Heg sustainable indict

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A2: Soft Balancing

Soft-balancing doesn’t exist – even if it did unilateralism deters it

Selden, 13 – director of the Defence and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly AND an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida (ZACHARY, “Balancing Against or Balancing With? The Spectrum of Alignment and the Endurance of American Hegemony,” Security Studies Journal, 08 May 2013, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09636412.2013.786918#.U8b7VI1dVe8)//eek

The concept of soft balancing, however, has been thoroughly critiqued by those who note, among other points, that it is often difficult to tell where the normal give and take of policy disputes ends and soft balancing begins, or how much of purported soft balancing is driven by domestic political considerations or regional security concerns.18 More significantly, second- tier states may have a range of reasons for engaging in security cooperation with the United States rather than balancing against it, softly or otherwise. In particular, second-tier states may be concerned about the potential of regional powers to threaten their interests and, therefore, engage in a hedging strategy by aligning with the United States. This latter interpretation appears to be more supported by the history of the past decade in which a large number of states strengthened their security cooperation with the United States and increased their ability to facilitate the global reach of the US military. Between 2001 and 2009, nine eastern European states sought and obtained membership in NATO, an institution defined by its explicit American security guarantee. Georgia, several Balkan states, and Ukraine (until 2010) continue to seek NATO membership and the vast majority of them participated in US-led military operations in this period. India dramatically shifted away from its deeply rooted principle of nonalignment to engage in a range of cooperative military activities with the United States. Japan and Australia reaffirmed their alliances with the United States and also participated in US-led military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In an effort to reduce their vulnerability, states in close proximity to Rus- sia and China have strengthened their security ties with the United States. Some have done so by seeking membership in NATO, or reaffirming and in- creasing their commitment to existing alliances with the United States. Others have done so by demonstrating their value to the United States by facilitating US military activities in the region, participating in US-led missions, and tying their militaries to that of the United States through cooperative programs, training exercises, and other activities. This supports William Wohlforth’s ar- gument that unipolarity may endure because attempts by regional powers such as China and Russia to increase their standing are likely to generate re- gional counterbalances among neighboring states that in many cases involve the United States.

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