Pax Americana

Just read about this today, and am not really prepared to comment, I have that feeling about this the way you feel when your weird friend announces she's getting married- to the person she met over the weekend. You just don't know how to react. Your instincts tell you to postpone judgement, but your mind starts going anyway. This pertains to the chatter about the US joining forces with Japan, India,and Great Britain to contain China.

"Over the past six months, the Bush administration has upgraded its budding strategic partnerships with India and Japan. Along with the steady special relationship with Great Britain, what is beginning to emerge is a global coalition system -- it is too soon to call it a true alliance -- for the post-Cold War world," argues Thomas Donnelly, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

In a new essay just published by the AEI, titled "The Big Four Alliance: The New Bush Strategy," Donnelly says that "far from maintaining a unilateralist approach to American security," the Bush administration has been forging a strategic partnership structure that can help to manage the rise of China, while also buttressing the liberal international order of free trade, free markets and expanded democracy.

"You might call this emerging set of alliances the 4x4 strategy," Donnelly suggests. "It is built around four great powers -- the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and India -- who share four basic strategic principles: that the dangers of radicalism, failing despotic governments, and nuclear proliferation in the greater Middle East are too great to ignore; that the growing military strength and political ambitions of Beijing's autocrats make it far from certain that China's 'rise' will be a peaceful one; that the spread of representative forms of government will increase the prospects for a durable peace; and that military force remains a useful and legitimate tool of national statecraft."

What is striking and new is that Donnelly, a powerful advocate of a strong U.S. defense, now acknowledges that the American role is overstretched and can no longer sustain its lonely superpower role.

"We need help," he suggests.

"It is clear that the Defense Department's initial conception of 'transformation' -- substituting capital for labor, firepower for manpower -- has not removed the inherent constraints imposed by a small force, reduced by 40 percent from its final Cold-War strength. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's preference for temporary 'coalitions of the willing' has been supplanted by a new understanding that preserving the Pax Americana requires more permanent arrangements.


TP said...

It seems like a ridiculous proposition, and the whole scenario seems unlikely and stupid. Remember the agenda of these morons at Enterprise. Really you need to whole article in its context to understand what is really scary here about this notion and even scarier, the 'whys'involved. The reasoning behond why they think this will work. it won't work
because the world will get fed up with the materialistic pursuits of the US and the greed and pollution- the US accounts for 25% of greenhouse gasses emitted. Scary. How long will this go on? I want to be a Canadian.

rivermomma said...

The whole thing is based on the arrogant idea that the US is the only country with the moral and strategic authority to lead this 'coalition' of governments. Why should these countries continue to sacrifice for our material gain, when we have stated that our material security is of paramount importance in our policy agenda? They know that we are major consumers and polluters and that their economies and the planet will suffer ethe consequences of our misguided ways. Now we suggest that they should stand at our side when we express not a global interest but a domestic one?
AS they talk about the implications of Kyoto, it is interesting to note that China is expected to soon exceed the US in greenhouse gas emissions.
Our deficit, our hypocrisy, our indifference about the role of the EU... these and so many more will contribute to our fall from domination.

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