is bad form to keep playing after your chess opponent has resigned a quarter century ago.  Seriously, if the globalist's globalist call it quits and begs for every other one to do so also, then maybe we should all just "get along".  Take a hint Bilderberg, CFR?

sleigher's picture

Is this like "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?"

fockewulf190's picture

"Is this like "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?"

They are going to pull the Alien card out of the hat before that happens.  It will be the globalists last chance.  Wait for it.

Tarzan's picture

This fool brought us Obama, need I say more?  Ok, just a little more, he was Carters foreign policy brain....

Brzezinski Backs Obama

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Obama is clearly more effective and has the upper hand. He has a sense of what is historically relevant and what is needed from the United States in relationship to the world."

"Clinton's foreign policy approach is "very conventional," he added. "I don't think the country needs to go back to what we had eight years ago."


Barack Obama and Zbigniew Brzezinski - Obama's Real Motives

Brzezinsky, for those who do not remember, was last prominent as Jimmy Carter's chief advisor - proving himself as the "Leftist Ultra Hawk" and "Doctor Strangelove" of geopolitics. He is also founder of the Trilateral Comission - an organization which seeks to weld American and European mega-corporate interests together for purposes of global corporate domination. He has published many books boldly outlining his plans in this regard (always with a touch of warm and newspeak-style euphemisms to give domination a feel of being "for the good of the people"). At the very core of these plans, however, is the one immovable and total obsession of Brzezinsky - the destruction of Russia.

How odd it should have seemed to the press, that Obama - often thought of as an "advocate of peace" - should go on to choose "Ultra Hawk" Brzezinsky as both his economic AND foreign policy advisor? No one has ever occupied TWO advisorial positions to any presidential candidate! Why so much influence of just one person? But the press was asleep. The press miraculously failed to notice also that Brzezinsky had ALSO been Obama's mentor at Columbia university (he is a preofessor there), and again when word came that Brzezinsky reportedly admitted having chosen Obama as far back as Obama's stay at Occidental College.

To even a casual observer of Brzezinsky, it is immediately evident that Brzezinsky's book "Second Chance" is a blueprint for Obama's run for the White House. Once you have read this book, you will better understand the real purpose of the all-out drive to get Obama into the White House... and who is really dictating what is typed into Obama's teleprompter.

dogbreath's picture

ITarzan,  good post.   I think its just a feint though.

auricle's picture

The human species is split in two; those that have photographic memory and those that do not. Of the photographic memory group, less than 10% of society, micro dosing LSD by the military is what has created the global culture we experience today. The military finds the best of the best in terms of photographic memory, combined with the 'you get it' test and voila, the likes of Brzezinski, kissinger have a 50 year impact on US policy. 

TheReplacement's picture

Just three cousins of three cousins all being financed by the same family of banks?

Families will squabble.

Millions will die.

Banks will get paid.

Rinse and repeat.

hxc's picture

They're good at that, at least. Even republican "conservatives" will say Obama sounds smart.

August's picture

Well... no harm, no foul.  I guess.

Right, Zbig?

Fractal Parasite's picture

Brzezinski the mastermind:

Brzezinski leading the Mujahedin in Afghanistan, 1979:

Secretary Clinton: We created the Mujahedin with Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia.

Brzezinski's "Grand Chess Board" (pdf)

tuetenueggel's picture

Question to Radio EREWAN:

Do you have to be a moron to become president of the US ?

answer from radio Erewan:

No, its no advantage, but it is quite normal. see Bush jr. and Obongo. 

GRDguy's picture

Russia was a live-test study for Harvard; to be taught and used again and again.

PrometeyBezkrilov's picture

It could be the case and I see it's happening. The differense would be if the new American elites are going to disclose the way the crowd-elitarian system is run. Kremlin made it public and avalable to everyone, this is the only reason why all the attempts to stir up a colour revolution in Russia have miserably failed.

HowdyDoody's picture

It's a trap. The new plan is to destroy from within as they have done the US.

HopefulCynic's picture

Democratic? That is alaugh, the Left has a better stronghold in totalitarian nations and dictatorships. The Left creates the ideal circumstances for domination, it eliminates identity, individualism, free thinking, culture, morality which are necessary qualities for the subservient collective. Sure they speak of Democracy, but they don't want it. if the Us had Democracy, there would be no gay marriage, abortions, feminism, and socialism in the US. If you believe that your minority led representative Republic is Democratic, you have a lot of information to gather, it is not a true Republic either it is more like a Federal Representative Republic. But it sure as hell the US is not a Democratic Republic, not by a long shot. There have not been many Democracies in history nor many true Republics, just more of the same tyrannical and authoritarian crap. 

gatorengineer's picture

Ok, No one on the hedge was smart enough to see the point.  The point is that they have converted ole Ziggy to globalism.  Possibly standing over his bed with a feather pillow in their hands....

The Amerikka first doctorine is what the globalist percieve as enemy number one.  If Trump were the real deal that would be one of his major tag lines..... 

joeyman9's picture

More like ol Ziggy has converted us to globalism donchathink?  (NAFTA, WTO, TPP, TTIP)

gatorengineer's picture

NAFTA, WTO were about crony capitalism, unless you believe that there has truly been a coherent plan for 30 plus years..............  TPP, TPIP, are globalism....  You could argue that Globalism is an extreme form of crony capitalism, evolved to full blown Oligarchical Facism.......

TheVillageIdiot's picture

Hillary the most scary. WWIII. Shifting dynamic currents.


Rearranged a few words. Its a little clearer that way.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

You can take the hillbilly out of the trailer park but you cannot take the trailer park out of the hillbilly.

NoDecaf's picture

Our first overture to Russia and China should be to throw Brzezinski in jail.

UnschooledAustrianEconomist's picture

Naah, don't waste any time or ressources on putting that motherfucker in jail. Keep it short.

Infocat's picture

Stop Trolling, all non western nations are enemies.

Crash Overide's picture

Oh the poor sad cries as the chess board crumbles in the hands of those who think the world is to be played.

It's an old story but spoiler alert if you haven't heard it...










Rome eventually burns.

researchfix's picture

The chessboard began to tilt 2 Olympics ago, when Georgia was led to attack. Since then there were only bad news for the US chess team. And I like the Russian/Chinese plan to throw them from the Asian continent and keep them out.

Griffin's picture

I think that the main reason for the failure of the "new world order" idea to materialise is poor planning, poor material to work with, hardly any intelligent ideology to support it.

Being greedy and evil isn't enough, it takes more than that to build a empire that lasts.

I guess this painting by John Martin could be a good picture of the current state of affairs.

It could be Soros, representing the super rich elites, sitting on top of a huge bubble. The towers behind him are the big banks and surrounding them is the whole of mankind, who have somehow managed to become slaves to this unfortunate bunch..


Infocat's picture

Nothing extraordinary, after all this is no professionel publication, just a blog after all!

lakecity55's picture

Trumpster is a businessman. There is a whole lotta business in Eurasia.

Hitlary just wants to blow stuff up.

fleur de lis's picture

Zbig Brzrzinzkzi belongs in the same insane asylum as Soros.

He is in no position to give advice to anyone after all the damage he has done.

He couldn't build a sand castle.

All he can do is get DC morons to destroy things and get people killed.

Now that there's an election around the corner he's angling for another overpaid .gov job, hoping that DC is still jam packed full of psychopaths looking for a consultant.

ack's picture

Nah. It's more basic. His kids are telling him his grandchildren want to LIVE. Not forced into some underground bunker with a bunch of psychopaths and sociopaths. And he's tryna to untangle his snarls before he dies so his grandkids aren't punished for HIS transgressions. Tick-tock.  

froze25's picture

You can tell a lot from someone by the relationship they have with their children. How there children behave is also telling. 

Ms No's picture

I disagree that he is making decisions over concern for any Grandchildren.  He is a psychopath and if anything he probably torments and molests those kids.  ZBig is cold as ice.  Think of them like sharks.  Sharks don't care about their Grandchildren either.  Sometimes your reactive Narcissistic personality disorders (Hillary) can tie their ego to their children but many of them don't give one shit about their kids either.  This bastard might be charming when he want's but I assure you that neither him or Kissinger have any human empathy, none. 

fleur de lis's picture

Zbig doesn't give a damn about his grandchildren.

And his own children aren't much different, they're just not as clever.

Look at that dingbat daughter of his on TV.

Has she ever been really smart?

She's good at glaring to look stern.

If she were unconnected she would only be a secretary.


She might not even be that smart.

His son is with some think tank.

That's where all the connected kids go to get overpaid jobs for nothing because they are connected to overpaid .gov schemers.

Zbig be Zbig.

Always trying to get into the game.

That's all power is to him -- a game.

He said so himself -- the world is a chessboard -- isn't that a game?

And he gets to use all of us as pawns while he and his sleazy .gov friends call themselves kings and queens.

There's always another war just waiting to be engineered.

For some reason the big dogs have kicked him out of the pack but he is always groveling to get back in the game.

He can't be at peace. 

He just can't.

So he will spend the remaining days of his life angling for another turn on the carnage and violence merry-go-round.



The Gun Is Good's picture

Z. should be drawn and quartered along with the rest of 'em. Another foreign national who has had too much influence on our nation's policy (a la Kissinger).

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) fleur de lis Aug 26, 2016 9:53 PM

He needs to endorse Donald J. Trump and condem Hillary's destruction of Libya and Syria.

fleur de lis's picture

Like all the rest of them, Zig is a sniveling weasel who is hedging his bets on who wins.

If he thought for sure Trump would win he would have endorsed him months ago.

Zig doesn't care who wins.

He wants back in the game. 

Old Doctor's picture

Z. Brzrzinzkzi may be feeling death will come soon. After all, he's 88 years old. Maybe he is trying to rewrite his legacy like Greenspan. Maybe Zig wants to be remembered as a 'patriotic statesman' instead of a warmonger. His policies have killed mutiple millions of people since 1980 and he is partly responsible for turning the world into the mess we are now living in. 

Unfortunately he no longer has the power or influence he once did so he will be ignored. Thanks to him the NeoCons are now driving the bus. The Constitutionalist Officer Corp has been purged from the Pentagon thru forced early retirements. Langley is off the leash. Will a change of heart from an 88 year old man stop this madness? He should be arrested and tried for war crimes before it's too late. Kissinger, Rockefeller and GH Bush should also be held accountable. The World Court is the best option.

When the US economy collapses and the country goes into rapid and deadly decline all of the world ...including our 'friends' will celebrate. The US will get no help. China will offer financial assistance but with terms. The IMF clowns will scatter like cockroaches. Ditto for the World Bank. They will go into fingerpointing and the US will be the scapegoat. Hillary is the big threat, not Russia or China