One might say that the US is the last remaining imperialist power, behaving in the ways imperialist powers have historically behaved, from Babylon to Britain. An emphasis on force is characteristic of empire, as is a claim to exceptionalism. Force is necessary to maintain empire, and exceptionalism provides a rationalization for interfering in the affairs of others.
Let’s take a step back and consider some basic truths. For one, US geopolitical dominance is on its last legs, no longer economically sustainable by a debt-ridden, de-industrialized nation. For another, capitalism is on its last legs, with little room left for real capital growth on this finite planet. For better or worse, those have been the pillars of world order for at least the past half century: US ‘leadership’ and capitalist growth. As those pillars crumble, a new order will inevitably emerge, either by accident or by design.
The oligarchs who dictate US policy and who control the global financial system are well aware that a change of order is inevitable. They’ve made it clear what kind of order they want, and they’ve been preparing for it for many years. They want a multi-polar world, but they want strong central governance, not subject to a veto, and they want to be able to pull the strings from behind the curtain.
From this perspective, US behavior makes perfect sense. The bully behavior leads to the emergence of multi-polar structures, while at the same time providing a bargaining chip: “I’ll stop threatening nuclear war, if you’ll reform the UN according to my formula”.