American Global Hegemony

American Global Hegemony - Alea Roach A05760824 6.10.2005...

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Alea Roach A05760824 6.10.2005 American Global Hegemony The United States has been a global hegemony in the modern world for more than a century. This hegemony has helped end some world conflicts, maintain global peace, keep the global economy afloat, and maintain a liberal trade regime. With respect to peaceful conflict resolution and the maintenance of a liberal trade regime, US hegemony is the only way to assure these necessary global policies are effectively and fairly maintained. With respect to peaceful conflict resolution, as a global hegemony, the United States helps to prevent arms races and security dilemmas using reassurance strategies and credible military threats and promises. One tool that the US uses in peaceful conflict resolution or perhaps avoiding conflict altogether is reassurance strategies: agreements between two states that reassure a potential revisionist state that the status quo will be maintained, at least with respect to that states existence or sovereignty (Slantchev, 9, lec10). Because the US is so powerful and is such a huge peacekeeping entity, when the US reassures a state that its sovereignty will be maintained, that state can safely assume that this promise is credible, because the US could not easily maintain its position of global hegemony without the trust of much of the rest of the world. It would not be in the best interest of the US to lose the trust of the rest of the world. The US also helps to maintain peace through threats and promises. Because the entire world knows that the US military is much more advanced and powerful than that of any other state or organization, the US presence as a global hegemony also helps to prevent arms races due to anarchy, lack of trust, misperception, and offense/defense ambiguity (Slantchev 9, lec10). The US has many allies and friends, and can credibly commit to providing military assistance to them, as in the
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Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the two World Wars. If two states are in a conflict with the possibility of military action, and the US commits to assisting one of them militarily, this will most likely prevent military conflict and/or an arms race. Because both states are aware of the US commitment and superior military capabilities, and neither could realistically hope to achieve these capabilities, the conflict is likely to be peacefully resolved. Although some may argue that other states or organizations such as China, Europe, or the United Nations (UN) could also use these strategies effectively to maintain peaceful conflict resolution, no other world power or military is relied upon so much as to assure the credibility of this promise. Conversely, no other power relies so heavily upon the trust of the rest of the world in order to maintain their position of power. Also, because the US military is far superior to any other, US threats and promises with regards to military action for or against another state are more credible than most. In a situation with no global hegemony, the problems of reassurance and arms races would most
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2008 for the course POLI SCI 12 taught by Professor Lake during the Winter '07 term at UCSD.

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American Global Hegemony - Alea Roach A05760824 6.10.2005...

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