Benefits of US hegemony far outweigh the reasons for restraint
Luke03PhD Research and Innovation @ research.georgebrown.ca
Robert, World Hegemony Good or Bad? 8/23/2003, http://www.opendemocracy.net/american_hegemony_good_thing_or_bad_thing.html, 6/28/11
US is the closest power to having a global hegemony, and it has been accepted that we should seek to strengthen that hegemonic power in favor of maintaining a uni-polar world. The world should be thankful that the hegemonic power in the world is one that can be talked to, one that does help the world. While every country has many mistakes in its past, there isn't a single country that could really claim they have done as much for the world as America has.The mistakes that America has made are no larger than those of other major countries, yet the good we have done and continue to do for others far outweighs that of any one else.No country can claim to have done so much for the betterment of the world, freed as many people, fed as many starving, brought as many countries out of third world status, stood victorious over world threats, contributed to and established a symbol of international law (still in its infancy) than America has. This is indisputable short of outright denial.
Kagan, 11 – senior fellow at the Brookings Institute
Robert, http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/price-power_533696.html, volume 17, number 16 (article for “The Weekly Standard”), date accessed: 6/29/11
The enormous benefits that this strategy has provided, including the financial benefits, somehow never appear on the ledger. They should. We might begin by asking about the global security order that the United States has sustained since Word War II—the prevention of major war, the support of an open trading system, and promotion of the liberal principles of free markets and free government. How much is that order worth? What would be the cost of its collapse or transformation into another type of order? Whatever the nature of the current economic difficulties, the past six decades have seen a greater increase in global prosperity than any time in human history. Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty. Once-backward nations have become economic dynamos. And the American economy, though suffering ups and downs throughout this period, has on the whole benefited immensely from this international order. One price of this success has been maintaining a sufficient military capacity to provide the essential security underpinnings of this order. But has the price not been worth it? In the first half of the 20th century, the United States found itself engaged in two world wars. In the second half, this global American strategy helped produce a peaceful end to the great-power struggle of the Cold War and then 20 more years of great-power peace. Looked at coldly, simply in terms of dollars and cents, the benefits of that strategy far outweigh the costs. The danger, as always, is that we don’t even realize the benefits our strategic choices have provided. Many assume that the world has simply become more peaceful, that great-power conflict has become impossible, that nations have learned that military force has little utility, that economic power is what counts. This belief in progress and the perfectibility of humankind and the institutions of international order is always alluring to Americans and Europeans and other children of the Enlightenment. It was the prevalent belief in the decade before World War I, in the first years after World War II, and in those heady days after the Cold War when people spoke of the “end of history.” It is always tempting to believe that the international order the United States built and sustained with its power can exist in the absence of that power, or at least with much less of it. This is the hidden assumption of those who call for a change in American strategy: that the United States can stop playing its role and yet all the benefits that came from that role will keep pouring in. This is a great if recurring illusion, the idea that you can pull a leg out from under a table and the table will not fall over.
Heg Good – Great Power Wars Unipolarity prevents conflict and solves great power war – a transition would be disastrous
Wohlforth 09, professor of government at Dartmouth College
William, “Unipolarity, Status Competition, and Great Power War,” World Politics v61, n1, January, Muse.
The evidence suggests that narrow and asymmetrical capabilities gaps foster status competition even among states relatively confident of their basic territorial security for the reasons identified in social identity theory and theories of status competition. Broad patterns of evidence are consistent with this expectation, suggesting that unipolarity shapes strategies of identity maintenance in ways that dampen status conflict. The implication is that unipolarity helps explain low levels of military competition and conflict among major powers after 1991 and that a return to bipolarity or multipolarity would increase the likelihood of such conflict. This has been a preliminary exercise. The evidence for the hypotheses explored here is hardly conclusive, but it is sufficiently suggestive to warrant further refinement and testing, all the more so given [End Page 56] the importance of the question at stake. If status matters in the way the theory discussed here suggests, then the widespread view that the rise of a peer competitor and the shift back to a bipolar or multipolar structure present readily surmountable policy challenges is suspect. Most scholars agree with Jacek Kugler and Douglas Lemke’s argument: “[S]hould a satisfied state undergo a power transition and catch up with dominant power, there is little or no expectation of war.” 81 Given that today’s rising powers have every material reason to like the status quo, many observers are optimistic that the rise of peer competitors can be readily managed by fashioning an order that accommodates their material interests. Yet it is far harder to manage competition for status than for most material things. While diplomatic efforts to manage status competition seem easy under unipolarity, theory and evidence suggest that it could present much greater challenges as the system moves back to bipolarity or multipolarity. When status is seen as a positional good, efforts to craft negotiated bargains about status contests face long odds. And this positionality problem is particularly acute concerning the very issue unipolarity solves: primacy. The route back to bipolarity or multipolarity is thus fraught with danger. With two or more plausible claimants to primacy, positional competition and the potential for major power war could once again form the backdrop of world politics. [End Page 57]
Hegemony solves great power wars
Lovelace 09 – Director Strategic Studies Institute
(Douglass, January 20, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/ PUB902.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2010)
A sustainable national security strategy is feasible only when directed by a sustainable national security policy. In the absence of policy guidance, strategy has to be meaningless. The only policy that meets both the mandates of American culture and the challenges of the outside world is one that seeks to promote the necessary mission of guarding and advancing world order. Dr. Colin Gray considers and rejects a policy that would encourage the emergence of a multipolar structure for global politics. He argues that multipolarity not only would fail to maintain order, it would also promote conflict among the inevitably rival great powers. In addition, he suggests that Americans culturally are not comfortable with balance-of-power politics and certainly would not choose to promote the return of such a system. The monograph identifies the various “pieces of the puzzle” most relevant to national security strategy; surfaces the leading assumptions held by American policymakers and strategists; considers alternative national security policies; and specifies the necessary components of a sustainable national security strategy. Dr. Gray concludes that America has much less choice over its policy and strategy than the public debate suggests. He warns that the country’s dominant leadership role in global security certainly will be challenged before the century is old.
Heg Good – Great Power Wars Unipolarity solves for great power wars
Wohlforth 09, professor of government at Dartmouth College
William, “Unipolarity, Status Competition, and Great Power War,” World Politics v61, n1, January, Muse.
Does unipolarity promote peace among major powers? Would the return of multipolarity increase the prospects for war? Although unipolarity has been marked by very low levels of militarized competition among major powers, many scholars doubt whether the association is causal. Mainstream theories of war long ago abandoned the notion of any simple relationship between polarity and war, positing that conflict emerges from a complex interaction between power and dissatisfaction with the status quo. “While parity defines the structural conditions where war is most likely,” one team of prominent power transition theorists notes, “the motivation driving decisions for war is relative satisfaction with the global or regional hierarchy.”1 High levels of dissatisfaction may prompt states to take on vastly superior rivals. To explain the low levels of conflict since 1991, therefore, scholars must look beyond the distribution of capabilities to account for the absence of such dissatisfaction. To most observers, moreover, satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the status quo among today’s great powers appear to be driven by factors having little or nothing to do with the system’s polarity. “For most scholars,” writes Robert Jervis, “the fundamental cause of war is international anarchy, compounded by the security dilemma. These forces press hardest on the leading powers because while they may be able to [End Page 28] guarantee the security of others, no one can provide this escape from the state of nature for them.”2 But for today’s leading powers anarchyinduced security problems appear to be ameliorated by nuclear deterrence, the spread of democracy, the declining benefits of conquest, and changing collective ideas, among other factors. In combination, these factors appear to moderate insecurity and resulting clashes over the status quo, which most scholars believe drive states to war. Mainstream theories of war thus seem irrelevant to what Jervis terms an “era of leading power peace.” The upshot is a near scholarly consensus that unpolarity’s consequences for great power conflict are indeterminate and that a power shift resulting in a return to bipolarity or multipolarity will not raise the specter of great power war. This article questions the consensus on two counts. First, I show that it depends crucially on a dubious assumption about human motivation. Prominent theories of war are based on the assumption that people are mainly motivated by the instrumental pursuit of tangible ends such as physical security and material prosperity. This is why such theories seem irrelevant to interactions among great powers in an international environment that diminishes the utility of war for the pursuit of such ends. Yet we know that people are motivated by a great many noninstrumental motives, not least by concerns regarding their social status. 3 As John Harsanyi noted, “Apart from economic payoffs, social status (social rank) seems to be the most important incentive and motivating force of social behavior.”4 This proposition rests on much firmer scientific ground now than when Harsanyi expressed it a generation ago, as cumulating research shows that humans appear to be hardwired for sensitivity to status and that relative standing is a powerful and independent motivator of behavior.5 [End Page 29] Second, I question the dominant view that status quo evaluations are relatively independent of the distribution of capabilities. If the status of states depends in some measure on their relative capabilities, and if states derive utility from status, then different distributions of capabilities may affect levels of satisfaction, just as different income distributions may affect levels of status competition in domestic settings. 6 Building on research in psychology and sociology, I argue that even capabilities distributions among major powers foster ambiguous status hierarchies, which generate more dissatisfaction and clashes over the status quo. And the more stratified the distribution of capabilities, the less likely such status competition is. Unipolarity thus generates far fewer incentives than either bipolarity or multipolarity for direct great power positional competition over status. Elites in the other major powers continue to prefer higher status, but in a unipolar system they face comparatively weak incentives to translate that preference into costly action. And the absence of such incentives matters because social status is a positional good—something whose value depends on how much one has in relation to others.7 “If everyone has high status,” Randall Schweller notes, “no one does.”8 While one actor might increase its status, all cannot simultaneously do so. High status is thus inherently scarce, and competitions for status tend to be zero sum.9
Heg Good – NoKo Primacy stops North Korean conflict
David 10 Senior Fellow and Member of the Board of Trustees at Hudson Institute
(Jack, “US Military Primacy Worth Sacrificing,” National Review, http://www. nationalreview.com/articles/255423/us-military-primacy-worth-sacrificing-jack-david)
Advocates of cuts in U.S. military programs, including President Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission, argue that the defense budget must be reduced along with all other U.S. programs because of the dangerously increasing government debt and the current bleak economic picture. The Commission recommends the elimination of $100 billion from the defense budget — more than 25 percent of which cuts would have an effect on acquisitions and research. But such demands duck a fundamental question: whether the consequences of the U.S.’s no longer being the world’s preeminent military force are acceptable. If the answer is “yes,” we will have one kind of future as a nation among nations. If the answer is “no,” we will have another. In my view, programs designed to maintain military primacy should be exempt from cuts even when other items in the budget are not. What do I mean by U.S. “military primacy”? A good working definition is ”a situation in which U.S. capabilities are so superior that they discourage or deter adversaries from taking action they might otherwise take to the detriment of U.S. interests.” Ideally, the deterrent effect would be so good that the U.S. would never have to actually deploy its military might. It also means that, if the adversary took a risk and acted anyway, the U.S. military could defeat it. The more clear it is at the outset that U.S. military capability is more than a match for the adversary’s force, the greater the likelihood of discouraging or deterring the adversary’s action. How can we see into a future without U.S. military primacy? One place that points the way is the past. The absence of U.S. military primacy played a large role in North Korea’s invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950. In 1945, the U.S. had 40,000 soldiers in in South Korea. By 1950, there were a mere 472 there. Consistent with the drawdown, Secretary of State Dean Acheson did not include Korea in a January 1950 speech in which he enumerated countries that the U.S. would defend. Kim Il Sung concluded that the U.S. would not interfere with his plan to unify the peninsula by force. He persuaded Stalin and Mao of that view, secured their promises of support, and invaded the South. Hundreds of thousands died in the conflict. The U.S. suffered 33,746 combat deaths and 128,650 total dead and wounded. In economic terms, the war cost $67 billion in 1953 dollars, equal to $535 billion in 2008 dollars. Once the Korean War started, the U.S. defense budget was quadrupled.