Hegemony da ddi 2010 1 Hegemony Generic



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Stephen M. Walt, academic dean and the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, 2005, “ In the National Interest http://www.bostonreview.net/BR30.1/walt.phpthe) SM


Second, instead of emphasizing “preemption,” the United States should strive to reassure its allies that it will use force with wisdom and restraint. In particular, the United States can reduce the fear created by its overawing power by giving other states a voice in the circumstances in which it will use force. Although exceptions may arise from time to time, the United States should be willing to use a de facto “buddy system” to regulate the large-scale use of its military power, whether by NATO, the UN Security Council, or other international institutions. The point is not to cede control over American foreign policy to foreign powers or to an international institution like the United Nations; the point is to use other states or existing institutions to reassure others about the ways the United States will use its power. Conservative critics of the UN and other multilateral institutions have mistakenly focused on the rather modest restrictions that these organizations might impose on the United States, and they have ignored the role these institutions could play in legitimizing American policy and reducing the risk of an anti-American backlash. For the foreseeable future, the United States must think of this sort of “reassurance” as a continuous policy problem. During the Cold War, the United States took many steps—including military exercises, visits by important officials, and public declarations—to remind allies (and adversaries) that its commitments were credible. And it didn’t just do these things once and consider the job over; rather, it reaffirmed these signals of commitment more or less constantly. Now that the Cold War is over and the United States is largely unchecked, American leaders have to make a similar effort to convince other states of their good will, good judgment, and sense of restraint. American leaders cannot simply assert these values once or twice and then act as they please—which is what the Bush administration has done. Rather, reassuring gestures have to be repeated, and reassuring statements have to be reiterated. And the more consistent the words and deeds are, the more effective such pledges will be. The benefits of self-restraint can be demonstrated by considering how much the United States would have gained had it followed this approach toward Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Had the Bush administration rejected preventive war in Iraq in March 2003 and chosen instead to continue the UN-mandated inspections process that was then underway, it would have scored a resounding diplomatic victory. The Bush team could have claimed—correctly—that the threat of U.S. military action had forced Saddam Hussein to resume inspections under new and more intrusive procedures. The UN inspectors would have determined that Iraq didn’t have WMDs after all. There was no reason for the Bush team to rush to war because Iraq’s decaying military capabilities were already contained and Saddam was incapable of aggressive action so long as the inspectors were on Iraqi soil. If Saddam had balked after a few months, international support for his ouster would have been much easier to obtain, and in the meantime the United States would have shown the world that it preferred to use force only as a last resort. This course would have kept Iraq isolated, kept the rest of the world on America’s side, undermined Osama bin Laden’s claims that the United States sought to dominate the Islamic world, and incidentally allowed the United States to focus its energies and attention on defeating al Qaeda. Even more important, this policy of self-restraint would have made the war avoidable, thereby saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars and keeping the United States out of the quagmire in which it is now engulfed. The Bush team had all these benefits in their hands, and it squandered them by rushing headlong into war. Instead of demonstrating that America’s primacy would be guided by wisdom and restraint, the Bush team gave the rest of the world ample reason to worry about the preponderance of power in Washington’s hands. Repairing the damage is likely to take years.

A2: Israeli Strikes


US presence in the Middle East gives Israel an incentive to attack Iran
Pierre Hassner is Research Director Emeritus at the Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris

and a Contributing Editor to Survival, “All Shook Up?”, Survival Magazine, 7/21/10)

Is this tragedy of errors not in danger of being replicated in the case of America, Israel and Iran? The United States seems to have repeatedly warned Israel not to launch an attack against Iranian nuclear installations. But at the same time, by repeating that a nuclear-armed Iran is intolerable, by escalating the sanctions (which are most likely to be ineffective), and reaffirming (rightly) its commitment to Israel’s security, does America not increase the temptation for Israel to take the initiative, in the belief (probably justified in this case) that it would not be left alone by Washington in the face of Iranian retaliation? That would be a ‘little’ war to really shake the world.

Forward Deployment Bad – Laundry List


Forward deployment fails at deterrence, strains relations with allies, and increases blow-back

Kent E. Calder, director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Relations, a faculty member at the university’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington D.C., and served as special adviser to the U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2001, 2007, Embattled Garrisons,” pg. 215,) SM



Apart from the exposure to increased danger that it presents to American troops, forward deployment also has other important negatives in human terms, it is argued. Troops in Korea and Bosnia, most marines in Okinawa, air force pilots in the Middle East, and navy sailors and marines at sea face months at a time away from their families. Large deployments abroad often complicate relations between the United Stats and its allies, as frictions on Okinawa, for example, clearly demonstrate. Perhaps the most telling argument against forward deployment, in the view of critics, is that in the final analysis it does not serve America’s most fundamental interests in a post-Cold War world – or indeed, in important respects, even those of the key allies that American troops are protecting, In contrast to Cold War days, when the U.S. forward deployed presence was larger and the Soviet threat was clear, overseas, bases today do not provide substantial extended deterrent to American allies, especially when those bases are threatened militarily by the increasingly accurate precision weapons of adversaries. To the contrary, American bases may subject the host country to unwelcome “blow-back” it is alleged. Such bases are generally costly, despite substantial burden sharing support from some allies. And those bases are potentially difficult to use operationally to show resolve in some strategically important cases. In contingencies ranging from the Ukraine and the Baltic to the Taiwan Straits, implicit host-nation restrictions on sensitive third-country deployment reduce the strategic value of many overseas bases to the U.S. military. Given America’s formidable long-range technological capabilities, coupled with the costs, dangers, and constrained utility of deploying American forces abroad, the prudent course of action – even in a realist strategic calculus – is to base U.S. forces at home until they are really needed in conflict, Fortress America proponents content. Then, when necessary, those forces could lash out rapidly, across oceans and continents, with space-power, long-range air power, and other elements of what be called a “reconnaissance-strike complex.” In this way, it is argued; they could both defend U.S. interests from America’s homeland, and also avoid the distinct negatives of forward deployment.
Forward Deployment Bad – Hegemony
Alliances hurt U.S. hegemony

David Brooks 1/14/10 “ Realism and the US Hegemony” http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/5037238-realism-and-the-us-hegemony


The U.S. is tied down by to many foreign interests. In order to maintain U.S. power, it should be policy to remove the umbrella protection for Japan and military assistance to Israel. For a hegemon to remain in power it is necessary to avoid large scale wars, because they are draining on the state’s economy. The umbrella protection the U.S. military provides for Japan could lead to a large scale conflict with China. A war with a state as powerful as China would cost the U.S. a lot of money and resources. The drain from this potential war could lead to economic hardship and the eventual downfall of U.S. hegemony. Alliances, such as the ones the U.S. has with Israel and Japan could end up costing the U.S. more in the future. Israel exists in a region that is oil-rich, unstable and predominantly anti-Semitic. The U.S. provides Israel with more military aid than any other state. The pro-Israel lobby provides U.S. candidates and parties with more than $56 million in donations. The pressure for the U.S. to provide aid and assistance to Israel is growing. The U.S. should decrease support for Israel and their interests. It is important to maintain good relations with Israel, but not at the expense of U.S. superiority. (Economist 3-17-07).
Regardless of our military might forward deployment makes conflict response impossible

Quddus Snyder Fall 2009 “ Systemic Theory in an Era of Declining US Hegemony” pp25-26



The problem does not only stem from fact that the US is bogged down in two wars, it is also in the throes of a serious economic downturn. Of course, everyone is getting hit. Because all are suffering, the US is still a giant in terms of relative power differentials. 42 Relative power is important, but so is the hegemon’s ability to actually do things. It is unlikely that the US will have either the political will or capability to take on major international undertakings. It is unclear when the US will fully withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan; however, these projects will gobble up massive amounts of resources and treasure at a time when America’s own recovery is being partly bankrolled by foreign powers like China. 43 The point is simply that America’s unilateral assertiveness on the international scene is changing. 44 US security guarantees may prove less credible than they once were, leading allies to enhance their own military capabilities. The US may still be a giant, but one that, for now at least, seems more bound.

Forward Deployment Bad: Prolif
The U.S. military presence around china incentivizes prolif

Ivan Eland ( director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute) 1/23/03 “ Is Chinese Military Modernization a Threat to the United States?” http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa465.pdf



Of course, the U.S. government does not admit to a policy of containing China, as it did with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. But in Asia the ring of U.S.-led alliances (formal and informal), a forward U.S. military presence, and closer American relationships with great powers capable of acting to balance against a rising China constitute a de facto containment policy. Such a policy is unwarranted by the current low threat posed by China and may actually increase the threat that it is designed to contain. Even the DoD admits that the Chinese are recognizing and reacting to U.S. policy: China’s leaders have asserted that the United States seeks to maintain a dominant geostrategic position by containing the growth of Chinese power, ultimately “dividing” and “Westernizing” China. . . . Beijing has interpreted the strengthening U.S.Japan security alliance, increased U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and efforts to expand NATO as manifestations of Washington’s strategy. 4 The DoD report continues: Chinese analyses indicate a concern that Beijing would have difficulty managing potential U.S. military intervention in crises in the Taiwan Strait or the South China Sea. There are even indications of a concern that the United States might intervene in China’s internal disputes with ethnic Tibetan or Muslim minorities. Chinese concerns about U.S. intervention likely have been reinforced by their perceptions of U.S. response to the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait crises, Operation ALLIED FORCE in Kosovo, and more recent U.S.-led military operations to combat international terrorism. . . . Following Operation ALLIED FORCE in 1999, Beijing seriously considered upgrading the priority attached to military modernization. While the senior leadership has since reaffirmed its stress on economic growth and development, it nevertheless agreed to provide significant additional resources and funding to support accelerated military modernization. 5

Forward Deployment Bad – Russia
Reducing US military presence is key to open the doors for peaceful US-Russia cooperation
Pierre Hassner is Research Director Emeritus at the Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris

and a Contributing Editor to Survival, “All Shook Up?”, Survival Magazine, 7/21/10)



One could call such an agreement a softer Yalta. It would be contrary not just to Western security interests (particularly in the area of energy) and to the stability of the continent (as shown by the continuing bloody disorder in Russian-dominated regions such as the Caucasus), but also to the very principles which have defined Western objectives ever since the Cold War, summed up in George H.W. Bush’s phrase ‘a Europe whole and free’.6 Asmus is right to point out that it would be contrary to the post-Cold War settlement as well, which implied the right for every country to freely choose its regime. But he is wrong not to remember that any international order is based on a combination of (or a compromise between) legitimacy and power; that Western countries, particularly the United States, are not strangers to interventions aimed at regime change, or to blockades and embargoes even against freely elected governments; that the Cold War settlement and, even more, the eastward expansion of NATO were seen by most Russians as contrary to their expectations based on informal Western promises; and that their acceptance of it was reluctant and provisional. The world of 2010 is not the same as that of the 1990’s. It would be unrealistic and dangerous to attempt, as Asmus would apparently recommend, to try to turn back the clock. On the other hand, it would be foolish and immoral to reward Moscow for its aggression against Georgia by cancelling the promise of April 2008 concerning NATO membership or denying the long-term European vocation of countries such as Georgia and Ukraine. It would be even more absurd to envisage offering NATO membership to today’s Russia, with its undefined borders, its unilateral use of force against sovereign states and its permanent violation of the rule of law at home. The only way out of this dilemma is to put the discussion of the rules of competition and cooperation between states and societies at the heart of the emerging negotiations on international order and European security. Cooperation between the West and Russia on questions of mutual interest is vital and should be developed. Competition for influence and resources is legitimate and important, including in countries which are part of both Western Europe’s and Russia’s ‘near abroad’. But such competition should exclude the unilateral threat and use of force, the unilateral redrawing of borders, the totally illegitimate claim to a right to protect ethnic groups on the basis of a common language, and any attempt to punish or force out legitimately elected governments through economic blackmail, boycott or other means. This should apply to the relations of the United States with its own Latin American neighbours as much as to those of Russia with its East European ones. It should also apply to the relations of great powers with so-called ‘rogue states’ in the global South. Unilateral sanctions through which powerful states behave as accusers, judges and enforcers all at once are counterproductive and contrary both to emerging power relations and to the spirit of the times. Concerning NATO and its new and potential members, greater attention should be paid to nurturing better relations with Moscow that neither trigger Russia’s suspicions of military encirclement nor expose Russia’s neighbours to various forms of political pressure or threats. Likewise, the neighbours of great powers should avoid basing their political posture on resentment toward the latter. Their military and diplomatic posture should aim instead at restraint and cooperation. But the essential point is that their voluntary acceptance of limitations on their external behaviour should never impinge upon their political and economic freedom. In this respect, Finland, which all through the Cold War remained a free constitutional democracy while being careful not to appear hostile to its larger neighbour, is a positive example rather than a negative one. For East Europeans, including former members of the Soviet Union, this should not exclude, in the long run, membership in NATO and even less in the European Union, particularly if the two organisations are increasingly involved in cooperation with Russia. An overarching security structure encompassing NATO as well as its Eastern neighbours including Russia, as apparently suggested by Medvedev, could have a positive confidence-building effect, under the express condition that it contributes to overcoming the division of the continent rather than sealing it. In the even longer run, NATO could be transformed into a collective security structure including a reformed Russia. In his book, Asmus describes the multiple American warnings to Saakashvili not to initiate a war in which he would be left alone. But at the same time Georgia was being built up as a model and symbol of freedom and friendship with the United States, and Saakashvili, along with most Georgians, assumed that the United States would not leave him alone once faced with an ongoing confrontation, or at least that the Russians could not exclude an American response and would be restrained by this possibility.
Russia Cooperation Solves Economy
US-Russia cooperation solves global stability and the Russian economy
Pierre Hassner is Research Director Emeritus at the Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris

and a Contributing Editor to Survival, “All Shook Up?”, Survival Magazine, 7/21/10)

Kennan’s formulation, according to which Russia sees its neighbours as either enemies or vassals, remains true.5 Even the reformist Russians of the 1990’s, whom Asmus appears to regard with nostalgia, thought that by abandoning communism they would play a leading role in the West, in association with the United States and the European Union, while always keeping a special authority over their neighbours. The basic thrust of Moscow’s project is to repair the ‘geopolitical catastrophe’ of the fall of the Soviet Union by keeping or recreating a virtual empire coinciding more or less with the boundaries of the USSR. When this project seemed threatened by Western policies and by ‘colour revolutions’, Russia’s policy became one of ‘offensive defence’, of creating a besieged fortress mentality against encirclement by enemy forces. Today, the Russian leadership feels it has succeeded in eliminating the danger of colour revolutions, or at least of their support by the West. It also believes the United States has too many troubles and other priorities to be dangerous, and that Europe is in a permanent crisis. But its resistance toward former Soviet republics moving to the West or threatening the Russian regime by adopting an alternative model remains unchanged. On the other hand, although Russia feels stronger politically, it is, particularly since the economic crisis, more aware of its economic weakness, and of its need for Western cooperation if it wants to modernise. It also sees merit in having a Western counterweight to a growing and potentially hegemonic Chinese power. Hence the current overtures to the West, which evoke the latter’s interests in terms of the economy or non-proliferation, but which go hand in hand with Moscow’s attempts to obtain de facto and perhaps de jure domination over its own sphere.

Russian Engagement Key
Only US engagement towards Russia solves Russian aggression
Pierre Hassner is Research Director Emeritus at the Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris

and a Contributing Editor to Survival, “All Shook Up?”, Survival Magazine, 7/21/10)

But the most surprising and damning information revealed by the book concerns another combination of agreement and divergence between the United States and France. According to Asmus, President George W. Bush’s passivity upon learning of the Russian invasion while at the Beijing Olympics and his subsequent, very subdued protest were rooted in his fear of starting a diplomatic conflict with Russia that might escalate into a return to the Cold War. He hence chose to encourage Sarkozy, at that time in charge of the presidency of the European Union, to take the initiative and to manage the negotiations with Russia. Yet he was ultimately ‘appalled’ by the result. Sarkozy was much less favourable to Georgia than was Bush. The French president’s goal – besides assuming an active role for the European Union and for himself – was limited to avoiding an occupation of Tbilisi by Russian troops and an overthrow of the Georgian government. His dazzling solo performance did yield results, while leaving out certain important points, such as Georgia’s territorial integrity, thus forcing Saakashvili’s hand. He did communicate with Bush during the negotiations, but the two presidents’ accounts of these communications do not coincide. At any rate, Asmus rightly concludes that no matter how justified American criticisms of Sarkozy’s achievements may have been, Bush had surrendered his powers of negotiation and deterrence to his French counterpart; the only visible US action was to send a ship with humanitarian help. This defection by the man who was seen as the greatest friend and protector of new and aspiring NATO members must have come as a great shock to them. The fact that today the American, French and German governments seem unanimous in proclaiming their satisfaction with the state of their relations with Russia (Sarkozy described France’s relationship with Russia during his June 2010 visit to Moscow as ‘ambitious, cloudless and full of trust’2) must appear as adding insult to injury, given that Russia continues to violate the agreement which ended the war on some essential points, has subsequently proclaimed the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia (recognised by only three countries) and effectively annexed both, and is building a military base in Abkhazia.

A2: Russia Won’t Cooperate
Russia is open to cooperation with the US now

Pierre Hassner is Research Director Emeritus at the Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris

and a Contributing Editor to Survival, “All Shook Up?”, Survival Magazine, 7/21/10)

The trouble with this excellent, eloquent and informative book, very adequately subtitled ‘Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West’, is that its title is misleading. The little war in Georgia did not shake the world. Maybe it should have: this is certainly the opinion of the author, and to some extent of this reviewer. But the fact is, the war shook only Russia’s neighbours, particularly the former Soviet republics, but not the West, let alone the world. It did not interrupt the process of détente, rapprochement or ‘reset’ between the United States, Western Europe and Russia. On the contrary, it may have given relations an important boost by encouraging Russia, once it no longer feared the colour revolutions or the enlargement of NATO and the European Union to Georgia and Ukraine, to shift from a strident anti-Western stance to a conciliatory and cooperative one, based on a new partition of Europe into spheres of influence. Is this outcome acceptable for the West? If not, should it be replaced, as Asmus argues, with a return to the policies and agreements of the 1990’s? Or shouldspheres of special interest’ and the conciliation between them, the sovereignty of states and the respect of human rights become essential themes of East–West negotiations for a new European order?



Forward Deployment Bad – ME – AT: Oil
Risks of oil shocks are overstated – multiple structural factors check drops in capacity and forward deployed troops aren’t necessary to secure resources anyway.

Layne 2009 [Christopher, Assoc. Prof. George HW Bush School of Gov't and Public Service @ Texas A&M U, research fellow with the Center on Peace and Liberty @ the Independent Institute, “America’s Middle East grand strategy after Iraq: the moment for offshore balancing has arrived,” in Review of International Studies (2009), 35, 5–25 | VP]
Preventing an oil hegemon

Advocates of both primacy, and of offshore balancing, agree that – under present conditions – the US has important interests in the Gulf that must be supported by American military power. However, they disagree on two key questions. First, how deeply does the US need be involved militarily and politically in the Gulf? Second, what is the likelihood of an oil stoppage severe enough to damage the US, and global, economies seriously?



There are two main threats to US oil interests. First, there is the danger of a single power in the Gulf region consolidating its control over the majority of the world’s oil reserves. The fear that Iraq would control both Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian oil reserves, as well as its own, was the nightmare scenario invoked by US policymakers as one of the rationales for the 1991 Persian Gulf War. An ‘oil hegemon’ in the Gulf would be in a position to raise oil prices, and use oil as an instrument of political coercion. Yet, while the US does have an interest in preventing the emergence of a Persian Gulf oil hegemon, the risk of such a development is low, because the three largest states in the Gulf – Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran – lack the military capabilities to conquer each other. This was true even before the 1990–91 Gulf War, or the March 2003 Iraq War. Thus, when Iraq went to war with Iran in September 1980, the conflict ended in a prolonged, bloody stalemate. Similarly, from the end of the Gulf War in 1991 until the US invasion in March 2003, Iraq posed no military threat to Saudi Arabia (or Iran).

On the other side of the coin, because of its overwhelming military capabilities compared to the big three Gulf powers, the US easily could deter any of them from launching a war of conquest. In 1990, for example, the US was able to dissuade Saddam Hussein from using Kuwait as a platform for conquering Saudi Arabia by inserting airpower, and a limited number of ground forces (as a tripwire) into Saudi Arabia, and by imposing an economic embargo on Iraq.16 This policy of containment, and deterrence worked in 1990 – and still was working in March 2003.17 To make sure no Gulf oil hegemon emerges in the future, Washington should make it clear that it would respond militarily to prevent a single power from gaining control over a majority of the region’s oil capacity. However, a deterrence strategy does not require an on-the-ground American military presence in the region, because the US today (in contrast to 1990), can back-up its deterrent threat with long-range airpower, and sea-based cruise missiles.18



Domestic instability in a major oil producing state is another threat to US interests in the Gulf. In the form of civil unrest, instability could temporarily reduce the flow of oil from an affected country, and drive up prices. However, because the oil industry is globally integrated, other oil producers would increase their own production to make-up for the lost capacity. Thus, any spike in oil prices would be temporary, and lost supplies would be replenished by other producers. In fact, past experience shows that this is precisely what happens when internal instability in an oil producing state causes a temporary disruption in oil supplies.19 Instability in any of the Gulf oil producers, of course, could bring a hostile regime to power. Here, there are two things to keep in mind. First, it is unlikely that US military intervention could forestall such an event. Indeed, it could make things even worse. Second, the economic consequences of such an event are exaggerated.

In an integrated, global oil market it is immaterial whether a hostile regime would sell oil directly to the US. Because oil is fungible, all that matters is that such a regime makes its oil available to the market. The chances of an hostile regime selfembargoing its oil are very low. The reason is simple: all the major oil producers in the Gulf are economically dependent on their oil revenues. Even if a hostile regime in the Gulf wanted to embargo oil shipments to the US or the West, it could not long do so without shooting itself in the foot economically. Moreover, if a hostile regime chose to behave in an economically irrational fashion by sacrificing income to achieve political or economic objectives, markets would adjust. Higher oil prices caused by an embargo would lead oil consuming states like the US both to switch to alternative energy sources, use energy more efficiently, and also provide an incentive for other oil producing states to increase the supply of oil in the market. Simply put, in relatively short order the supply/demand equilibrium would return to the marketplace, and oil prices would return to their natural marketplace level.

There is a wild card, however: Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s largest oil producer, and also has the largest proven oil reserves. If, in the future, a hostile Saudi regime imposed an embargo, or cut back drastically on production, it would be difficult for the market to adjust because other oil producers do not have the capacity to replace lost Saudi Arabian oil. A major long-term interruption of oil exports from Saudi Arabia would cause real economic damage to the US and the other industrialised nations (although, over time, it would cause the US and the other industrialised nations to develop alternate energy sources that now are untapped because they cost more than oil). Given the political unrest percolating just below the surface in Saudi Arabia, it is a good bet that in coming years, the Saud Monarchy will lose its grip on power. However, America’s forward military presence in the Gulf does not offer a real solution to the possibility of a hostile regime coming to power in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the US military presence in the region serves to make things worse rather than better in this regard, because it is a lightening-rod for Islamic fundamentalists like Osama bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda. The American invasion of Iraq, and subsequent occupation, have exacerbated the problem.



Access to oil is an important US interest, and in some respects American military power plays an important role in keeping the oil flowing from the Gulf. But there is no need for an on-the-ground American military presence in the Gulf and Middle East. Over-the-horizon deterrence can prevent the emergence of Gulf oil hegemon without triggering the kind of anti-American backlash that can occur when US forces visibly are present in the region.20 Similarly, although its closure is a low-probability event, the US has an important interest in making sure the Strait of Hormuz remains open. But this is a task that can be accomplished by American naval power. Finally, domestic instability in the Gulf oil producing states is a risk – especially in Saudi Arabia. However, as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice recently acknowledged, the Gulf – and Middle East – are going to be unstable regardless of what the US does.21 Certainly, US military power, and America’s heavy-handed political influence, are not an antidote to domestic instability in the region. On the contrary, they contribute to it. This suggests that the wisest policies for the US are to reduce its footprint in the Gulf and Middle East, and formulate a viable long-term energy strategy that minimises its vulnerability to the vicissitudes of that endemically turbulent region.22

Hegemony Bad – Economy


Trying to maintain hegemony destroys the economy—controlled descent from primacy is a preferable strategy.

Samuel A. Adamson, second-year MAIA candidate at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center and undergraduate degree in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford, 10, Bolgona Journal of International Affairs, “Supreme Effort: A Lesson in British Decline” cp



\The aim of this essay is to demonstrate the extent to which the initial failure by British governments to recognize, accept and adapt to the country’s new position in the post-war world had deep, painful and long-lasting effects on the domestic British political economy. Rather than being a time of reflection and re-evaluation of the world order, the post-war consensus amongst successive governments was that Britain’s victory was a validation of the old, rather than a trigger for its removal. As such, sterling was expected to continue as the world’s reserve currency and the preferred unit of exchange. From 1945 until the major devaluation of 1968, one after the other, British governments oriented economic policy towards the maintenance of sterling’s international prestige, through the manipulation of the domestic economy. Using deflationary packages to curb demand and defend the pound against external pressure, the government indirectly (but repeatedly) inflicted punishing restrictions on British industry through a chronic underinvestment in capital. As Samuel Brittan has it, “The position of sterling as an international currency, with all the risks to which it exposed Britain, was regarded as desirable in itself, like a prisoner kissing the rod with which he is being beaten.”39 In a desperate attempt to improve British competitiveness, British governments then began to intervene in industrial relations, to the detriment of the Welfare Compromise that had presided over a relatively stable period from 1945 –1960. Government-union cooperation worsened throughout the 1960s under a Labour government and reached exploding point following the election of Heath’s conservative government. The British economy plumbed new depths in the 1970s, with factories being reduced to a three- day working week and with the entire population having to endure the infamous “Winter of Discontent.” Such harsh times brought about harsh measures, to be administered by Margaret Thatcher. Her reshaping of the British political economy marks the beginning of the current era for Britain, for better or worse. With increased focus, she drew onto the City’s financial services; however, at the moment it is difficult to see past the latter. Britain, still today, feels the pain of bone-breaking readjustment to the post-war world.

It should also be emphasized that the thesis put forward here is only one example of the way in which the British government failed to adapt properly to the nation’s declining position in the post-war world. This paper could easily have taken as its topic of investigation the exuberant defense spending exhibited by an unbroken succession of British governments, characterized by the costly maintenance of an independent nuclear deterrent in obeisance to the “Top Table” argument or, as Churchill had it, “our badge to the Royal Enclosure.”40

The wider lessons to be drawn from the British experience are complex and difficult to identify clearly, as each declining hegemon (of which there have been —and will be— many) faces a potentially different set of international and domestic conditions. However, there is a clear and universal warning to be taken from the illustration presented here — a world power that may be in decline needs, more than ever, to maintain a high level of vigilance and flexibility in its attitudes to its international position. Being prepossessed of pretensions of past glories serves for nothing; rather it inhibits a nation in its readjustment. Therefore, the attitudes put forward by E. Garten in his essay regarding American decline (as outlined at the beginning of this paper) should be regarded as, at best, unhelpful, and at worst severely damaging to the future of the United States. For reasons that will not be argued here, however, I find myself in complete agreement with Garten regarding the undesirable nature of American decline, particularly in light of the candidates currently waiting in the wings to take the crown. Indeed, it is for that reason that this paper argues that it is wrong to assess the methods of “how to remedy signs of decline” (as Garten does), but rather suggests that it is instead critical to accept the inevitability of its occurrence, allowing for a more controlled descent, thereby minimizing domestic damage and allowing declining powers to still exert a good deal of influence on the international stage — at least due in part to their masterfully orchestrated readjustment to their dethronement.

Hegemony Bad – Economy


History proves it devastates domestic economies.

Samuel A. Adamson, second-year MAIA candidate at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center and undergraduate degree in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford, 10, Bolgona Journal of International Affairs, “Supreme Effort: A Lesson in British Decline” cp

Garten himself does not fundamentally disagree with Pape’s conclusion that the U.S. is in decline. Indeed, he expresses his own concern at the “speed at which Washington’s power and influence are tumbling down.”11 But the purpose of the review and thesis Garten presents is to find solutions to this decline, rather than to encourage an analysis of its nature in order to better prepare the nation for the coming realignment in international station. This is where this paper finds issue with Garten’s discourse. The argument presented here aims to warn of the dangers of remaining stubborn and inflexible in the face of decline and, by contrast, extols the virtues of maintaining a sense of self-perspective regarding international position. Rather than “breaking the fall” of decline as Garten would have it, this paper encourages an awareness of the inevitability of decline and the importance of a self-aware dynamic reaction to it, thereby allowing a more controlled and gradual decline, rather than a crashing to earth as is exemplified by the British case.12 This argument will be illustrated using the example of the post-war British governments’ failure to properly identify and accept Britain’s changing place and status on the world stage. Taking the preservation of sterling’s prestige as its primary illustration, this paper argues that by focusing excessively on Britain’s international role, domestic industry was time and again subject to punishing economic policy for the sake of maintaining sterling’s prestige. In response to the effects of this internationally focused policy set, growing domestic unrest eventually led to a breakdown of the post-war consensus, precipitating a painful decline for the British economy. As such, it will also be seen that although the short term effects were particularly painful, the heavy burden of mismanagement of the economy —particularly throughout the 1950s and 1960s— is still being felt in Britain today, thus adding weight to the central argument of the paper.
Hegemony Bad – War

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