My "qualified durability" argument yields two empirical implications for contemporary world politics. First, for as long as the United States pursues a strategy of economic accommodation, major powers, all of which today possess a survivable nuclear arsenal, should not pursue further balancing against the United States. Second, in case the United States shifts towards a strategy of containment, major powers should initiate a balancing effort, increasing the rate at which they convert their latent power into military capabilities and pooling those capabilities together through the formation of alliances, eventually shifting the systemic balance of power and putting an end to unipolarity. These implications can be contrasted with those of both primacist and declinists arguments. Primacists argue that, regardless of US grand strategy, major powers will not engage in a balancing effort against the United States, perpetuating a unipolar structure of the international system. Declinists argue that, on the contrary, major powers will engage in a balancing effort against the United States regardless of the grand strategy it implements, inexorably leading to the end of unipolarity. The post-Cold War empirical record is insufficient for a definitive test of my theory. Still, the absence of militarization by China provides support for my qualified-durability thesis in contrast with declinist views. Declinists have no good account for why a balancing effort has not taken place thus far but is nevertheless guaranteed to take place in the future. Their argument that US competitors are still too weak to put up a militarized challenge to US hegemony is unpersuasive. Japan challenged US preponderance in the Pacific head-on in 1941 when it had only about 12% of US GDP. China's GDP is today over 35% of the US's, or three times higher in comparison. And yet, China has not challenged US global preponderance militarily. But, by the same token, the history of the last twenty years does not allow us to adjudicate between my theory and primacists views. After all, primacists can only be refuted once a balancing effort against the United States is under way. Nonetheless, it is possible to compare the two theories' accounts of the reasons behind the absence of balancing. According to my view, China has not balanced against the United States because its nuclear arsenal guarantees its survival and its long-term economic prospects are facilitated by a US strategy of accommodation. According to the primacist view, in contrast, the absence of a Chinese balancing effort against the United States results from the insurmountable power gap between the two countries. For primacists, the power gap between the United States and China heightens the difficulty -- in terms of inefficiency, cost, and collective-action problems -- of balancing, beyond the point at which it stops making sense. But this cannot be the case. Again, if Japan challenged US preponderance in 1941 with one-third of the relative economic power China possesses today, something other than insufficient economic power must account for the absence of a Chinese military challenge to the United States. In order to show how the contemporary historical record matches the empirical implications of my theory, the remainder of this section will establish four points. First, that Chinese economic power has been increasing steadily and rapidly. Second, that the United States has actively accommodated this rise in Chinese latent power, even at the expense of its own relative power. Third, that China's survival is guaranteed by its nuclear arsenal. Fourth, that despite the rapid rise in Chinese economic power, Beijing has thus far eschewed a strategy of militarization and armed competition with the United States.
China prefers growth over counterbalancing
Monteiro, 6-13-11-department of Political Sciences at Yale University
Nuno P. “Balancing Act,” nunomonteiro.org, June 13, 2011, http://www.nunomonteiro .org/wp-content/uploads/Nuno-Monteiro-Balancing-Act-20110613.pdf, 6-29-11
To sum up, China's economy is growing remarkably fast, a process aided by a US strategy of accommodation. And yet, China is investing in its military far less than it could -- and indeed far less than would be necessary tomount a full-fledged military challenge to the United States. At the nuclear level, Beijing has opted for a minimum deterrent force, capable of assuring China's survival without triggering an arms race in the region. At the conventional level, China is modernizing its forces in an attempt at eroding the US's current ability to back up with military power an eventual strategy of economic containment. None of these trends points to an inevitable path of global military expansion or competition with the United States. Having its survival guaranteed by a small but robust nuclear deterrent, China is likely to focus on economic growth through cooperation with the United States for as long as the latter continues to ensure the international conditions conducive to this goal.
Heg Down – ME
--US Middle East leadership is in decline – supporting transitions is key
Etzioni ’11professor of international relations at George Washington University
Amitai, “Shifting Sands”, The Journal of International Security Affairs, www.securityaffairs.org/issues/2011/20/etzioni.php, CMR]
It is already clear that the greatest effect of the convulsions that spread through the Middle East, beginning with the removal of the Tunisian autocrat Ben Ali early in 2011, has been a reduction in America’s leverage—and a concomitant increase in Iran’s potential influence there. To point to both developments is not to argue that the United States should oppose the transformation of these regimes (or that it could stop it, if it so desired), but to point out the consequences for the balance of power in the region and to the challenges they pose to the United States and its remaining allies. The decline of U.S. leverage is obvious. Regimes that were solid U.S. allies, most notably Egypt, but also Jordan, Bahrain, and Yemen, either have been toppled or are being severely challenged. Ultimately, they may turn into stable democracies that find their way to becoming part of the free world. However, one cannot help but note that so far no Arab country has made such a transition. And while such transformations invariably take time—it took years or longer before the military regimes of South Korea, Turkey, Indonesia, and Chile turned into stable democracies— a range of unfavorable conditions, from high levels of unemployment to low levels of education and often weak civic bodies, make the prospect for substantive change in the Middle East daunting. Indeed, a review of recent regional changes hammers home the point that American strategic interests are suffering significant setbacks, while those of Iran are (or could be) advanced in unprecedented fashion.