Becca, Campbell, Luke
Hegemony solves multiple scenarios for extinction
Thayer, prof security Missouri State, 06
Bradley Thayer, professor of security studies at Missouri State, November/December 2006 “In Defense of Primacy,”
A grand strategy based on American primacy means ensuring the United States stays the world’s number one power-the
diplomatic, economic and military leader. Those arguing against primacy claim that the United States should retrench, ei-
ther because the United States lacks the power to maintain its primacy and should withdraw from its global commitments,
or because the maintenance of primacy will lead the United States into the trap of “imperial overstretch.” In the previous
issue of The National Interest, Christopher Layne warned of these dangers of pri
macy and called for
Those arguing for a grand strategy of retrenchment are a diverse lot. They include isolationists, who
want no foreign military commitments; selective engagers, who want U.S. military commitments to centers of economic
might; and offshore balancers, who want a modified form of selective engagement that would have the United States
abandon its landpower presence abroad in favor of relying on airpower and seapower to defend its interests.
, in any of its guises, must be avoided. If the United States adopted such a strategy, it would
be a profound strategic mistake that would lead to far greater instability and war in the world, imperil
American security and deny the United States and its allies the benefits of primacy
. There are two critical
issues in any discussion of America'’ grand strategy: Can America remain the dominant state? Should it strive to do this?
America can remain dominant due to its prodigious military, economic and soft power capa
totality of that equation of power answers the first issue. The United States has overwhelming military capabilities and
wealth in comparison to other states or likely potential alliances. Barring some
tremendous folly, that
will remain the case for the foreseeable future.
With few exceptions, even those who advocate retrenchment
acknowledge this. So the debate revolves around the desirability of maintaining American primacy. Proponents of
retrenchment focus a great deal on the costs of U.S. action but they fall to realize what is good about American primacy.
The price and risks of primacy are reported in newspapers every day; the benefits that stem from it are not. A GRAND
strategy of ensuring American primacy takes as its starting point the protection of the U.S. homeland and American global
interests. These interests include ensuring that critical resources like oil flow around the world, that the global trade and
monetary regimes flourish and that Washington'’ worldwide network of allies is reassured and protected. Allies are a great
asset to the United States, in part because they shoulder some of its burdens. Thus, it is no surprise to see NATO in