Mohamd, Sid Ahmed, Political Analyst, 04 [Mohamed, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/705/op5.htm]
A nuclear attack by terrorists will be much more critical than Hiroshima and Nagazaki, even if -- and this is far from certain – the weapons used are less harmful than those used then, Japan, at the time, with no knowledge of nuclear technology, had no choice but to capitulate. Today, the technology is a secret for nobody. So far, except for the two bombs dropped on Japan, nuclear weapons have been used only to threaten. Now we are at a stage where they can be detonated. This completely changes the rules of the game. We have reached a point where anticipatory measures can determine the course of events. Allegations of a terrorist connection can be used to justify anticipatory measures, including the invasion of a sovereign state like Iraq. As it turned out, these allegations, as well as the allegation that Saddam was harbouring WMD, proved to be unfounded. What would be the consequences of a nuclear attack by terrorists? Even if it fails, it would further exacerbate the negative features of the new and frightening world in which we are now living. Societies would close in on themselves, police measures would be stepped up at the expense of human rights, tensions between civilisations and religions would rise and ethnic conflicts would proliferate. It would also speed up the arms race and develop the awareness that a different type of world order is imperative if humankind is to survive. But the still more critical scenario is if the attack succeeds. This could lead to a third world war, from which no one will emerge victorious. Unlike a conventional war which ends when one side triumphs over another, this war will be without winners and losers. When nuclear pollution infects the whole planet, we will all be losers.
Hegemony Bad – Economy
Hegemony causes economic collapse – current economic crisis proves
Eland, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute, Director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, B.A. Iowa State University, M.B.A. in Economics and Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Washington University, Ivan, The Independent Institute, 2009, “How the U.S. Empire Contributed to the Economic Crisis”, May 11th, http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2498)
A few—and only a few—prescient commentators have questioned whether the U.S. can sustain its informal global empire in the wake of the most severe economic crisis since World War II. And the simultaneous quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan are leading more and more opinion leaders and taxpayers to this question. But the U.S. Empire helped cause the meltdown in the first place. War has a history of causing financial and economic calamities. It does so directly by almost always causing inflation—that is, too much money chasing too few goods. During wartime, governments usually commandeer resources from the private sector into the government realm to fund the fighting. This action leaves shortages of resources to make consumer goods and their components, therefore pushing prices up. Making things worse, governments often times print money to fund the war, thus adding to the amount of money chasing the smaller number of consumer goods. Such “make-believe” wealth has funded many U.S. wars. For example, the War of 1812 had two negative effects on the U.S. financial system. First, in 1814, the federal government allowed state-chartered banks to suspend payment in gold and silver to their depositors. In other words, according Tom J. DiLorenzo in Hamilton’s Curse, the banks did not have to hold sufficient gold and silver reserves to cover their loans. This policy allowed the banks to loan the federal government more money to fight the war. The result was an annual inflation rate of 55 percent in some U.S. cities. The government took this route of expanding credit during wartime because no U.S. central bank existed at the time. Congress, correctly questioning The Bank of the United States’ constitutionality, had not renewed its charter upon expiration in 1811. But the financial turmoil caused by the war led to a second pernicious effect on the financial system—the resurrection of the bank in 1817 in the form of the Second Bank of the United States. Like the first bank and all other government central banks in the future, the second bank flooded the market with new credit. In 1818, this led to excessive real estate speculation and a consequent bubble. The bubble burst during the Panic of 1819, which was the first recession in the nation’s history. Sound familiar? Although President Andrew Jackson got rid of the second bank in the 1830s and the U.S. economy generally flourished with a freer banking system until 1913, at that time yet another central bank—this time the Federal Reserve System—rose from the ashes. We have seen that war ultimately causes the creation of both economic problems and nefarious government financial institutions that cause those difficulties. And of course, the modern day U.S. Empire also creates such economic maladies and wars that allow those institutions to wreak havoc on the economy. The Fed caused the current collapse in the real estate credit market, which has led to a more general global financial and economic meltdown, by earlier flooding the market with excess credit. That money went into real estate, thus creating an artificial bubble that eventually came crashing down in 2008. But what caused the Fed to vastly expand credit? To prevent a potential economic calamity after 9/11 and soothe jitters surrounding the risky and unneeded U.S. invasion of Iraq, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan began a series of interest rate cuts that vastly increased the money supply. According to Thomas E. Woods, Jr. in Meltdown, the interest rate cuts culminated in the extraordinary policy of lowering the federal funds rate (the rate at which banks lend to one another overnight, which usually determines other interest rates) to only one percent for an entire year (from June 2003 to June 2004). Woods notes that more money was created between 2000 and 2007 than in the rest of U.S. history. Much of this excess money ended up creating the real estate bubble that eventually caused the meltdown. Ben Bernanke, then a Fed governor, was an ardent advocate of this easy money policy, which as Fed Chairman he has continued as his solution to an economic crisis he helped create using the same measures. Of course, according to Osama bin Laden, the primary reasons for the 9/11 attacks were U.S. occupation of Muslim lands and U.S. propping up of corrupt dictators there. And the invasion of Iraq was totally unnecessary because there was never any connection between al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks and Saddam Hussein, and even if Saddam had had biological, chemical, or even nuclear weapons, the massive U.S. nuclear arsenal would have likely deterred him from using them on the United States. So the causal arrow goes from these imperial behaviors—and blowback there from—to increases in the money supply to prevent related economic slowdown, which in turn caused even worse eventual financial and economic calamities. These may be indirect effects of empire, but they cannot be ignored. Get rid of the overseas empire because we can no longer afford it, especially when it is partly responsible for the economic distress that is making us poorer.
Hegemony Bad – Economy
Economic decline is inevitable if America pursues primacy, making power, itself, unsustainable.
Christopher Layne (Associate Professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University) 2007 American Empire: A Debate, “Reply to Bradley Thayer” p 124-6
In fact, if anything, the costs of the American Empire are likely to increase in coming years. There are two reasons for this. First, there is the spiraling cost of the Iraq quagmire. As some readers may recall, the Bush II admin-istration's economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsey, was fired because he daredto predict that the cost of the Iraq war, and its aftermath, might reach $200billion. The administration predicted that the war itself would cost no morethan $50-$60 billion and that Iraq would pay for its own postwar recoveryfrom oil sales. Of course, the United States to date has borne most of the costof Iraq's postwar recovery. As far as the ultimate economic costs of the war areconcerned, it is apparent that the administration's $50-$60 billion estimate was a projection right out of Fantasyland. Recently, Joesph Sitglitz (a Nobellaureate in economics) and Linda Bilmes have indicated that, at the end of theday, the budgetary cost of the war will be somewhere between $750 billionand $1,184 billion (which includes, among other things, the costs of militaryoperations, Veterans Administration costs attributable to the war, increaseddefense spending, and additional interest on the national debt). Moreover, they estimate that the direct and indirect costs of the war to the U.S. economywill be between $1,026 billion and $1,854 billion." 'The second reason that defense spending is likely to increase is the simple fact that the U.S. military is not large enough to meet all of America's imperial commitments. Since the Cold War's end, the United States has shown everysign of succumbing to the"hegemon' temptation"—the temptation to use itsmilitary power promiscuously—and Iraq, along with the simultaneous criseswith Iran and North Korea, have highlighted the mismatch between America'shegemonic ambitions and the military resources available to support them. To maintain its dominance, the American military will have to be expanded in size, because it is too small to meet present—and likely future—commit-ments.'sNo one can say for certain how long significant U.S. forces will needto remain in Iraq (and Afghanistan), but it's safe to say that substantial num-bers of troops will be there for a long time. At the same time, in addition to theongoing War on Terrorism (and the concomitant requirements of homeland defense), the United States faces possible future conflicts with North Korea,Iran, and China. During the past fifteen years or so since the Soviet Union's collapse, theUnited States was able to postpone the need to grapple with the painful issuesKennedy raised in 1987. However, the chickens are coming home to roost,and those questions soon will have to be faced. Gilpin's 1987 description ofAmerica's grand strategic and economic dilemmas is, if anything, even moretimely today: With a decreased rate of economic growth and. a low rate of nationalsavings, the United States was living and defending commitments farbeyond its means. In order to bring its commitments and power backinto balance once again, the United. States would one day have to cutback further on its overseas commitments, reduce the American stan-dard of living, or decrease domestic productive investment even morethan it already had. In the meantime, American hegemony was threat-ened. by a potentially devastating fiscal crisis." At some point, the relative decline of U.S. economic power that is in the offing will bring American primacy to an end. In the shorter term, however, theUnited States can prolong its primacy if Americans are willing to pay the pricein terms of higher taxes, reduced consumption, and curtailment of domesticprograms. But, of course, there is a treadmill-like aspect to preserving the American Empire, because perpetuating it will hasten the weakening of the economic base upon which it rests.
Hegemony Bad – Proliferation – (1/2)