Lieber 2005 – PhD from Harvard, Professor of Government and International Affairs at Georgetown, former consultant to the State Department and for National Intelligence Estimates (Robert, “The American Era”, pages 53-54, WEA)
Withdrawal from foreign commitments might seem to be a means of evading hostility toward the United States, but the consequences would almost certainly be harmful both to regional stability and to U.S. national interests. Although Europe would almost certainly not see the return to competitive balancing among regional powers (i.e., competition and even military rivalry between France and Germany) of the kind that some realist scholars of international relations have predicted,21 elsewhere the dangers could increase. In Asia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan would have strong motivation to acquire nuclear weapons – which they have the technological capacity to do quite quickly. Instability and regional competition could also escalate, not only between India and Pakistan, but also in Southeast Asia involving Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and possibly the Philippines. Risks in the Middle East would be likely to increase, with regional competition among the major countries of the Gulf region (Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq) as well as Egypt, Syria, and Israel. Major regional wars, eventually involving the use of weapons of mass destruction plus human suffering on a vast scale, floods of refugees, economic disruption, and risks to oil supplies are all readily conceivable. Based on past experience, the United States would almost certainly be drawn backinto these areas, whether to defend friendly states, to cope with a humanitarian catastrophe, or to prevent a hostile power from dominating an entire region. Steven Peter Rosen has thus fittingly observed, “If the logic of American empire is unappealing, it is not at all clear that the alternatives are that much more attractive.”22 Similarly, Niall Ferguson has added that those who dislike American predominance ought to bear in mind that the alternative may not be a world of competing great powers, but one with no hegemon at all. Ferguson’s warning may be hyperbolic, but it hints at the perils that the absence of a dominant power, “apolarity,” could bring “an anarchic new Dark Age of waning empires and religious fanaticism; of endemic plunder and pillage in the world’s forgotten regions; of economic stagnation and civilization’s retreat into a few fortified enclaves.”23
Hegemony Good – War U.S. withdrawal would leave behind a power vacuum, spurring terrorism, economic turmoil and multiple nuclear wars.
Niall Ferguson, July/August 2004 “A World Without Power,” FOREIGN POLICY Issue 143
So what is left? Waning empires. Religious revivals. Incipient anarchy. A coming retreat into fortified cities. These are the Dark Age experiences that a world without a hyperpower might quickly find itself reliving. The trouble is, of course, that this Dark Age would be an altogether more dangerous one than the Dark Age of the ninth century. For the world is much more populous-roughly 20 times more--so friction between the world's disparate "tribes" is bound to be more frequent. Technology has transformed production; now human societies depend not merely on freshwater and the harvest but also on supplies of fossil fuels that are known to be finite. Technology has upgraded destruction, too, so it is now possible not just to sack a city but to obliterate it. For more than two decades, globalization--the integration of world markets for commodities, labor, and capital--has raised living standards throughout the world, except where countries have shut themselves off from the process through tyranny or civil war. The reversal of globalization--which a new Dark Age would produce--would certainly lead to economic stagnation and even depression. As the United States sought to protect itself after a second September 11 devastates, say, Houston or Chicago, it would inevitably become a less open society, less hospitable for foreigners seeking to work, visit, or do business. Meanwhile, as Europe's Muslim enclaves grew, Islamist extremists' infiltration of the EU would become irreversible, increasing trans-Atlantic tensions over the Middle East to the breaking point. An economic meltdown in China would plunge the Communist system into crisis, unleashing the centrifugal forces that undermined previous Chinese empires. Western investors would lose out and conclude that lower returns at home are preferable to the risks of default abroad. The worst effects of the new Dark Age would be felt on the edges of the waning great powers. The wealthiest ports of the global economy--from New York to Rotterdam to Shanghai--would become the targets of plunderers and pirates. With ease, terrorists could disrupt the freedom of the seas, targeting oil tankers, aircraft carriers, and cruise liners, while Western nations frantically concentrated on making their airports secure. Meanwhile, limited nuclear wars could devastate numerous regions, beginning in the Korean peninsula and Kashmir, perhaps ending catastrophically in the Middle East. In Latin America, wretchedly poor citizens would seek solace in Evangelical Christianity imported by U.S. religious orders. In Africa, the great plagues of aids and malaria would continue their deadly work. The few remaining solvent airlines would simply suspend services to many cities in these continents; who would wish to leave their privately guarded safe havens to go there? For all these reasons, the prospect of an apolar world should frighten us today a great deal more than it frightened the heirs of Charlemagne. If the United States retreats from global hegemony--its fragile self-image dented by minor setbacks on the imperial frontier--its critics at home and abroad must not pretend that they are ushering in a new era of multipolar harmony, or even a return to the good old balance of power. Be careful what you wish for. The alternative to unipolarity would not be multipolarity at all. It would be apolarity--a global vacuum of power. And far more dangerous forces than rival great powers would benefit from such a not-so-new world disorder.
Hegemony Good – War Hegemony Solves multiple scenarios for conflict
Thayer, B.A. (Associate Professor in the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at Missouri State University) [Bradley, In Defense of Primacy, The National Interest, December (lexis)] December 2006
THROUGHOUT HISTORY, peace and stability have been great benefits of an era where there was a dominant power--Rome, Britain or the United States today. Scholars and statesmen have long recognized the irenic effect of power on the anarchic world of international politics. Everything we think of when we consider the current international order--free trade, a robust monetary regime, increasing respect for human rights, growing democratization--is directly linked to U.S. power. Retrenchment proponents seem to think that the current system can be maintained without the current amount of U.S. power behind it. In that they are dead wrong and need to be reminded of one of history's most significant lessons: Appalling things happen when international orders collapse. The Dark Ages followed Rome's collapse. Hitler succeeded the order established at Versailles. Without U.S. power, the liberal order created by the United States will end just as assuredly. As country and western great Ral Donner sang: "You don't know what you've got (until you lose it)." Consequently, it is important to note what those good things are. In addition to ensuring the security of the United States and its allies, American primacy within the international system causes many positive outcomes for Washington and the world. The first has been a more peaceful world. During the Cold War, U.S. leadership reduced friction among many states that were historical antagonists, most notably France and West Germany. Today, American primacy helps keep a number of complicated relationships aligned--between Greece and Turkey, Israel and Egypt, South Korea and Japan, India and Pakistan, Indonesia and Australia. This is not to say it fulfills Woodrow Wilson's vision of ending all war. Wars still occur where Washington's interests are not seriously threatened, such as in Darfur, but a Pax Americana does reduce war's likelihood, particularly war's worst form: great power wars. Second, American power gives the United States the ability to spread democracy and other elements of its ideology of liberalism. Doing so is a source of much good for the countries concerned as well as the United States because, as John Owen noted on these pages in the Spring 2006 issue, liberal democracies are more likely to align with the United States and be sympathetic to the American worldview.3 So, spreading democracy helps maintain U.S. primacy. In addition, once states are governed democratically, the likelihood of any type of conflict is significantly reduced. This is not because democracies do not have clashing interests. Indeed they do. Rather, it is because they are more open, more transparent and more likely to want to resolve things amicably in concurrence with U.S. leadership. And so, in general, democratic states are good for their citizens as well as for advancing the interests of the United States. Critics have faulted the Bush Administration for attempting to spread democracy in the Middle East, labeling such an effort a modern form of tilting at windmills. It is the obligation of Bush's critics to explain why democracy is good enough for Western states but not for the rest, and, one gathers from the argument, should not even be attempted. Of course, whether democracy in the Middle East will have a peaceful or stabilizing influence on America's interests in the short run is open to question. Perhaps democratic Arab states would be more opposed to Israel, but nonetheless, their people would be better off. The United States has brought democracy to Afghanistan, where 8.5 million Afghans, 40 percent of them women, voted in a critical October 2004 election, even though remnant Taliban forces threatened them. The first free elections were held in Iraq in January 2005. It was the military power of the United States that put Iraq on the path to democracy. Washington fostered democratic governments in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Caucasus. Now even the Middle East is increasingly democratic. They may not yet look like Western-style democracies, but democratic progress has been made in Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. By all accounts, the march of democracy has been impressive. Third, along with the growth in the number of democratic states around the world has been the growth of the global economy. With its allies, the United States has labored to create an economically liberal worldwide network characterized by free trade and commerce, respect for international property rights, and mobility of capital and labor markets. The economic stability and prosperity that stems from this economic order is a global public good from which all states benefit, particularly the poorest states in the Third World. The United States created this network not out of altruism but for the benefit and the economic well-being of America. This economic order forces American industries to be competitive, maximizes efficiencies and growth, and benefits defense as well because the size of the economy makes the defense burden manageable.
Hegemony Good – War
Hegemony is sustainable and solves global war – there is no alternative
Robert Knowles (Assistant Professor – New York University School of Law) 2009 “american hegemony and the foreign affairs constitution” Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 41 Lexis
First, the "hybrid" hegemonic model assumes that the goal of U.S. foreign affairs should be the preservation of American hegemony, which is more stable, more peaceful, and better for America's security and prosperity, than the alternatives. If the United States were to withdraw from its global leadership role, no other nation would be capable of taking its place. 378 The result would be radical instability and a greater risk of major war. 379 In addition, the United States would no longer benefit from the public goods it had formerly produced; as the largest consumer, it would suffer the most. Second, the hegemonic model assumes that American hegemonyis unusually stable and durable. 380 As noted above, other nations have many incentives to continue to tolerate the current order. 381 And although other nations or groups of nations - China, the European Union, and India are often mentioned - may eventually overtake the United States in certain areas, such as manufacturing, the U.S. will remain dominant in most measures of capability for decades. According to 2007 estimates, the U.S. economy was projected to be twice the size of China's in 2025. 382 The U.S. accounted for half of the world's military spending in 2007 and holds enormous advantages in defense technology that far outstrip would-be competitors. 383 Predictions of American decline are not new, and they have thus far proved premature. 384
U.S. Hegemony prevents war.
Thayer, Bradley A., Associate Professor in the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at Missouri State University, “American Empire: A Debate,” Routledge publishing 2007, pg. 105
In contrast to Layne's argument, maximizing the power of the United States aids its ability to defend itself from attacks and to advance its interests. This argument is based on its prodigious economic, ideological, and military power. Due to this power, the United States is able to defeat its enemies the world over, to reassure its allies, and to dissuade states from challenging it. From this power also comes respect and admiration, no matter how grudging it may be at times. These advantages keep the United States, its interests, and its allies secure, and it must strive to maintain its advantages in international politics as long as possible. Knowing that American hegemony will end someday does not mean that we should welcome or facilitate its demise; rather the reverse. The United States should labor to maintain hegemony as long as possible-just as knowing that you will die someday does not keep you from planning your future and living today. You strive to live as long as possible although you realize that it is inevitable that you will die. Like good health, Americans and most of the world should welcome American primacy and work to preserve it as long as possible.
Hegemony is key to international stability
Brzezinski 2004, former national security adviser, professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, ( Zbigniew, THE CHOICE: GLOBAL DOMINATION OR GLOBAL LEADERSHIP, , p. 17)
In reflecting on the security implications of this new reality, it is important to bear in mind the points made earlier. America is the world-transforming society, even revolutionary in its subversive impact on sovereignty based international politics. At the same time, America is a traditional power, unilaterally protective of its own security while sustaining international stability not only for its own benefit, but for that of the international community as a whole The latter task compels U.S. policymakers to concentrate on the more traditional role as the linchpin of global stability. Despite the new realities of global interdependence and the mounting preoccupation of the international community with such new global issues as ecology, global warming, AIDS, and poverty, the argument that American power is uniquely central to world peace is supported by a simple hypothetical test: What would happen if the U.S. Congress were to mandate prompt retraction of U.S. military power from its three crucial foreign deployments- Europe, the Far East, and the Persian Gulf? Any such U.S. withdrawal would without doubt plunge the world almost immediately into a policitally chaotic crisis. In Europe, there would be a pell-mell rush by some to rearm but also to reach a special arrangement with Russia. In the Far East, war would probably break out on the Korean Peninsula while Japan would undertake a crash program of rearmament, including nuclear weapons. In the Persian Gulf area, Iran would become dominant and would intimidate the adjoining Arab states.
Hegemony Good – Power Vacuum
U.S. unipolar hegemony failure leads to geopolitical instability and power competitions.
Layne, Christopher. Professor, and Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security, at Texas A&M University. The Waning of U.S. Hegemony-Myth or Reality? A Review Essay. MIT Press, 2009
As Yogi Berra said, “Making predictions is hard—especially about the future.” Whether unipolarity and U.S. hegemony will end during the next two decades is a topic of contention. If they do, however, international politics could look very different—especially if the end of U.S. hegemony triggers deglobalization. In that case, liberal constraints against great power war could diminish, and the coming decades could be an era of rising nationalism and mercantilism, geopolitical instability, and great power competition.
U.S. hegemony is key to checking al-Queda, China, and Russia.
Thayer, B.A. (Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Missouri State University). The Strategic Advantages of American Power. International Studies Review, Jun 2 2009.
Bruce Berkowitz addresses these questions in this impressive study. He makes a significant contribution to the growing foreign and defense policy literatures that address the causes of American hegemony and the myriad of topics associated with its continuation or demise (Kupchan 2003; Bacevich 2005; Layne and Thayer 2007; Murphy 2007). Berkowitz may be categorized as a thoughtful and cautious proponent of American preponderance and as an insightful student of the mechanics of its propagation. Berkowitz's central arguments are that the United States must labor hard to maintain its dominant position in a dynamic and protean international environment where there are considerable risks of losing its strategic advantage—the ability to control or influence events (p. 3). He argues it can overcome the significant challenges it faces: the growth of Chinese power, an often recalcitrant Russia, and the deadly threat of al Qaeda inspired terrorism. But Berkowitz also crafts his argument skillfully, moving beyond the sizeable problems posed by Beijing, Moscow, and terrorism, to identify what is too often neglected in the literature—the qualities necessary for such a position to continue. He suggests that the United States needs, first, to be flexible in its policy responses. This is necessary to confront the diverse array of security problems Washington faces. Second, the United States must work to ensure its position is maintained by remaining agile in its reactions to the threats it confronts and able to endure by adopting the proper policies to promote growth. In the course of his study, Berkowitz emphasizes that all the arrows in Washington's quiver, including diplomatic and cultural forces, are necessary to maintain its position.
Hegemony Good – Global Crises Decline of confidence in the U.S. causes global crisis.
Erik Jones, Staff Writer for Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, PhD of IR and Professor of European Studies at Johns Hopkins University, 7-21, 2010, “A Great Fall”, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy Vol 52. Issue 4
The Cohen and DeLong argument is declinism for a new century, grounded in now-popular notions of soft power. Although they emphasise money, their concern is norms and values, not guns and butter.When countries have money they have earned in a sustainable manner over a long period of time – not by pulling resources out of the ground, but through innovation and industry – they can influence others to adopt their own preferred way of organising things without making a conscious effort. The United States did not just export democracy, it also exported social mobility, efficiency and a host of other social norms that now seem self-evident, but were not always so. Now, however, what used to be distinctly American culture has gone global and the United States is no longer in control. Because they are the principal creditors of US profligacy, the Chinese and others are able to assert a countervailing influence; they can bind American power and perhaps also project values of their own. The problem with this arrangementis not that the United States is poorer and less attractive as a result. The loss of US money and its implications for global influence has already happened. Rather, the problem is that the transition from one position to another is making the world economy as a whole unstable.The United States cannot live beyond its means forever and so must inevitably lose the confidence of its creditors. As we have just experienced, bad things happen when that confidence breaks down. Even though the crisis appears to be over, there is no guarantee it will not flare up again. Cohen and DeLong end on a low note. The Humpty Dumpty of American global dominance cannot be put back together again. Even if it could, it would not last: ‘After all, Humpty was an egg’ (p. !+%). It is tempting to dismiss this as an exercise in exaggerated pessimism. As Joseph Nye wrote in response to Paul Kennedy, the United States is Bound to Lead once we understand the nature of American power.4 Nevertheless, Cohen and DeLong’s argument makes for a compelling narrative, not least because it draws on the same notion of power that Nye uses and because it contains, like Scarfarce, so many memorable lines. The power of belief Cohen and DeLong’s compelling version of the declinist argument has potentially important implications for the stability of the global economic system. When they talk about America’s creditors having confidence in the US government’s ability to live up to its financial commitments, they touch on an aspect of global hegemony that has gained increasing currency in modern economics. The elements of the story can be read off the contents page of George Akerlof and Robert Shiller’s recent Animal Spirits (reviewed in the June–July &$$" issue of Survival5). When we try to assess the stability of the global economic system, we need to think in terms of psychological variables like confidence, fairness, bad faith and the money illusion. Other countries will only buy into an American-centred global order if they believe the US government is willing and able to underwrite the system, if theycan Downloaded By: [Dartmouth College] At: 17:26 25 July 2010 !%$ | Erik Jones have an equitable chance to pursue their own self-interest, if they believe that other powerful actors will not violate the rules of the game and so take advantage of them, and if there is some currency that can be used to connect trade and capital flows. This is not a new argument in the field of international political economy. Charles Kindleberger sketched the requirements for hegemonic stability in his !"#, study of the Great Depression.6 The difference is that Kindleberger focused on the structural characteristics of the hegemon – meaning the ability to underwrite the system by acting as an open market for distressed goods, to enforce the rules impartially, to provide moral leadership, and to act as a lender of last resort. By contrast, Akerlof and Shiller underscore the importance of perceptions held by other actors. Whatever the objective merits of the United States, if other major actors lack confidence in America’s ability to maintain open markets, if they believe that the global economic system is rigged against them, if they perceive other actors like China or Germany to be taking advantage of the system, or if they lose confidence in the dollar as the ultimate vehicle for international payments, they may begin to behave irrationally, with sudden and systemic implications. They may panic and trigger a global crisis.