My Photo

American Empire Project Web Site

Birthdate
 
 Yes, please send me e-mail updates about The American Empire Project and other information from Macmillan and its partners.

March 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

The Books

Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
Base Nation

How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
by David Vine

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal
No Good Men Among the Living

America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
by Anand Gopal

Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country by Andrew J. Bacevich
Breach of Trust

How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country
by Andrew J. Bacevich

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian
Power Systems

Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire
by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse
Kill Anything That Moves

The Real American War in Vietnam
by Nick Turse

We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren
We Meant Well

How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People
by Peter Van Buren

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War by Andrew BacevichWashington Rules
America's Path to Permanent War
by Andrew Bacevich


Dismantling The Empire: America's Last Best Hope by Chalmers JohnsonDismantling The Empire
America's Last Best Hope
by Chalmers Johnson


The Limits Of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich
The Limits Of Power

The End of American Exceptionalism
by Andrew Bacevich


Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World by Noam Chomsky
Imperial Ambitions

Conversations on the Post-9/11 World
by Noam Chomsky


Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism by Greg Grandin
Empire's Workshop

Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism
by Greg Grandin

A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror by Alfred McCoy
A Question of Torture

CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror
by Alfred McCoy

Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency by Michael Klare
Blood and Oil

The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency
by Michael T. Klare

« Don't Turn the Page on History | Main | Biking Out of Iraq »

July 31, 2009

Comments

what complete uselessness ! you speak as if you are talking to the american government ! how much more simplistic can you get ?
i was hoping for 10 steps that american people can take to change these very obvious things .
if you think that our government , our president , is going to read this report and take your advice .... how stupid are you ? it is the people of America that must know 10 steps to change .
fell way short .

Some of your arguments do make fantastic sense in an idealist's world; however, they are weakened here, at least, because recognition of the way the rest of the world 'works' (and indeed the way Washington therefore works) is not acknowledged as the context. Dismantling our military forces certainly invites others to begin mantling theirs. Having more formidable military forces will raise instability on the global chess board. If military no longer becomes a negotiation tactic for the USA, it will become a significant tactic for other countries vying for power (nearly everyone else), and that will diminish standards of living among other things. Indeed, empires have to answer for their atrocities in the name of the 'white man's burden,' 'civilized mission,' or 'manifest destiny,' but aren't there some clear benefits behind sole domination of a non-expansionist, 'liberal empire'?

Certainly the problems you mention here are troubling, and there is much to be done domestically to unify people which have polarized themselves into useless factions, which in turn could revitalize key values and bring us back up closer to where the country was after WWII. But I will agree that whatever current course we're on is the sure path to implosion, and drastic steps are required to get the US productive, fair, and back on track.

Chalmer's arguments may be idealistic, but I agree with the general strategy, even though for more practical reasons.

Can a single country, with 5% world's population, hold military dominance over the entire world for very long, solely by efforts of it's own citizens?

This is not realistic and not practical.

Yes, other countries will vie for power, but this is expected - the world has always been this way throughout history; it is human nature. However, we need to position ourselves in such a way that in vying for power, others will collide with each other, and not with us.

We can do so using our geographic position. We are on the other side of the world from other regions of power; while the other regions of power directly border each other. They are much more likely to collide with each other than with us. It is more natural to contend with nations nearby, rather that focusing efforts halfway around the world, while leaving an enemy in your own backyard to attack you. Just consider that the U.S. has been attacked by foreign powers only a few times in the past hundreds of years - an insignificant number compared to most European and Asian countries.

While this is not 100% certainty that no-one will challenge the U.S. after the reduction of military influence, the cards are stacked in our favor. We need to play them right, and most likely we will remain strong and prosperous.

However, worldwide military dominance is not situation we can sustain indefinitely. No nation was ever been able achieve permanent world domination - it is simply not consistent with human psychology.

www.strategywatch.org

Since a previous poster introduced a "chessboard" analogy to global geopolitics, I would like to take this analogy a bit further. To those familiar with the game, it will make sense.

Imagine that the U.S. military might is the Queen; small and medium U.S. allies are the Pawns and middle pieces (Knights, Bishops and Rooks). As all know, the Queen is the most powerful piece in the game. However, almost always, it's poor strategy to take the Queen ahead of other pieces early in the game, until other pieces haven't established their areas of influence against the opponent's pieces. The Queen first supports the Pawns and Middle pieces from behind; and only comes out to deliver the final blows when the time comes. However inexperienced players, enamoured by the Queen as the strongest piece, take the Queen forward much too early in the game, thus making her vulnerable unnecesserily and so weakening her.

By exporting her military might abroad, the U.S. strategists are acting as the inexperienced chess player; they are taking the U.S. military might forward, placing it in front of her allies. This weakens the U.S., and further, weakens the entire alliance.

Well done. I wonder about the metaphor of addiction. Imperialism is more like the food and water of capitalism. Without it, no growth, no profit... er socialism.

I admire the theory, and the author.

However, the reality of the political and military situation cannot enjoy the satisfaction of the debate the author stimulates.

Our (U.S.) military/industrial complex, combined with the Lobby/Congress, heavily influenced by the Jewish-Lobby, sends the West down a path toward more conflict, more bloodshed, and more waste of valuable resources. If Netanyahu is the best Israel can put forward, disaster looms in the ME.

Obama is a child, totally unskilled and unprepared for issues on his table, clueless, surrounded by the Old Guard, pro-Israel Jews, Wall Street money boys, and the realities of Washington, D.C. Welcome home, Jimmy Carter. Some kind of deja vu.

Until someone realizes we are a Nation-with-Israel, or, the United Corporations of America, and committed to ruling everybody else, there will be no realistic debate, dialogue or solution, to most conflicts around the globe where "our bases" are.

Good luck, America. I have no more hope for you. Just ask Native Americans what chance they ever had.

Israel will never give in to anything short of the extinction (or removal) of all Arabs from the area from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. Mark my words.

Having read, and digested, "Hegemony or Survival" and the "Sorrows of Empire" I have to put Dr. Johnson into the same tub as Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, and many other visionaries, that enjoy playing with theories that have no chance of becoming reality, without revolutions, disasters (like global tidal drownings, or global tsunamis, continental firestorms, stuff like Whitley Strieber put in "Nature's End", or some such indescribable calamities.

Ain't gonna happen. So why don't these educated guys, like you, focus on what could happen, faced with realities like Republicans (always Vote NO), Netanyahu(s) in Israel, Wall Street money boys, lobbyists, and other entrenched creatures or things, that don't give a damn about the future?

I cry when I continue to care, and read well-researched and thought-out articles, that feature "we must", "we should", "we have to" and "if we don't".

Those dogs don't hunt. Where are the termites, to bore into the infrastructure, and bring down the house, slowly, but surely.

Look at what Daschle and Gebhardt have done in the last couple of years, to feather their nests, and line their pockets, at the expense of their principles, dignity and scruples.

No difference between Democrats or Republicans. Only shining stars like Feingold, Sanders, Frank (maybe), Franken (we hope), (name me some more), and nobody on the Republican side. All the rest are whores to the money, influence, perks, and status.

Where can I turn?

It becomes some form of perverse entertainment, which is what most people want to see on their screens these days (tv, internet, movies). Nonsense. Relief from the vagaries of earning enough bucks to pay the bills.

If you think Rush, Beck, Palin, Bachman, Malkin, Coulter, Olbermann, Stephanopolous, Carville, Gergen, Kissie and Zbig, have a clue about what we (you and me) should think about the future of the U.S., please just pick up a history book, and see that we have been here before.

None of our "world leaders" are bad guys. They want what they think is best for their countries. May not be what U.S. wants, but yo, they have rights, too.

Can't we just all get along?

It is NOT our military machine that is breaking us, it is creeping socialism. All of the government mandates, and redistribution of wealth, yes it has been happening for a while now, Obama has just now paid it lip service, but our progressive tax code is used as a weapon against the American people. It is used as a social engineering tool (Cloward-Pivin). The fact is we live in a time where everything is being turned upside down. We are NOT the America of our founding, we no longer adhere to the principles that made us a safe, secure, prosperous, and most importantly a FREE nation. All these things have been under assault from the nations founding, and are now coming to a head, and will lead us to our ruin. We are being destroyed on purpose, and WE THE PEOPLE need wo wake up and get back to basics before there is no America left, but will become Amerika! Wake up and protect your freedom, and your rights, and accept the responsibility for both, or we will have neither.

The comments to this entry are closed.