American strategists have struggled mightily against independent nationalism for decades as they constructed and maintained a worldwide system of indirect empire. This has meant propping up corrupt and self-interested local rulers who reliably carry out US orders, maintain regional systems favorable to US power and enrich themselves while diverting much-needed resources from domestic needs to serve the interests of wealthy, Western investors. To put down resistance both domestically and among potential regional rivals, these client regimes are given military and diplomatic assistance from the US that allows them to use any means available to maintain a favorable balance of power.***************
That two third world countries came together in direct defiance of US orders and undercut such a longstanding, key diplomatic effort is without precedent in this strategically crucial region, both revealing and contributing to the decline of US power.