American power in a bipolar world
posted on 02/13/2004 6:12:26 AM PST
(Our descendants will be enslaved by political expediency and expenditure)
Great, if necessarily simplistic article. The reality is that this period of supreme American global dominance is unlikely to last much past mid century. China and Europe will probably rise. China seems driven be become a regional power and Europe will probably interest itself in Africa and the Middle East but not much else. South and Latin America are of little interest to anyone at this time, and I'm not sure what will change that. Fifty years is a long time, and I guess Brazil or someone else might take a leadership role there. Actually, US (specifically USAID) efforts at establishing real democracy in LA might ultimately permit them to clean up their act and develop economically, and therefore unite to become a regional power on their own. Right now the people are poor enough that they squabble amoungst themselves and couldn't organize. I am also not sure where the UK, Canada and the Aussies will go. We may end up with an English speaking alliance that may or may not include Japan (which is quite bipolar on militarism and allegiance to the US). Either way, your looking at three major regional powers in the next fifty years. Their borders seem somewhat set, so they might not fight each other (Long Cycle and Global Hegemon theories aside) Add to this the possibility of Nigeria becoming a regional power in Africa and the outside possibility of a united Islamic alliance, and you end up with the the potential for wars between the major powers (US and Europe who need the resources of the Global South for our economies, and China who has boarder and other more ancient disputes with Islam) and these possible regional powers.
There is another, much more remote, possibility. The Global South (used to be Third World) my clump together into one or two economic alliances and threaten the fully industrialized Global North, thus forcing a neo-mercantalist kind of a conflict. Either way, there is next to no change that the US will remain the only dominant power for very long. Nor should we want to, because the drain on our resources would be substantially. Frankly, globalization and free trade are good for us, because they lessen the effort we need to expend to maintain either this world systems or any other that is favorable (both militarily and economically) to us. Also, I'm about as much of a neo-Realist as you'll find today. There other concerns, such as environmental degradation and over population are potential concerns that the US, as Global Superpower, might need to take the lead on. While I'd say to do it only when it threatens our security interests, most others take a more Liberal view.
posted on 02/13/2004 6:50:08 AM PST
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson