To End Forever War, End the Dollar’s Global Dominance

In its laser focus on military restraint, the present debate about endless war overlooks the financial architecture of U.S. empire.

To keep Iraq amenable to a U.S. presence, the State Department turned to the United States’ “dollar power”—its vast control over the supply and distribution of the dollar, the global reserve currency—and threatened to cut off Iraq’s access to its Federal Reserve account, which would effectively paralyze the government’s ability to provide basic services. Faced with this threat, which according to one Baghdad official “would mean collapse for Iraq,” Iraqis have backed away from their call to banish U.S. troops. The American military looks set to remain in the country indefinitely.

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