Christopher, Layne 06 Associate Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University [“The Peace of Illusions” (p. 152-153)]
There is another road to U.S. overextension: the United States could succumb-and, arguably, has-to the "hegemon's temptation." The hegemon's temptation is caused by the imbalance of power in its favor. Conscious both of its overwhelming military superiority and of the fact that no other great powers are capable of restraining its ambitions, a hegemon easily is lured into overexpansion.When it comes to hard power, hegemons have it, and seldom can resist flaunting it-especially when the costs and risks of doing so appear to be low.72 Thus, we should expect a unipolar hegemon to initiate many wars and to use its military power promiscuously. From this perspective, it is not surprising that since the cold war the United States has-in addition to Afghanistan and Iraq-intervened in such peripheral places as Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo while simultaneously extending its military reach into Central Asia, the Caucasus region, and East Central Europe (all areas never previously viewed as ones where the United States had important interests). The very nature of hegemonic power predisposes dominant powers to overexpandin order to maintain their leading position in the international system. As Gilpin observes, a hegemon earns its prestige-others' perceptions of the efficacy of its hard power capabilities-by using military power successfully to impose its will on others. When a hegemon wields its military power conspicuously, others are put on notice that the prudent course of action is to accommodate its dominance rather than challenging it. In effect, hegemons believe that the frequent use of force has a potent deterrent, or dissuasive, effect on other states. Clearly, U.S. policymakers believe this to be the case. Thus, after extolling the displays of America's military virtuosity in Afghanistan and Iraq, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared that those wars should be a warning to other states: "If you put yourself in the shoes of a country that might decide they'd like to make mischief, they have a very recent, vivid example of the fact that the United States has the ability to deal withthis."74 There is, of course, a paradox to the hegemon's temptation: overexpansion leads to "imperial overstretch" and counterhegemonic balancing-the combined effect of which is hegemonic decline. Strategically, hegemons usually end up biting off more than they can chew.
Continuous interventions cause extinction
Manuel, Valenzeula, 2003, “Perpetual War, Perpetual Terror” November 27th (http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles9/Valenzuela_Perpetual-War-Terror.htm)]
The Pentagonis the Department of War, not Defense. It is in business to kill, kill, and kill some more. Without war, violence and weapons there is no Pentagon. And so to survive, to remain a player, wars must be created, weapons must be allocated, profits must be made and the Military Industrial Complex must continue exporting and manufacturing violence and conflict throughout the globe. And, as always, in the great tradition of the United States, enemies must exist. Indians, English, Mexicans, Spanish, Nazis, Koreans, Communists and now the ever-ambiguous Terrorists. The Cold War came to an end and so too the great profits of the MIC. Reductions in the Pentagon budget threatened the lifeblood of the industry; a new enemy had to be unearthed. There is no war – hence no profit – without evildoers, without terrorists lurching at every corner, waiting patiently for the moment to strike, instilling fear into our lives, absorbing our attention. We are told our nation is in imminent danger, that we are a mushroom cloud waiting to happen. And so we fear, transforming our mass uneasiness into nationalistic and patriotic fervor, wrapping ourselves up in the flag and the Military Industrial Complex. We have fallen into the mouse trap, becoming the subservient slaves of an engine run by greed, interested not in peace but constant war, constant killing and constant sacrifice to the almighty dollar. Brainwashed to believe that War is Peace we sound the drums of war, marching our sons and daughters to a battle that cannot be won either by sword or gun. We are programmed to see the world as a conflict between "Us" versus "Them", "Good" versus "Evil," that we must inflict death on those who are not with us and on those against us. The MIC prays on our human emotions and psychology, exploiting human nature and our still fragile memories of the horrors of 9/11, manipulating us to believe that what they say and do is right for us all. We unite behind one common enemy, fearing for our lives, complacent and obedient, blindly descending like a plague of locusts onto foreign land, devastating, usurping, conquering and devouring those who have been deemed enemies of the state, those who harbor and live among them, "evil ones," "evildoers" and "haters of freedom," all for the sake of profit and pillage, ideology and empire. Power unfettered and unleashed, our freedoms die and are released The so-called "War on Terror" is but a charade, a fear-engendering escapade, designed to last into perpetuity, helping guarantee
Hegemony Bad – Interventionism (2/2) Continued….
that the Military Industrial Complex will grow exponentially in power. It is a replacement for a Cold War long ago since retired and unable to deliver a massive increase in defense spending. Terrorists and the countries that harbor them have replaced the Soviet Union and Communists as enemy number one. With a war that may go on indefinitely, pursuing an enemy that lives in shadows and in the haze of ambiguity, the MIC will grow ever more powerful, conscripting hundreds of thousands of our youth, sending them to guide, operate and unleash their products of death.Rumblings of bringing back the draft are growing louder, and if you think your children and grandchildren will escape it, think again. In a war without end, in battles that do not cease, the MIC will need human flesh from which to recycle those who perish and fall wounded. Empire building needs bodies and drones to go with military might, instruments of death need trigger fingers and human brains, and, with so many expendable young men and women being conditioned in this so-called "war on terror," MIC will continue its reprogramming of citizen soldiers from peaceful civilians to warmongering killing machines. After
all, "War is Peace." Yet the Department of War, ever steadfast to use its weaponry, fails to realize that no amount of money will win this war if the root causes of terrorism are not confronted as priority number one. If you get to the roots, you pull out the weed. If not, it grows back again and again. But perhaps a perpetual war is what MIC has sought all along. A lifetime of combat, a lifetime of profit, a lifetime of power. Assembly lines of missiles, bombs, tanks and aircraft operate without pause, helping expand a sluggish economy and the interests of the Pax Americana. Profit over people, violence before peace, the American killing machine continues on its path to human extinction, and it is the hands and minds of our best and brightest building and creating these products of decimation. While we look over our shoulders for terrorists and evildoers, the world ominously looks directly at us with both eyes intently focused on the armies of the "Great Satan" and the "Evil Empire," not knowing which nation will be attacked or on whom the storm of satellite-guided-missiles will rain down on next. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In becoming pre-emptive warmongers, we are also becoming victims of our own making, helping assure a swelling wrath of revenge, resentment and retaliation against us. If we kill we will be killed, if we destroy we will be destroyed. The MIC is leading us down a steep canyon of fury, making us a pariah, a rogue country in the eyes of the world. We are becoming that which we fear most, a terrorist state. As political scientist and ex-marine C. Douglas Lummis has said, "Air bombardment is state terrorism, the terrorism of the rich. It has burned up and blasted apart more innocents in the past six decades than have all the anti-state terrorists who have ever lived. Something has benumbed our consciousness against this reality." Today we are seen, along with Israel, as the greatest threats to world peace. When hundreds of thousands throughout the planet call Bush "the world’s number one terrorist," that less than admirable distinction is automatically imputed onto the nation as a whole and the citizens in particular. This can be seen in the world’s perception and treatment of us today.
Ext. - Heg Causes Interventionism
Heg causes interventionism – empirically proven
Ted Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute
08 Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America, Introduction Aug 15, CATO)
The third major defect in the current U.S. security strategy is the increased willingness to intervene militarily in murky, often internecine, conflicts. That is not entirely a new phenomenon. One of the worst strategic blunders in American history, the Vietnam war, was such an intervention. During the early 1980s, U.S. leaders committed a similar blunder (albeit, thankfully, on a much smaller scale) by sending troops into Lebanon when that country was in the midst of civil war. A decade later, American military personnel died in Somalia in pursuit of an amorphous mission with little or no strategic value. The United States intervened in two civil wars in the Balkans, which may ultimately lead to greater, rather than diminished, instability in that region. And, of course, Washington invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq and continues to militarily occupy both countries. The initial operation in Afghanistan at least made sense from a security standpoint. Not only were the perpetrators of the horrific 9-11 terrorist attacks holed up in that country, but Afghanistan’s Taliban government had given al Qaeda safe haven, despite the organization’s repeated attacks on American interests. Ousting that regime was entirely justified, but instead of simply turning over control of Afghanistan to a post-Taliban government with a firm warning not to tolerate the operations of anti-American terrorists, Washington stayed on in that country and has pursued an increasingly illdefined, open-ended nation-building mission. The intervention in Iraq is an even worse case of sloppy strategic thinking.In marked contrast to the rather strong case for invading Afghanistan, Iraq posed no credible military threat to the United States. The Bush administration decided to remove Saddam Hussein from power with the naive expectation that the transition to a friendly, democratic government would be quick and easy and that Iraq would become a secular democratic model that would transform politics throughout the Middle East, thereby ‘‘draining the swamp’’ of popular support for radical Islamic terrorism. It would be difficult to conceive of a more misguided venture. Instead of a rapid and inexpensive U.S. success, the occupation of Iraq is now in its sixth year with no end in sight. It has already consumed more than $500 billion in direct costs (and perhaps another $1 trillion in indirect costs) and taken the lives of more than 4,000 American soldiers—plus thousands more who have been physically maimed. That enormous price has been paid for the dubious achievement of enabling a sectarian Shiite government, heavily influenced by Iran, to gain a tenuous hold on power. The crazy-quilt pattern of U.S. security pledges and military interventions is strong evidence of a foreign policy elite that is intellectually unable to establish priorities or even to develop an analytical framework for assessing strategic choices.Yet it is imperative to have such a framework within which to examine calls to make security commitments or embark on military ventures. Without it, the United States will persist in a promiscuous security policy, putting the lives and fortunes of the American people at risk even when there is no compelling reason to do so. A2 Hegemony K to Deomcracy
Heg fails to promote democracy – empirically proven
The Palestinian Chronicle, 2008 (IStockAnalyst, Al Bawaba 8, “Robert Kagan’s Mythology of U.S. Exceptionalism,” December 8th, http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/2865093)
Kagan starts his arguments with a recognition that the world is "normal again", that history did not end as postulated by Fukuyama an idea that fully supported the jargon and rhetoric of U.S. exceptionalism, the "perfection of its institutions" and its indispensability. He is quite confident, and expresses it frequently through the work, that the U.S. remains the sole superpower, an argument based on.well, it's not defined, again it is presumed to be understood. Does it matter that U.S. military technology is the most sophisticated (arguably what do we really know about Chinese advances in technology?) when rag tag bands of militias can pin down the majority of active fighting forces in two desolate regions of the world (made desolate by ongoing imperial ambitions and occupation)? Does it matter that regardless of U.S. dominance in military and nuclear technology that other nations can just as readily inflict massive and catastrophic damage to the U.S. with their military and nuclear power (there will be no winners in another world war that is without limits)? Does it matter that the U.S. economy is built on a debt structure that is at the moment imploding on itself, while those of the elite who brought us to this position are the ones trying futilely to get us out of the mess? Does it matter that demographically the U.S. has one of the worst records of the developed nations in what are normally considered indicators of national well-being such as infant mortality rate, life span, poverty rates, income gaps.? Does it matter that the rest of the world has to continue to live with an arrogant egocentric nation whose rhetoric is far outweighed by its brutal tactics to remain in control? If that defines a superpower, then yes, the U.S. is the sole superpower.The underlying theme is stated quite clearly near the beginning,"Since democratic capitalism was the most successful model for developing societies, all societies would eventually choose that path."Problems immediately arise, as noted above, with "democratic capitalism", with its assumption as being a "successful model", and eventually for it being a "chosen" path. How much choice is there when democratic governments around the world have been overthrown with great regularity: the Cuban freedom fighters and the Philippino freedom fighters were sidelined by the U.S. military after the Spanish-American war; the democratic government of Mossadegh was overthrown by joint manipulations of the CIA and British intelligence; the Italian and Greek popular movements towards social democracy were subverted; the Vietnam war would never have happened if the U.S. had allowed for a democratic vote sponsored by the UN on the joining of North and South Vietnam; most of the democratic governments of Central America faced subversion and interference from CIA and other U.S. sponsored operatives, from Nicaragua and Guatemala through to Allende's overthrow and Pinochet's reign of disappearances in Chile. While democracy withers on the vine in most areas of U.S. intervention (or survives in spite of it after millions of people in opposition to the elites are murdered by death squads, government operatives, or direct U.S. military action), the U.S. pours massive amounts of manure into areas that it sees as "strategic interests".