Hegemony da ddi 2010 1 Hegemony Generic

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Readiness key to Peace

Jack, Spencer, Defense and National Security Analyst at the Heritage Foundation, 9-15- 2000“THE FACTS ABOUT MILITARY READINESS,” Heritage Foundation Reports, N. 1394, P. 1

Such a standard is necessary because America may confront threats from many different nations at once. America's national security requirements dictate that the armed forces must be prepared to defeat groups of adversaries in a given war. America, as the sole remaining superpower, has many enemies. Because attacking America or its interests alone would surely end in defeat for a single nation, these enemies are likely to form alliances. Therefore, basing readiness on American military superiority over any single nation has little saliency. The evidence indicates that the U.S. armed forces are not ready to support America's national security requirements. Moreover, regarding the broader capability to defeat groups of enemies, military readiness has been declining. The National Security Strategy, the U.S. official statement of national security objectives, n3 concludes that the United States "must have the capability to deter and, if deterrence fails, defeat large-scale, cross-border aggression in two distant theaters in overlapping time frames." n4 According to some of the military's highest-ranking officials, however, the United States cannot achieve this goal. Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Jones, former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jay Johnson, and Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Ryan have all expressed serious concerns about their respective services' ability to carry out a two major theater war strategy. n5 Recently retired Generals Anthony Zinni of the U.S. Marine Corps and George Joulwan of the U.S. Army have even questioned America's ability to conduct one major theater war the size of the 1991 Gulf War. n6 Military readiness is vital because declines in America's military readiness signal to the rest of the world that the United States is not prepared to defend its interests. Therefore, potentially hostile nations will be more likely to lash out against American allies and interests, inevitably leading to U.S. involvement in combat. A high state of military readiness is more likely to deter potentially hostile nations from acting aggressively in regions of vital national interest, thereby preserving peace.
Iraq Aff
Perception of aggressive US military intent has killed leadership legitimacy and hegemony

Raymond Hinnebusch, Professor of International Relations and Middle East Politics, Vol. 16, No. 3, 209–228, Fall 2007, Middle East Critique, The US Invasion of Iraq: Explanations and Implications, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a782790793&fulltext=713240928)

But hegemony also depends on legitimacy—many states accept it as long as the hegemon defends a world order that benefits more actors than itself. For John Ikenberry,16 the hegemon’s overwhelming power is actually unthreatening since the US is content to be an ‘off-shore balancer’ and eschews territorial aggrandizement; because, being democratic, its policy is predictable and self-restraining, not arbitrary; and because its power is exercised through multinational institutions where it is constrained by mutually agreed rules. The Iraq war, however, suggests that the US role in the world has taken a turn away from benign hegemony as predictability, self-restraint, and multilateralism no longer hold and, in the Middle East at least, the US has become a partisan player, not a balancer. Iraq may mark a watershed, as the squandering of soft power and substitution of force for consent undermines the legitimacy of US leadership.

Iraq Aff - Overstretch
Iraq has overstretched the military—destroying recruitment, retention, and quality

General Robert G. Gard, Jr., former President of the National Defense University, and Brigadier General John Johns, former assistant secretary for defense, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Nov 5, “There are risks if the U.S. withdraws its troops from Iraq. Are there greater risks in keeping them there?” http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2005/11/00_gard-johns_there-are-risks-if-the-us-withdraws.htm

The U.S. military will be stretched to the breaking point: In January 2004, Lieutenant General John Riggs said: "I have been in the Army 39 years, and I’ve never seen it as stretched in that 39 years as I have today;" and it is more stretched now. Despite increased incentives and lowered standards, the Army is unable to meet its recruitment goals. If the U.S. maintains troops in Iraq indefinitely at or near current levels, the ability of our armed forces to protect our national security interests in the rest of the world, including in Afghanistan where the Taliban has mounted a reinvigorated insurgency, will continue to decline. It is evident that many junior and mid-grade officers, discouraged by the prospect of repeated tours in Iraq, are resigning their commissions after fulfilling their mandatory service obligations, rather than opting for careers in the military. The difficulties faced by the armed forces today will lead to a deterioration of the quality of the Army from which it will take many years to recover.

Iraq Aff – Soft Power
Withdrawal key to improving US diplomatic effort

William E. Odom , Professor of Political Science @ Yale University and Research Fellow @ Hudson Institute , Retired Army Lieutenant General, Former head of Army intelligence (Reagan), former director of the National Security Agency (Reagan), and served on the National Security Council (Carter), William E. Odom, "Victory Is Not an Option", The Washington Post, 2/11/07, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/09/AR2007020901917.html

Realigning our diplomacy and military capabilities to achieve order will hugely reduce the numbers of our enemies and gain us new and important allies. This cannot happen, however, until our forces are moving out of Iraq. Why should Iran negotiate to relieve our pain as long as we are increasing its influence in Iraq and beyond? Withdrawal will awaken most leaders in the region to their own need for U.S.-led diplomacy to stabilize their neighborhood.
Withdrawal key to European Alliance and Middle East Stability

William E. Odom , Professor of Political Science @ Yale University and Research Fellow @ Hudson Institute , Retired Army Lieutenant General, Former head of Army intelligence (Reagan), former director of the National Security Agency (Reagan), and served on the National Security Council (Carter), William E. Odom, "Victory Is Not an Option", The Washington Post, 2/11/07,http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2006/04/25/cut_and_run_you_bet?page=0,1

Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the United States. It was in the interests of Iran and al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Saddam for his invasion of the country in 1980. For al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the United States in the world diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the trans-Atlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.

In fact, getting out now may be our only chance to set things right in Iraq. For starters, if we withdraw, European politicians would be more likely to cooperate with us in a strategy for stabilizing the greater Middle East. Following a withdrawal, all the countries bordering Iraq would likely respond favorably to an offer to help stabilize the situation. The most important of these would be Iran. It dislikes al Qaeda as much as we do. It wants regional stability as much as we do. It wants to produce more oil and gas and sell it. If its leaders really want nuclear weapons, we cannot stop them. But we can engage them.

None of these prospects is possible unless we stop moving deeper into the "big sandy" of Iraq. America must withdraw now.

Turkey Aff

U.S. troop presence in Turkey strains relationships, causes rupture in Middle East dominance.

Sherwood-Randall 07(Elizabeth, Fall, Former Founding Senior Advisor, Preventive Defense Project, Tend to Turkey, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas ,Belfer Center Programs or Projects, )
How could such a dramatic rupture with Turkey have occurred? In short, American policymakers ignored or misread Turkish politics, disregarded legitimate Turkish concerns, and launched an invasion of nearby Iraq with substantial negative consequences for Turkish interests. In preparing to go to war, the United States aggressively sought Turkish permission for the Fourth Infantry Division to cross Turkey in order to enter Iraq from the north. The pressure Washington put on Ankara–and the perception in some Turkish circles that the United States sought to bribe the country to secure its agreement–redounded negatively in the domestic debate, resulting in the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s failure on March 1, 2003 to approve a resolution permitting U.S. troop transit into Iraq. In reaction, the Pentagon severely curtailed contacts with the Turkish military, essentially freezing it out of the action precisely at the moment that its leaders felt Turkey’s vital interests were being imperiled. On the policy side, high-level visits were postponed or canceled, and regular consultations between the Department of Defense and the Turkish military’s General Staff were suspended. Further, Turkish offers to send troops to Iraq were repeatedly rebuffed, reinforcing the impression that Turkey was being excluded from shaping events that would have serious implications for its security. At the time of the invasion of Iraq and overthrow of SaddamHussein, the Americans rejected a proposed Turkish deployment of 20,000 troops in the north on the grounds that it could lead to conflict between Turks and Kurds; later in 2003, when the U.S. sought support for peacekeeping and reconstruction, Turkey’s proposal to send 10,000 soldiers was rejected by Iraq’s Governing Council.

In Turkish eyes, the American war effort has substantially destabilized their neighborhood and severely exacerbated their most important security challenge: the continuing terrorist violence perpetrated by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). An unintended consequence of U.S. policy since the first Gulf War has been the emergence of a safe haven for the PKK in northern Iraq. This territory, largely controlled by Iraqi Kurds, has been the only relatively stable region of the country. As a result, American policymakers have resisted appeals to expand the U.S. presence there, concentrating forces on more volatile areas. Concomitantly, the Kurdish leadership of northern Iraq has failed to use its influence to effectively rein in PKK violence.

Turkey Aff
Economic and Political ties are key to Turkey-U.S. relations, not U.S. troops.

Daloglu, 2009(Tulin, Chief Washington Correspondent of Habertürk, “Turkey and the United States” Turkey Analyst, Vol. 2 no. 115 June, http://www.silkroadstudies.org/new/inside/turkey/2009/090605B.html)
The point is that a broader effort exists to try to end the violence. Moreover, Obama’s reach out to the Muslim world and his desire to withdraw troops from Iraq has shifted the focus of the U.S-Turkey relationship into new areas, such as strengthening commercial and trade ties. “Turkish exports to the U.S. are around $4 billion a year,” James Jeffrey, the U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, said recently in Washington. “American exports to Turkey are a bit stronger, a little more than $10 billion a year. The state of the Turkish economy – almost $800 billion, [with] roughly $15 to $16 billion of two-way trade – is not impressive. We can do better.”  But, the ambassador cautioned, businesses do not recognize friends or enemies – only profits. Only an environment conducive to making profits can guarantee a stronger future business ties between the two nations.  

CONCLUSIONS: There is no doubt that a new, positive attitude is coloring the relationship between the United States and Turkey. Whether that continues, however, is more dependent on political developments than on economic cooperation, even if the latter can make a difference as well. The future of the region is however unpredictable. Turkey’s Muslim identity has forced it to take sides in the past, and its new foreign policy, which makes it a more active player in the neighborhood, could eventually push it to do so again. The sympathies of the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, for Hamas and Hezbollah, as representatives of political Islam, may eventually push Turkey in their direction. President Barack Obama’s call for such organizations to lay down their arms may be put to the test soon. But the rhetoric of the relationship does nevertheless hold the promise of a positive future – one that ideally will include not only a strong political and military friendship, but an increased commercial and trade component as well.

Turkey Aff
Incirlik Not Necessary for U.S. power projection

Turkish Daily News 2007 (Feb 23rd, Incirlik not vital for U.S. operation, http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-159735222/incirlik-not-vital-iraq.html)

The United States' use of Turkey's Incirlik airbase in the south greatly facilitates Iraq-related military activities, but the base's role is not indispensable for American forces' operations in Iraq, a top U.S. commander said

"I wouldn't say that we have to [use] Incirlik to conduct operations in Iraq," U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley told a briefing at the Foreign Press Center on Wednesday.

Japan Aff

U.S. troop presence is irrelevant and dangerously unstable, Japan can defend itself and U.S. offshore balancing still solves any risk of Chinese/Korean aggression

Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Reagan Transforming Japan-US Alliance, October, 29, 2009, “Transforming Japan-U.S. Alliance,”http://www.cato.org/people/doug-bandow

accessed on 7-19-10) SM

American influence is facing another challenge in East Asia. The latest loss of U.S. power may occur in Japan. Last month, the Democratic Party of Japan ousted the Liberal Democratic Party, which had held power for most of the last 54 years. Exactly how policy will change is uncertain: The DPJ is a diverse and fractious coalition. But Washington is nervous. U.S. policymakers have grown used to Tokyo playing the role of pliant ally, backing American priorities and hosting American bases.That era may be over. Although Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama insists that he wants to strengthen the alliance, before taking office he wrote in the New York Times: "As a result of the failure of the Iraq war and the financial crisis, the era of U.S.-led globalism is coming to an end."America's alliance with Japan — like most U.S. defense relationships — is outdated.Of course, there are significant barriers to any dramatic transformation of Japanese policy. Indeed, during the campaign the DPJ platform dropped its earlier pledge to "do away with the dependent relationship in which Japan ultimately has no alternative but to act in accordance with U.S. wishes, replacing it with a mature alliance based on independence and equality."Nevertheless, the DPJ possesses a strong left wing and vigorously opposed the ousted government's logistical support for U.S. naval operations in the Indian Ocean.Other potentially contentious issues include reducing the military presence on Okinawa, renegotiating the relocation of the Marines' Futenma Airfield to Guam at the Japanese expense, cutting so-called host nation support, and amending the Status of Forces Agreement.Some Obama administration officials privately acknowledge that adjustments will be necessary. However, the day after the election State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that there would be no renegotiation of the Okinawa accord. This might seem like a good negotiating tactic, but it didn't go over well in Tokyo. Washington's dismissive response gives the Japanese one more reason to want to escape dependence on the U.S. Actually, Americans should support a transformation of the alliance. The current relationship remains trapped in a world that no longer exists.Japan has the world's second (or third, based on purchasing power parity) largest economy, yet Tokyo remains dependent on America for its security, a minor military player despite having global economic and political interests.There are historical reasons for Tokyo's stunted international role, but it is time for East Asian countries to work together to dispel the remaining ghosts of Japan's imperialist past rather than to expect America to continue acting as the defender of the last resort.Since Japan and Asia have changed, so should America's defense strategy. There should be no more troops based on Japanese soil. No more military units tasked for Japan's defense. No more security guarantee for Japan.The U.S. should adopt a strategy of offshore balancer, expecting friendly states to defend themselves, while being ready to act if an overwhelming, hegemonic threat eventually arises. China is the most, but still unlikely, plausible candidate for such a role — and even then not for many years.Washington's job is not to tell Japan — which devotes about one-fourth the U.S level to the military — to do more. Washington's job is to do less. Tokyo should spend whatever it believes to be necessary on its so-called "Self-Defense Force." Better relations with China and reform in North Korea would lower that number. Japan should assess the risks and act accordingly.

In any case, the U.S. should indicate its willingness to accommodate Tokyo's changing priorities.

It's the same strategy that Washington should adopt elsewhere around the globe. The Marine Expeditionary Force stationed on Okinawa is primarily intended to back up America's commitment to South Korea. Yet, the South has some 40 times the GDP of North Korea. Seoul should take over responsibility for its own defense.

Even more so the Europeans, who possess more than 10 times Russia's GDP. If they don't feel at risk, there's no reason for an American defense guarantee. If they do feel at risk, there's no reason for them not to do more — a lot more.

Defending populous and prosperous allies made little sense in good economic times. But with Uncle Sam's 2009 deficit at $1.6 trillion and another $10 trillion in red ink likely over the next decade — without counting the impact of any additional financial disasters — current policy is unsustainable. The U.S. essentially is borrowing money from China for use to defend Japan from China.In Washington, officials are rounding the wagons to protect the status quo. But America's alliance with Japan — like most U.S. defense relationships — is outdated. Both America and Japan would benefit from ending Tokyo's unnatural defense dependence on the U.S.
Japan Aff
Troop presence in Japan is useless and forward deployment in Japan risks bankrupting the U.S.

Doug Bandow, Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “Get Out of Japan,” June 28, 2010

This article appeared on The National Interest (Online) on June 18, 2010. http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11928) SM

Yet what is most curious about the issue is the dogged insistence of American officials in maintaining the Japanese protectorate. The world in which the security treaty was signed has disappeared. Admits Kent E. Calder of SAIS, "the international political-economic context of the alliance and the domestic context in both nations have changed profoundly." There is no reason to assume that a relationship created for one purpose in one context makes sense for another purpose in another context.The one-sided alliance — the United States agrees to defend Japan, Japan agrees to be defended — made sense in the aftermath of World War II. But sixty-five years later Japan possesses the second-largest economy on earth and has the potential to defend itself and help safeguard its region."All of my Marines on Okinawa are willing to die if it is necessary for the security of Japan," Lieutenant General Keith Stalder, the Pacific commander of the Marine Corps, observed in February. Yet "Japan does not have a reciprocal obligation to defend the United States." How does that make sense for America today?Washington officials naturally want to believe that their role is essential. Countries which prefer to rely on America are happy to maintain the pretense. However, keeping the United States as guarantor of the security of Japan — and virtually every other populous, prosperous industrial state in the world — is not in the interest of the American people.The days when Uncle Sam could afford to maintain a quasi-empire are over. The national debt already exceeds $13 trillion. America is running a $1.6 trillion deficit this year. Red ink is likely to run another $10 trillion over the next decade — assuming Washington doesn't have to bail out more failed banks, pension funds and whatever else. Social Security and Medicare have a total unfunded liability in excess of $100 trillion. In short, the U.S. government is piling debt on top of debt in order to defend a country well able to protect itself.Some Japanese see little danger and correspondingly little need for much defense. Others are not so certain. It's a decision for the Japanese people.North Korea's military abilities remain uncertain and its aggressive intentions remain unpredictable. Prime Minister Hatoyama cited "the current situation in the Korean peninsula" as a reason to maintain the base on Okinawa.Moreover, China's power is growing. So far Beijing has been assertive rather than aggressive, but increasingly seems willing to contest islands claimed by both nations. The best way to keep the competition peaceful is for Tokyo to be able to protect itself.Of course, several of Japan's neighbors, along with some Americans, remain nervous about any Japanese military activity given the Tokyo's wartime depredations. However, the Japanese people do not have a double dose of original sin. Everyone who planned and most everyone who carried out those aggressions are dead. A country which goes through political convulsions before it will send unarmed peacekeepers abroad is not likely to engage in a new round of conquest. Anyway, the best way to assuage regional concerns is to construct cooperative agreements and structures between Japan and its neighbors. Democratic countries from South Korea to Australia to India have an interest in working with Tokyo to ensure that the Asia-Pacific remains peaceful and prosperous. Japan has much at stake and could contribute much. Tokyo could still choose to do little. But it shouldn't expect America to fill any defense gap.The claim is oft-made that the presence of American forces also help promote regional stability beyond Japan. How never seems to be explained. Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation contends: "the Marines on Okinawa are an indispensable and irreplaceable element of any U.S. response to an Asian crisis." But the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), while packing a potent military punch, actually has little to do.The MEF isn't necessary to support manpower-rich South Korea, which is capable of deterring a North Korean attack. The Marines wouldn't be useful in a war against China, unless the Pentagon is planning a surprise landing in Tiananmen Square to seize Mao Zedong's mausoleum. If conflict breaks out over Taiwan or various contested islands, America would rely on air and naval units. Where real instability might arise on the ground, only a fool would introduce U.S. troops — insurgency in Indonesia, civil strife in the Solomon Islands or Fiji, border skirmishes between Thailand and Burma or Cambodia.General Ronald Fogleman, a former Air Force Chief of Staff, argued that the Marines "serve no military function. They don't need to be in Okinawa to meet any time line in any war plan. I'd bring them back to California. The reason they don't want to bring them back to California is that everyone would look at them and say, ‘Why do you need these twenty thousand?'"Do U.S. bases in Okinawa help dampen regional arms spending? That's another point more often asserted than proven. Even if so, however, that isn't necessarily to Washington's benefit. The best way to ensure a responsible Chinese foreign and military policy is for Beijing's neighbors to be well-armed and willing to cooperate among themselves. Then local or regional conflicts would be much less likely to end up in Washington. None of this means that the Japanese and American peoples should not be linked economically and culturally, or that the two governments should not cooperate on security issues. But there no longer is any reason for America to guarantee Japan's security or permanently station forces on Japanese soil.The Obama administration's foreign policy looks an awful lot like the Bush administration's foreign policy. The U.S. insists on dominating the globe and imposing its will on its allies. This approach is likely to prove self-defeating in the long-term. U.S. arrogance will only advance the point when increasingly wealthy and influential friends insist on taking policy into their own hands. Before that, however, Washington's insistence on defending prosperous and populous allies risks bankrupting America.Washington must begin scaling back foreign commitments and deployments. Japan would be a good place to start.
Japan Aff
Japan doesn’t need the U.S. anymore- the Democratic Party of Japan is taking the charge.

Funabashi, Toichi, (Editor in Chief of the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.) Tokyo's Trials- Can the DPJ Change Japan. December 2009.

A more vibrant democracy at home would allow Japan to become a more active ally to the democracies that have constituted the liberal international order since the end of World War II. The DPJ'S main vision for Japan's foreign policy, nyua nyuou (enter Asia, enter the West), which calls for closer ties with both the United States and Asia, could help stabilize the Asia-Pacific region. The DPJ seems more willing than the LDP to confront Japan's legacy of pre-World War II imperialism, which reassures Asian nations about the country's potential as a future partner. It is in the interest of the United States that Japan, its longtime ally, play a larger role in the Asia-Pacific region, as states in the area become less dependent on trade with the United States and increasingly uneasy about China's growing influence. This will require something of a balancing act: the DPJ wants to reinforce Japan's economic and cultural identity as an Asian nation and follow a European style of governance while maintaining strong political and military ties with the United States.
Japan Aff
Japan no longer needs sole U.S. support- multiple examples show Japanese growth.

Chanlett-Avery,Emma, (Specialist in Asian Affairs) Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress. November 25, 2009.

In early 2007, Japan signed a bilateral agreement with Australia that pledges cooperation on counterterrorism, maritime security, peace-keeping operations, and disaster relief. In October 2008, a similar pact was signed with India. The agreements, though short of a formal military alliance, may help to establish a framework of security cooperation among Japan, Australia, India, and the United States. Such partnerships give Japan opportunities to strengthen strategic ties with other democracies with similar political and economic freedoms. Continuing this trend, in September 2007 Japan joined a multinational naval exercise with the United States, Australia, Singapore, and India in the area west of the Malacca Straits. The exercise reinforced two interrelated trends in Asia-Pacific defense dynamics: the U.S.-led campaign of strengthening security ties among democratic allies and the strategic countering of Chinese military power. On the sidelines of the 2007 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Japan, Australia, and the United States held their first trilateral meeting. Ongoing provocations by North Korea have spurred closer coordination between Japan, South Korea, and the United States. In May, defense ministers from all three nations met on the sidelines of the Shangri La conference in Singapore to discuss measures to enhance trilateral defense cooperation.
The DPJ doesn’t want U.S. overbearing policies, they have their own agenda.

Chanlett-Avery,Emma, (Specialist in Asian Affairs) Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress. November 25, 2009.

Whichever scenario proves correct, there seems little doubt that much will depend on how U.S. policy toward Japan proceeds in the months ahead. Policymakers in Washington will be working with a new and largely unfamiliar set of counterparts in Tokyo, who are themselves unused to governing. The initial challenge for U.S. officials will likely be to gain the trust of a new ruling party that has long expressed skepticism toward aspects of the U.S.-Japan relationship. Although mainstream members of the DPJ support the alliance, they tend to be wary of overbearing U.S. influence and seek a less deferential bilateral dynamic than is perceived to have existed under previous LDP rule. As coordination between the two governments proceeds on sensitive alliance management issues, such as the base realignment process, some experts warn that overt U.S. pressure on Tokyo may be counterproductive in the early phase of the new government.35 Patience, these experts argue, should be the operational principle guiding U.S. alliance managers over the coming months.

Japan doesn’t need us- the DPJ agenda proves.

Chanlett-Avery,Emma, (Specialist in Asian Affairs) Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress. November 25, 2009.

As the DPJ settles into its new role as the main ruling party, it may over time show greater confidence in following through on its long-promised vision of a more assertive foreign policy for Japan. Among some of the measures called for by the DPJ are expanding Japan’s role in U.N.- sanctioned peacekeeping operations, deepening ties with Asia, taking greater responsibility for defending the Japanese homeland, expanding regional and bilateral free trade agreements (FTA), and promoting an ambitious new set of global climate change standards.

South Korea Aff

A partial withdrawal solves—it improves the force structure in South Korea

Peter Brookes, a veteran of the CIA and naval intelligence, is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, "Defending South Korea", 6/24/04, Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2004/06/Defending-South-Korea

First, the number of troops does not completely determine military capability. In fact, despite the decrease in American soldiers in Korea, U.S. firepower will actually increase due to expected changes in force structure over the next several years. Although technology cannot replace soldiers in some missions, today's hi-tech equipment can provide significant firepower advantages over the common foot soldier. Therefore, the U.S. can withdraw some of its Korean-based troops for other soldier-intensive missions, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism, while actually improving the lethality and deterrence of its forces in Korea. Improving the defence capability of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) can be accomplished by bringing to bear such systems as Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles for air defence, the army's new Stryker brigade, the navy's High-Speed Vessel, and the forward-deployment of additional air and naval assets to Hawaii and Guam. Washington is also planning an $11 billion investment in some additional 150 military capabilities over the next four years that will enhance defence against any North Korean attack. Secondly, it is useful for Seoul and Washington to reduce the visibility and "footprint" (that is, the size and number of bases) of U.S. forces because of trends in Korean public opinion, which has been mixed about USFK's presence. Moving the U.S. Army out of Seoul, drawing down troop levels and consolidating bases will reduce pressures from some sectors of Korean society for all U.S. troops to leave.
South Korea Aff
North Korean response to increased US sanctions is to move the date of their dance festival – US presence in South Korea is not necessary

(Associated Press, 7-21-10, “North Korea to stage massive dance spectacle”,http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j1gyMv3ZqwA60L1wrZNPaQHLynqwD9H3SV280)

North Korea will stage its massive dance-and-tumbling extravaganza known as the Arirang Festival next month, apparently cranking up its domestic propaganda efforts as tensions linger over the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang. The show typically feature thousands of gymnasts in synchronized maneuvers and giant mosaics formed by children turning pieces of colored paper. But it has been criticized as a propaganda tool achieved through the rigid and disciplined training of its young performers. The mass games will start in early August at Pyongyang's May Day Stadium, the North's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Thursday, according to the country's Uriminzokkiri website. Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based travel agency that organizes trips to North Korea, said they will run from Aug. 2 through Oct. 10. Named after a traditional Korean love song, the festival made its debut in 2002 to commemorate the birth of the North's late founding leader Kim Il Sung, father of the North's current leader Kim Jong Il. News on the latest festival came a day after the United States announced expanded and strengthened sanctions against the North and its nuclear weapons program. The move came in response to the North's suspected involvement in the sinking of the South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors. North Korea denies any involvement and has threatened war if punished.

South Korea Aff – China
Joint Military Exercises with US and South Korea endanger US-China relations

(CNS News, 7-12-10, “China Bristles at Prospect of U.S. Aircraft Carrier in the Yellow Sea” http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/69237)

In its own editorial, Global Times said China would likely send ships and aircraft to monitor the drill, and warned of the implications for bilateral relations of any misunderstanding or unintended incident involving U.S. and Chinese forces. “The entire West Pacific is not the backyard of the U.S.” it said. “The U.S. must consider the impact its military presence would have on public perception and the delicate strategic balance in the area. It must give up the idea of constantly aggravating another important cornerstone of security in the region.” Li Hongmei, a People’s Daily columnist, described a surge of nationalist sentiment reflected by posts on the Internet by ordinary Chinese calling on China to attack U.S. warships deployed close to its territorial waters. ‘Undermining China’s security interests’ The Chinese government itself has by comparison been restrained in its response, but critical nonetheless. “We firmly oppose foreign military vessels and planes conducting activities in the Yellow Sea and China’s coastal waters that undermine China’s security interests,” said foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang. “Our stance is consistent and clear. We have already expressed our resolute interest and concerns to related parties,” Qin told reporters. “We hope relevant parties exercise calmness and restraint and refrain from actions that might escalate tension in the region.”
Joint Exercises with South Korea alarming China as well as intended North Korea – China condemning the actions

(Eurasia Review, 7-16-10, “U.S. Risks Military Clash With China in Yellow Sea”, http://www.eurasiareview.com/201007165124/us-risks-military-clash-with-china-in-yellow-sea.html)

The joint exercises with South Korea, as news sources from the latter nation have recently disclosed, will be conducted on both sides of the Korean Peninsula, not only in the Yellow Sea as previously planned but also in the Sea of Japan. (Referred to in the Korean press as the West and East Seas, respectively.) Confirmation that the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington will participate has further exacerbated concerns in Northeast Asia and raised alarms over American intentions not only vis-a-vis North Korea but China as well. An exact date for the war games has not yet been announced, but is expected to be formalized no later than when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrive in the South Korean capital of Seoul on July 21. For weeks now leading Chinese foreign ministry and military officials have condemned the U.S.-led naval exercises, branding them a threat to Chinese national sovereignty and to peace and stability in the region. China's influential Global Times wrote on July 12 that "The eventuality that Beijing has to prepare for is close at hand. The delayed US-South Korean naval exercise in the Yellow Sea is now slated for mid-July. According to media reports, a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier has left its Japanese base and is headed for the drill area." [1] Permanently based in Yokosuka, Japan, the USS George Washington is an almost 100,000-ton supercarrier: "The nuclear carrier, commissioned in 1992, is the sixth Nimitz-class vessel, carrying some 6,250 crew and about 80 aircraft, including FA-18 fighter jets and E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft." [2] The F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, multirole jet fighter (F/A is for Fighter/Attack) and one of its primary roles is destroying an adversary's air defenses. The E-2C Hawkeye has been described as the "eyes and ears" of American carrier strike groups, being equipped with long-range surveillance radar. In addition to the nuclear aircraft carrier, "an Aegis-equipped destroyer, an amphibious assault ship, about four 4,500-ton KDX-II-class destroyers, the 1,800-ton Son Won-il-class submarine and F-15K fighter jets are expected to join the exercise." [3] U.S. Aegis class warships (destroyers and cruisers) are equipped for Standard Missile-3 anti-ballistic interceptor missiles, part of a U.S.-led Asia-Pacific (to date, along with the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia) and ultimately international interceptor missile system. The F-15K ("Slam Eagle") is a state-of-the-art multirole (used for both aerial combat and ground attack) jet fighter supplied to South Korea by the U.S. The presence of a U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and scores of advanced American and South Korean warplanes off the coast of China in the Yellow Sea - and near Russia's shore in the Sea of Japan if the Washington is deployed there - qualitatively and precariously raises the level of brinkmanship in Northeast Asia.

South Korea Aff – North Korea
Increased provocation of North Korea through military posturing in South Korea could escalate to nuclear war

(The Guardian, 7-24-10, “North Korea threatens ‘nuclear war’ over troop exercises”, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/24/north-korea-nuclear-war-threat)

North Korea has threatened to use its "nuclear deterrent" in response to planned military exercises by the US and South Korea this weekend. The regime promised a "retaliatory sacred war" amid increased tensions on the Korean peninsula over the March sinking of a South Korean navy vessel, which Seoul and Washington blame on Pyongyang. North Korea's National Defence Commission (NDC), headed by leader Kim Jong-il, issued the threat today for what it called a second "unpardonable" provocation for again being blamed for the incident in which 46 sailors died. "The army and people of the [North] will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises," the commission said in a statement run on the state-run Korean Central News Agency. Pyongyang routinely threatens war when its southern neighbour and the US hold joint military exercises. South Korea's defence ministry said no unusual North Korean military movements were detected. Operation Invincible Spirit, which begins tomorrow, will involve 8,000 US and South Korean troops, 200 aircraft and 20 ships, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS George Washington. "The more desperately the US imperialists brandish their nukes and the more zealously their lackeys follow them, the more rapidly the [North's] nuclear deterrence will be bolstered up along the orbit of self-defence and the more remote the prospect for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula will be become," the NDC statement said. Yesterday, a North Korea spokesman, Ri Tong-il, told reporters at the Asean regional security forum in Hanoi, Vietnam, there would be a "physical response" to the drills in the Sea of Japan, which he branded another sign of US "hostility". "It is a threat to the Korean peninsula and the region of Asia as a whole," he said, adding that the exercises harked back to 19th-century gunboat diplomacy and violated North Korea's sovereignty.

Soft Power/Legitimacy Key

Legitimacy is key to hegemony—realism proves hard power alone isn’t stabilizing.

Ian Clark, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, 2009, International Relations, “How Heirarchical Can International Society Be?” accessed via Sage Journals Online cp

One answer for many is that hegemony is ab initio incompatible with international society.24 This seemingly rests upon the syllogism that hierarchy is a different ordering principle from anarchy; hegemony is an expression of hierarchy, and therefore hegemony cannot be a form of anarchy. Waltz famously associated hierarchy with domestic politics, and anarchy with the international. ‘The ordering principles of the two structures are distinctly different’, he maintained, ‘indeed, contrary to each other.’25 It followed then that to ‘move from an anarchic to a hierarchic realm is to move from one system to another’.26

These categorical assertions have subsequently been regularly challenged, and often presented as a continuum rather than a dichotomy.27 Some have recently challenged the validity of anarchy as a general representation of all international politics, pointing out that it has not been empirically tested, simply assumed.28 Waltz, of course, had clearly stressed that these ordering principles are ideal-types, and that in practice all ‘societies are mixed. Elements in them represent both of the ordering principles’.29 There are very few ‘pure’ cases.30 Part of the problem, it has been suggested, is IR’s enduring fi xation with formal-legal conceptions of authority, and the rigid defi nitions of anarchy that result from them.31 It is now accepted that the two principles can indeed be so ‘mixed’, and that many political systems are effectively hybrids. Accordingly, we have been encouraged to think instead of ‘hierarchy under anarchy’32 or ‘hierarchy in anarchy’,33 while others urge us to explore the ‘social logics of hierarchy that exist alongside, but cannot be explained by, the logic of anarchy’.34 It is precisely such a social logic of hierarchy that is potentially illuminating with respect to hegemony. This requires us to think of hierarchy in its consensual form, and as issuing from ‘relational authority’ that ‘rests on a bargain between the ruler and the ruled premised on the former’s provision of a social order of value sufficient to offset the latter’s loss of freedom’.35 If this is once accepted, it gets us over any absolutist rejection of hierarchy as inconsistent with international society. A focus upon legitimacy opens up the possibility of ‘genuine hierarchy’, and not simply ‘inequality under anarchy’.36

Soft Power/Legitimacy Key
Legitimacy is key to hegemony—lack of legitimacy leads to backlash and instability.

Ian Clark, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, 2009, International Relations, “How Heirarchical Can International Society Be?” accessed via Sage Journals Online cp

Fundamental to any such view of hegemony is that it is understood as an institution of international society. This, of course, is the central insight of the English School perspective. In its classic statement, Hedley Bull identified five such institutions (balance of power, the role of the great powers, international law, diplomacy, and war).68 The point here is to suggest that hegemony is best understood, in a cognate way, as one potential institution of international society, applicable to material conditions of primacy. It is this institutional dimension that marks the clear separation between hegemony and primacy. It is this dimension that also establishes the compatibility of hegemony with the anarchical society.

Within the English School version, the institution of the great powers generally serves to simplify the processes of international politics. It does so because of the inherent power differentials that characterise it.69 Specifi cally, the great powers can contribute to the promotion of international order by exercising various ‘managerial’ functions.70 Two principal and interconnected theoretical points emerge. The fi rst is that any such notion of the role of the great powers is meaningful only within a conception of international society where certain values are shared. This is not the universe normally depicted in neorealist accounts, and within which the concept of primacy is typically deployed. Second, such a conception places a particular emphasis upon the kind of power by which great powers are constituted: it results from a status recognised and bestowed by others, not a set of attributes and capabilities possessed by the claimant. To be a great power is to be located in a social relationship, not to have a certain portfolio of material assets. Both considerations apply with equal force to the concept of hegemony.

Anarchic and hegemonic behaviour

Primacy poses a challenge to international society, whereas hegemony need not. The task, therefore, is to ensure that the state enjoying primacy behaves in a hegemonic way, in conformity with expectations created by the institution of hegemony. This is quite contrary to the prescriptions of most neorealists. For them, concentration of power is the problem, and can be addressed only by its reduction. Surprisingly, even those who hold wholly opposing views on the likely durability of US primacy nonetheless agree on this conclusion. Those who see primacy as unstable, and likely to be short-lived, insist that the problem is not a behavioural one. ‘The United States has a hegemony problem because it wields hegemonic power. To reduce the fear of US power, the United States must accept some reduction in its relative hard power’.71 Those, on the other hand, most optimistic about the durability of US primacy tend nonetheless to concur, suggesting that there will be unease ‘no matter what Washington does’: ‘Nothing the United States could do short of abdicating its power would solve the problem completely.’72 Primacy, as well as its resulting discontents, is evidently a function of capabilities, not of diplomatic behaviour. ‘Prophylactic multilateralism’, we are therefore warned, ‘cannot inoculate the United States from counter-hegemonic balancing’.73 This again, however, brings out the confl ation between primacy and the quite different social relationship of hegemony. In Walt’s terms, the hegemon’s problem is not simply what it ‘has’, but what others think it will ‘do’.74 Hegemony offers a distinctive strategy for addressing the problems engendered by primacy, going beyond any solution that relies simply upon the US divesting itself of some of its material capabilities, or in which other states manage to balance successfully against it.

Soft Power/Legitimacy Key
Legitimacy is key to effective exercise of hegemony—even Hegemonic Stability Theorists agree.

Ian Clark, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, 2009, International Relations, “How Heirarchical Can International Society Be?” accessed via Sage Journals Online cp

How do legitimacy and hegemony relate to hierarchy, and how should we think about concentrations of power? To date, those arguments that focus upon legitimacy have tended largely to assume that stability arises where power is dispersed in a roughly equal manner. They understand legitimacy to pertain to agreement and consensus, at the very least amongst the major powers, and thus to require some acknowledgement of the equal status of those powers. Those arguments that dwell on hegemony, by contrast, consider stability as derivative of the concentration of power. ‘Fragmentation of power … leads to fragmentation of the international economic regime’, insisted Keohane, whereas ‘concentration of power contributes to stability’.49 Stability, so it would appear, is most likely when there is available a hegemon both able and willing to play this role. How is it that two theories, both concerned with distributions of power, have reached such diametrically opposed conclusions?

One answer is that, while interested in distributions of power, neither theory sees these as the sole determinants of international stability. The former introduces one intervening variable – legitimacy – between material power and stability. The latter injects an alternative variable – hegemony – that is again distinct from purely distributional concepts. Despite the sharp disagreement between them as to their respective preferences for dispersal or concentration of power, they in fact share a highly signifi cant common belief that stability is a function not simply of material distributions, but also of the degree of shared values. It is this shared feature that offers the prospect of a theory of international society – applicable to conditions of primacy – combining the virtues of both legitimacy and hegemony.

The fi rst cluster includes those political theorists who have long claimed a direct correlation between legitimacy and stability. This is because legitimacy denotes an acceptable, or authoritative, set of political conditions, and is less likely to meet resistance, or to require maintenance by coercive or other means of inducement. Such a view has been prevalent since Max Weber’s seminal discussion.50

This relationship was imported into IR most famously via the work of Henry Kissinger. ‘Stability’, he concluded, ‘has commonly resulted not from a quest for peace but from a generally accepted legitimacy.’51 Historically, that relationship was demonstrated in the post-1815 period: ‘the period of stability which ensued was the best proof that a “legitimate” order had been constructed’.52 Kissinger’s ‘legitimacy’ was, of course, defi ned minimally as ‘an international agreement about the nature of workable arrangements and about the permissible aims and methods of foreign policy’, and as ‘the acceptance of the framework of the international order by all major powers’.53 This connection between legitimacy and stability has since been further explored by various international historians and theorists.54 On these views, international stability derives from more than the material distribution of power alone: the critical intervening variable is the attainment, or otherwise, of a shared conception of international legitimacy.

The second cluster dwells instead upon hegemony as the most likely condition for international stability, and HST is the best known of its sub-theories.55 Most famously, this has concentrated on stability in the international economic order, and grew directly from Charles Kindleberger’s analysis of the causes of the Great Depression.56 However, by extension, it has been applied also to the wider political and security order, particularly through the notion of hegemonic wars in the work of Robert Gilpin.57

HST’s core proposition is that ‘hegemonic structures of power, dominated by a single country, are most conducive to the development of strong international regimes whose rules are relatively precise and well obeyed’.58 HST undoubtedly starts from the concentration of power. This was most readily discernible in the interest shown in any putative American decline as likely to impact adversely on future stability, because ‘as the distribution of tangible resources … becomes more equal, international regimes should weaken’.59 However, although HST starts from material distributions of power, it does not end exclusively there. The concentration of power is necessary, but not suffi cient. Intrinsic to it is that the hegemon ‘is recognized by others as having special rights and duties’.60 Gilpin himself had insisted that ‘hegemony … is based on a general belief in its legitimacy’.61 What this suggests is that legitimacy-based and hegemony-based theories of stability are not as radically opposed as their initial assumptions about preferable distributions of power. Indeed, if both were valid, we might conclude that legitimacy has the potential to trump any specifi c balance of power.

This then confronts directly the relationship between legitimacy and hegemony. For much social science, the idea of hegemony already embraces that of legitimacy. ‘The concept of hegemony’, it is typically observed, ‘is normally understood as emphasising consent in contrast to reliance on the use of force’.62 For example, while acknowledging that HST ‘defi nes hegemony as preponderance of material resources’, Keohane had been mindful also that theories of hegemony needed to ‘explore why secondary states defer to the leadership of the hegemon. That is, they need to account for the legitimacy of hegemonic regimes.’63 Others too restrict the term hegemony only to a situation where a substantial element of legitimacy is present.64 Does hegemony then hold any possible attraction for the anarchical society?

Soft Power/Legitimacy Key
Soft balancing deprives states of their legitimacy—outweighs hard power.

Ian Clark, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, 2009, International Relations, “How Heirarchical Can International Society Be?” accessed via Sage Journals Online cp

The critics of soft balancing insist that such activities amount to no more than standard diplomatic bargaining, and object that this should not be confused with balancing.89 If there is no intention to balance the capabilities of the hegemon, then the language of balance should be eschewed. We can agree, and yet reach this same conclusion by a different route. The imagery in the depictions of soft balancing is, to be sure, misleading. What it refers to is not any attempt physically to reduce the power capabilities of the hegemon, but rather to constrain it by other means. Soft balancing can ‘increase the costs’ of the hegemon’s exercise of its power.90 This latter is a symptom not of diminished material assets, but of legitimacy deficits.91 At this point, soft balancing needs to be viewed not as a proactive policy to reduce the material power of the hegemon, but as evidence of the friction that its loss of legitimacy entails. This emerges even more clearly in those other analyses of soft balancing, where the theme of ‘legitimacy denial’ is very much apparent.92 In Nye’s words, ‘even when a military balance of power is impossible, other countries can still band together to deprive the US policy of legitimacy and thus weaken American soft power’.93 Soft balancing is tantamount to a strategy of legitimacy denial. Brooks and Wohlforth are certainly correct to insist that this represents something other than balancing, but they miss an equally important point when they then wish to reduce it to mere bargaining. Hegemonic delegitimation may well be an outcome of bargaining strategies, but the two are not the same thing. Second-tier states can choose to balance the hegemon, or to bargain with it: neither is tantamount to a challenge to its legitimacy.

Offshore Balancing Good – Laundry List

Offshore balancing prevents unnecessary wars, blowback, and instability

John J. Mearsheimer, December 31, 2008 “Pull Those Boots Off The Ground,” http://www.newsweek.com/2008/12/30/pull-those-boots-off-the-ground.html,” http://cdn.eyewonder.com/100125/764302/1316426/ewtrack.gif?ewadid=112642) SM

So what would it look like? As an offshore balancer, the United States would keep its military forces—especially its ground and air forces—outside the Middle East, not smack in the center of it. Hence the term "offshore." As for "balancing," that would mean relying on regional powers like Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to check each other. Washington would remain diplomatically engaged, and when necessary would assist the weaker side in a conflict. It would also use its air and naval power to signal a continued U.S. commitment to the region and would retain the capacity to respond quickly to unexpected threats, like Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. But—and this is the key point—the United States would put boots on the ground in the Middle East only if the local balance of power seriously broke down and one country threatened to dominate the others. Short of that, America would keep its soldiers and pilots "over the horizon"—namely at sea, in bases outside the region or back home in the United States.This approach might strike some as cynical after Bush's lofty rhetoric. It would do little to foster democracy or promote human rights. But Bush couldn't deliver on those promises anyway, and it is ultimately up to individual countries, not Washington, to determine their political systems. It is hardly cynical to base U.S. strategy on a realistic appraisal of American interests and a clear-eyed sense of what U.S. power cannot accomplish. Offshore balancing, moreover, is nothing new: the United States pursued such a strategy in the Middle East very successfully during much of the cold war. It never tried to garrison the region or transform it along democratic lines. Instead, Washington sought to maintain a regional balance of power by backing various local allies and by developing the capacity—in the form of the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF), which brought together five Army and Marine divisions, seven tactical fighter wings and three aircraft-carrier battle groups—to deter or intervene directly if the Soviet Union, Iraq or Iran threatened to upend the balance. The United States helped Iraq contain revolutionary Iran in the 1980s, but when Iraq's conquest of Kuwait in 1990 threatened to tilt things in Baghdad's favor, the United States assembled a multinational coalition centered on the RDF and smashed Saddam Hussein's military machine. Offshore balancing has three particular virtues that would be especially appealing today. First, it would significantly reduce (though not eliminate) the chances that the United States would get involved in another bloody and costly war like Iraq. America doesn't need to control the Middle East with its own forces; it merely needs to ensure that no other country does. Toward that end, offshore balancing would reject the use of military force to reshape the politics of the region and would rely instead on local allies to contain their dangerous neighbors. As an offshore balancer, the United States would husband its own resources and intervene only as a last resort. And when it did, it would finish quickly and then move back offshore.The relative inexpensiveness of this approach is particularly attractive in the current climate. The U.S. financial bailout has been hugely expensive, and it's not clear when the economy will recover. In this environment, America simply cannot afford to be fighting endless wars across the Middle East, or anywhere else. Remember that Washington has already spent $600 billion on the Iraq War, and the tally is likely to hit more than $1 trillion before that conflict is over. Imagine the added economic consequences of a war with Iran. Offshore balancing would not be free—the United States would still have to maintain a sizable expeditionary force and the capacity to move it quickly—but would be a lot cheaper than the alternative.Second, offshore balancing would ameliorate America's terrorism problem. One of the key lessons of the past century is that nationalism and other forms of local identity remain intensely powerful, and foreign occupiers generate fierce local resentment. That resentment often manifests itself in terrorism or even large-scale insurgencies directed at the United States. When the Reagan administration put U.S. troops in Beirut following Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982, local terrorists responded by suicide-bombing the U.S. Embassy in April 1983 and the U.S. Marine barracks in October, killing more than 300. Keeping U.S. military forces out of sight until they are needed would minimize the anger created by having them permanently stationed on Arab soil.

Third, offshore balancing would reduce fears in Iran and Syria that the United States aims to attack them and remove their regimes—a key reason these states are currently seeking weapons of mass destruction. Persuading Tehran to abandon its nuclear program will require Washington to address Iran's legitimate security concerns and to refrain from issuing overt threats. Removing U.S. troops from the neighborhood would be a good start. The United States can't afford to completely disengage from the Middle East, but offshore balancing would make U.S. involvement there less threatening. Instead of lumping potential foes together and encouraging them to join forces against America, this strategy would encourage contending regional powers to compete for the United States' favor, thereby facilitating a strategy of divide-and-conquer. A final, compelling reason to adopt this approach to the Middle East is that nothing else has worked. In the early 1990s, the Clinton administration pursued a "dual containment" strategy: instead of using Iraq and Iran to check each other, the United States began trying to contain both. This policy guaranteed only that each country came to view the United States as a bitter enemy. It also required the United States to deploy large numbers of troops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The policy fueled local resentment, helped persuade Osama bin Laden to declare war on America and led to the bombing of the Khobar Towers in 1996, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and, eventually, 9/11.

Shortly after 9/11, the Bush administration jettisoned dual containment in favor of regional transformation. When Baghdad fell, it briefly seemed that Bush just might succeed. But the occupation soon faltered, and America's position in the region went from bad to worse.The new president's only hope for extricating America from the resultant mess is to return to the one Middle East strategy that's worked well in the past. In practical terms, an offshore-balancing strategy would mean ending the Iraq War as quickly as possible while working to minimize the bloodshed there and throughout the region. Instead of threatening Iran with preventive war—an approach that's only fueled Tehran's desire for nuclear weapons and increased the popularity of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—the new administration should try to cut a deal by offering Iran security guarantees in return for significant and veri-fiable limits on its nuclear-enrichment program. The United States should also take its sights off the Assad regime in Syria and push both it and Israel to reach a peace agreement.This strategy wouldn't eliminate all the problems the United States faces in the Middle East. But it would reduce the likelihood of future disasters like Iraq, significantly reduce America's terrorism problem and maximize Washington's prospects of thwarting nuclear proliferation. It would also be considerably less expensive in both human and financial terms. There are no foolproof strategies in international politics, but offshore balancing is probably as close as we can get.
Offshore Balancing Good – Maintains Hegemony

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