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Competitiveness is key to heg Khalilzad 95

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Competitiveness is key to heg

Khalilzad 95

(Zalmay, counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Order and Disorder After the Cold War, ed. Brad Roberts, p. 73-74.)
The United States is unlikely to preserve its military and technological dominance if the U.S. economy declines seriously. In such an environment, the domestic economic and political base for global leadership would diminish and the United States would probably incrementally withdraw from the world, become inward-looking, and abandon more and more of its external interests. As the United States weakened, others would try to fill the Vacuum. To sustain and improve its economic strength, the United States must maintain its technological lead in the economic realm. Its success will depend on the choices it makes. In the past, developments such as the agricultural and industrial revolutions produced fundamental changes positively affecting the relative position of those who were able to take advantage of them and negatively affecting those who did not. Some argue that the world may be at the beginning of another such transformation, which will shift the sources of wealth and the relative position of classes and nations. If the United States fails to recognize the change and adapt its institutions, its relative position will necessarily worsen.

Collapse of U.S. heg causes extinction

Florig, 10 - Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Dennis, “Hegemonic Overreach vs. Imperial Overstretch,” 2/6,

There is an even larger question than whether the U.S. will remain the hegemonic state within a western dominated system. How long will the West remain hegemonic in the global system?25 Since Spengler the issue of the decline of the West has been debated. It would be hard to question current western dominance of virtually every global economic, political, military, or ideological system today. In some ways the domination of the West seems even more firm than it was in the past because the West is no longer a group of fiercely competing states but a much more cohesive force. In the era of western domination, breakdown of the rule of each hegemonic state has come because of competition from powerful rival western states at the core of the system leading to system-wide war. The unique characteristic of the Cold War and particularly the post-Cold War system is that the core capitalist states are now to a large degree politically united and increasingly economically integrated. In the 21st century, two factors taking place outside the West seem more of a threat to the reproduction to the hegemony of the American state and the western system than conflict between western states: 1. resistance to western hegemony in the Muslim world and other parts of the subordinated South, and 2. the rise of newly powerful or reformed super states. Relations between the core and periphery have already undergone one massive transformation in the 20th century—decolonization. The historical significance of decolonization was overshadowed somewhat by the emergence of the Cold War and the nuclear age. Recognition of its impact was dampened somewhat by the subsequent relative lack of change of fundamental economic relations between core and periphery. But one of the historical legacies of decolonization is that ideological legitimation has become more crucial in operating the global system. The manufacture of some level of consent, particularly among the elite in the periphery has to some degree replaced brute domination. Less raw force is necessary but in return a greater burden of ideological and cultural legitimation is required. Now it is no longer enough for colonials to obey, willing participants must believe. Therefore, cultural and ideological challenges to the foundations of the liberal capitalist world view assume much greater significance. Thus the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism, ethnic nationalism, and even social democracy in Latin America as ideologies of opposition have increasing significance in a system dependent on greater levels of willing consent. As Ayoob suggests, the sustained resistance within the Islamic world to western hegemony may have a “demonstration effect” on other southern states with similar grievances against the West.26 The other new dynamic is the re-emergence of great states that at one time or another have been brought low by the western hegemonic system. China, in recent centuries low on the international division of labor, was in some ways a classic case of a peripheral state, or today a semi-peripheral state. But its sheer size, its rapid growth, its currency reserves, its actual and potential markets, etc. make it a major power and a potential future counter hegemon. India lags behind China, but has similar aspirations. Russia has fallen from great power to semi-peripheral status since the collapse of the Soviet empire, but its energy resources and the technological skills of its people make recovery of its former greatness possible. No one knows exactly what the resurgence of Asia portends for the future. However, just as half a century ago global decolonization was a blow to western domination, so the shift in economic production to Asia will redefine global power relations throughout the 21st century. Classical theory of hegemonic cycle is useful if not articulated in too rigid a form. Hegemonic systems do not last forever; they do have a life span. The hegemonic state cannot maintain itself as the fastest growing major economy forever and thus eventually will face relative decline against some major power or powers. The hegemon faces recurrent challenges both on the periphery and from other major powers who feel constrained by the hegemon’s power or are ambitious to usurp its place. Techniques of the application of military force and ideological control may become more sophisticated over time, but so too do techniques of guerilla warfare and ideological forms of resistance such as religious fundamentalism, nationalism, and politicization of ethnic identity. World war may not be imminent, but wars on the periphery have become quite deadly, and the threat of the use of nuclear weapons or other WMD by the rising number of powers who possess them looms. The hegemonic state tends to become overstretched, but more importantly the U.S., because of its messianic sense of mission, tends to overreach. Some of the burden the hegemon has to assume is inevitable, but the U.S. is particularly prone to massive miscalculation

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