Hegemony & Leadership Toolbox

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Heg Down – Economy

Economic collapse of 2008 has accelerated the decline of our hegemony

Snyder 09, postdoctorate in government and politics, University of Maryland

Quddus Z, Systemic Theory in an Era of Declining US Hegemony, http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/irworkshop/papers_fall09/snyder.pdf, Fall 09

Up until quite recently, the dominant view among IR scholars was that the US was indeed an unrivaled superpower, or unipole. 4 Scholarly debate largely centered on how enduring and stable the unipolar system is 5 ; whether secondary powers are hard-balancing, soft-balancing, or not balancing at all against the US 6 ; and whether or not a coming multipolarity can be stable. 7 But even as the nature of the unipolar system was being debated, many were already anticipating the decline of US hegemony as power was increasingly shifting east. 8 In the wake of the economic collapse that began in 2008, the case for American decline seems to have gained added momentum. 9 US decline is a hotly debated question, the answers to which are not at all clear. 10 However, even the most vocal proponents of the unipolar stability theory believe that unipolarity cannot endure indefinitely. 11 What this means is that sooner or later, perhaps sooner, systemic theories of IR will be put to a critical test.
Decline now – economic weakness, dollar decline

Layne 11, Professor and Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security at Texas A & M University's Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Christopher “Bye bye, Miss American Pie,” 28.03.2011, http://theeuropean-magazine.com/223-layne-christopher/231-pax-americana

American primacy’s end is result of history’s big, impersonal forces compounded by the United States’ own self-defeating policies. Externally, the impact of these big historical forces is reflected in the emergence of new great powers like China and India which is being driven by the unprecedented shift in the center of global economic power from the Euro-Atlantic area to Asia. China’s economy has been growing much more rapidly than the United States’ over the last two decades and continues to do so. U.S. decline reflects its own economic troubles. Optimists contend that current worries about decline will fade once the U.S. recovers from the recession. After all, they say, the U.S. faced a larger debt/GDP ratio after World War II, and yet embarked on a sustained era of growth. But the post-war era was a golden age of U.S. industrial and financial dominance, trade surpluses, and sustained high growth rates. Those days are gone forever. The United States of 2011 are different from 1945. Even in the best case, the United States will emerge from the current crisis facing a grave fiscal crisis. The looming fiscal results from the $1 trillion plus budget deficits that the U.S. will incur for at least a decade. When these are bundled with the entitlements overhang (the unfunded future liabilities of Medicare and Social Security) and the cost of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is reason to worry about United States’ long-term fiscal stability – and the role of the dollar. The dollar’s vulnerability is the United States’ real geopolitical Achilles’ heel because the dollar’s role as the international economy’s reserve currency role underpins U.S. primacy. If the dollar loses that status America’s hegemony literally will be unaffordable.

Heg Down – No US Pursuit

US not pursuing hegemonic strategies

Clark 09, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Ian, “Bringing hegemony back in: the United States and international order” International Affairs 85: 1 (2009) 23–36 © 2009 The Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/The Royal Institute of International Affairs

However, in the specific terms advanced here, little of this history refers to any kind of hegemony; it simply refers to stages in primacy—its quest, realization, and possible loss. Accordingly, we need a stricter concept. If we define hegemony such that a consensual legitimacy is a necessary part of it rather than an optional extra, then the recent phase of US strategy represents no kind of hegemony at all. At best, it is a tale of hegemony lost. In terms of a social theory of hegemony—whereby hegemony becomes an accepted institution of international society—there has then been no recent American hegemony, its primacy in material power notwithstanding. The focus must then shift away from the attributes of the putative hegemon, and the resources at its command, towards the perceptions and responses of the ‘followers’.

Heg Down - Iraq

Withdrawal from Iraq inevitable – undermines US leadership in the region

Al-Shibeeb '11 senior editor at Al Arabiya English

Dina; Iraq versus Afghanistan and the withdrawal of US troops; www.alarabiya.net; June 29, 2011 http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/06/29/155326.html; June 29, 2011

Despite the official stance of “agreeing” on a United States troop pullout, Iraqi officials deepened their indecision by debating whether to accept the withdrawal planned for the end of this year, making the scenario markedly different from the one in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, showed sovereign defiance, signaling that even if his country’s security deteriorates he will not ask the US to extend its presence. Yesterday, the heavily guarded Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul was attacked by the Taliban, leaving at least 10 people dead. The hotel bombing came just after a failed attempt to kill Abdul Basir Salangi, the Parwan provincial governor. Though Kabul is already under the control of Afghan security forces, the rare night-time attack was ended by NATO helicopter fire. NATO’s muscle proved effective. President Barack Obama said that he is ready to maintain the US military presence in Afghanistan, as opposed to Iraq, where he is less adamant to do so. However, US military brass say it is important to keep troops in both countries. President Obama has made it official that US troops will withdraw from Iraq, but messages and reports are circulating in Baghdad that some Iraqi politicians see an ongoing US presence as necessary. Nevertheless, targeted killings have increased since it was made public that US troops would be withdrawing from both countries, fulfilling the prophecy that the villains would make use of the void left by the US. According to Reuters, Iraq security officials said that Shiite militias, not Al Qaeda, were behind a recent wave of assassinations of Iraqi government, police and military officials in Baghdad. Interior ministry sources told Reuters that at least 51 officials have been assassinated in the last five months. The withdrawal of US troops will leave a giant security hole, shift the balance of power in the two countries, increase attacks, and may exacerbate sectarian strife. But at the same time, the US presence has caused great agitation and sparked factional violence. Discourse is the only solution. There will be missteps, but transparency and dialogue can lead to peace, especially if one keeps in mind that US forces can always be called on if need be, especially in Iraq. President Karzai surely knows the Taliban will continue causing problems, hence his “even if security deteriorates” statement. And Iraqis probably know that a US pullout will lead to an increase in violence, hence their indecision as to whether it is a good idea or not to have US forces withdraw from their country. But change has to happen. The countries cannot continue to depend on the US, and the US can no longer afford such an expensive project.

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