February 07, 2019
A masked demonstrator wearing a detail of a 100 U.S. dollar bill
protests the government's plans to make a deal with the IMF
and increase the price of utilities such as gas and electricity
in Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 14, 2018.
Natacha Pisarenko | AP
recently highlighted by WikiLeaks,
serves as a reminder that the so-called
"independence" of such financial institutions as
The World Bank and IMF is an illusion
and that they are among the many "financial weapons"
regularly used by the U.S. government
to bend countries to its will...
The document, officially titled "Field Manual (FM) 3-05.130 - Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare" and originally written in September 2008, was recently highlighted by WikiLeaks on Twitter in light of recent events in Venezuela as well as the years-long, U.S.-led economic siege of that country through sanctions and other means of economic warfare.
Though the document has generated new interest in recent days, it had originally been released by WikiLeaks in December 2008 and has been described as the military's "regime change handbook."
This section in particular notes that the U.S. government applies,
...and specifically names the World Bank, IMF and The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as,
The manual also touts the "state manipulation of tax and interest rates" along with other "legal and bureaucratic measures" to "open, modify or close financial flows" and further states that the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) - which oversees U.S. sanctions on other nations, like Venezuela,
This section of the manual goes on to note that these financial weapons can be used by the U.S. military to create,
...and that such unconventional warfare campaigns are highly coordinated with the State Department and the Intelligence Community in determining,
The role of these "independent" international financial institutions as extensions of U.S. imperial power is elaborated elsewhere in the manual and several of these institutions are described in detail in an appendix to the manual titled "The Financial Instrument of National Power."
Notably, the World Bank and the IMF are listed as both Financial Instruments and Diplomatic Instruments of U.S. National Power as well as integral parts of what the manual calls the,
Furthermore, the manual states that the U.S. military,
...meaning that these
weapons are a regular feature of unconventional warfare campaigns
waged by the United States.
The document notes that the NSC,
In the case of the World
Bank, the institution is located in Washington and the
organization's president has always been a U.S. citizen
directly by the president of the United States. In the World Bank's
entire history, the institution's Board of Governors has never
rejected Washington's pick.
Malpass had famously
failed to foresee the destruction of his former employer during the
2008 financial crisis and is likely to limit World Bank loans to
China and to countries allied or allying with China, given his
well-established reputation as a China hawk.
Indeed, as the leaked unconventional warfare manual notes,
Furthermore, the U.S.
Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs banker and "foreclosure
king," Steve Mnuchin, functions as the World Bank's governor.
For instance, the IMF is also based in Washington and the U.S. is the company's largest shareholder - the largest by far, owning 17.46 percent of the institution - and also pays the largest quota for the institution's maintenance, paying $164 billion in IMF financial commitments annually.
Though the U.S. does not choose the IMF's top executive, it uses its privileged position as the institution's largest funder to control IMF policy by threatening to withhold its IMF funding if the institution does not abide by Washington's demands.
with a photo of IMF Director Christine Lagarde
during meetings by the IMF and World Bank
in Lima, Peru, Oct. 9, 2015.
Geraldo Caso Bizama | AP
Frequently, these very
institutions - by
pressuring countries to deregulate their financial
through corrupt dealings with state actors - bring about
the very economic problems that they then swoop in to "fix."
However, Venezuela is far from the only country in Latin America being targeted by these financial weapons masquerading as "independent" financial institutions.
For instance, Ecuador - whose current president has sought to bring the country back into Washington's good graces - has gone so far as to conduct an "audit" of its asylum of journalist and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in order to win a $10 billion bailout from the IMF.
Ecuador granted Assange
asylum in 2012 and the U.S. has fervently sought his extradition for
still sealed charges ever since.
That loan package was, unsurprisingly, heavily pushed by the U.S., according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin released last year.
instrumental in causing the complete collapse of the Argentinian
economy in 2001, sending a poor omen for last year's approval of the
record loan package.