Alternative Power Centers Running the World. The Role of Think Tanks, Foundations, Councils, NGOs …
In every period of history, there have been secondary governmental structures parallel to primary governments. These alternative power groups, which are also called “deep states” in our time, sometimes act alongside the government, supporting it but sometimes they raise difficulties for the government. In Ancient Rome, the Senate was comprised of nobles and balanced the imperial reign of the Emperors. In the United Kingdom, the Privy Council, which acts above the monarch, has been the highest level of administration since the 12th century.
There are examples of such structures in holy books as well; Pharaoh’s close circle by whom he was advised about his decisions and the Queen of Sheba’s administrators that she consulted about military matters, are examples of this. Throughout history many secret or open societies possessed these traits. There was a period when the Knights Templars or the Rosicrucians, who had the power of sanction over kings or even the Vatican, were influential. With the coming of the 18th century, these parallel governments started to wield constitutional authorities.
Following the Cold War, a new model was developed where think tanks came into prominence. It appears that the 21st century will be a period where governments will be directed by think tanks and non-governmental organizations, which are their field branches.
In fact, the CIA is now known to be almost controlled by Stratfor and the Rand Corporation. The UK’s Chatham House or its little American brother, the Council on Foreign Relations, have become the places where the foreign policies of nations are determined. Economic policies are shaped by rating corporations like Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s.
These so-called independent and non-profit organizations are self-authorized. They attained power without any accountability. The Heritage Foundation, which is considered as one of the ten most effective think tanks of the world, develops policies for the Republican governments of the USA. With its Washington, Brussels, Moscow, Beirut, Beijing and New Delhi offices, the Carnegie Endowment is in a position as a worldwide center of influence. Generating ideas was not the only thing think tanks were doing. Along with the Open Society Foundation in particular, many think tanks have expanded their operations to the field through non-governmental organizations. They exerted actual pressure on governments. The first activity of OTPOR, the field group supported by foundations as well as the CIA, was to overthrow Milosevic’s government in Serbia. After that, countries like Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Moldova experienced so-called public movements named “color revolutions”. The Arab Spring which started in Tunisia and spread quickly had a similar foundation.
Through these rebellions, the ideas generated by various think tanks were put into practice in the field. Think tanks also became supranational powers in terms of military capacity. For example, the Atlantic Council became the headquarters where the military strategies of NATO, the organization that has 28 member nations, is determined. NATO, which was initially a defensive pact, is now proceeding to become an offensive power under the Atlantic Council’s guidance. Recently, under the pretense of defense against Russia, NATO has started to deploy offensive forces in the Black Sea and Ukraine regions. In this new military framework, NATO has established new bases in Eastern Europe and redeployed thousands of soldiers. Ariel Cohen from the Atlantic Council, the architect of this new strategy, explained the necessity of NATO’s endeavors to assume control in the Black Sea with the following words:
“The Alliance must focus on a range of actions to address Russia’s rapidly escalating offensive posture in the Black Sea and protect its allies —including reinforcing air, naval, and ground assets; improving space capabilities; cyber security; reconnaissance; intelligence; and creating credible deterrence strategies.”
This aggressive attitude seems like it aims to transform the Black Sea region into a new area of conflict. This kind of mobilization policy will force Russia to take urgent measures, which in turn will turn the Black Sea into a region of tension, or maybe even into a region of hot conflict. In order to understand the influence of the Atlantic Council over the USA’s and NATO’s military policies, it will be enough to look at the key assignments President Obama made after he became the president in 2009. The Chairman of the Council, James Jones, became the National Security Advisor to President Obama. Council member Susan Rice became the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Richard Holbrooke became the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Council member Anne-Marie Slaughter was appointed as the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department. Chuck Hagel, who replaced Jones as the Council’s chairman, became the Secretary of Defense after four years.
After the Council’s policies replaced the policies of the US government institutions, civil wars broke out in Syria, Yemen and Ukraine. The intensity of the wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan escalated and ultimately, ISIS emerged. A coup attempt was carried out in Turkey. The list can go on for pages.
Today in Washington, D.C., a part of Massachusetts Avenue is called “Think Tank Row”. An unsupervised group of people, who act with ambiguous capacities and is subject to no accountability, has now become the center of world politics. Since these individuals operate with a ‘clash of civilizations’ mindset, they think that solutions can only be achieved through conflict, fragmentation, and causing general disturbance.
A large part of the problem is this flawed mentality. Such global governance can be restructured in a perfect way for the sake of cementing world peace, love and friendship. However, the fact that the aforementioned organizations’ mentality is focused on conflict and war documents that they do not consider it possible yet. Nonetheless, assuming that the power of the deep powers is self-contained can be deceptive; these organizations became successful and took control of many nations only because they look “invincible”.
However, in truth, those who shape their goals upon love and peace are always more powerful. Their ideals are bigger and their goals are righteous. Righteous goals will ultimately prevail. The important thing is that people of peace should unite and act in an alliance. Then those who believe that solutions can only be achieved through conflict will witness the absolute power of peace, change their perspective, and work towards making the world a better place.