tjir5-1_2d - A Military History of the New World Order and...

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65 A Military History of the New World Order and the Emergence of the U.S. Hegemony 1 Sener Akturk* In this paper, I trace the rise of the United States (U.S.) military power and the different military strategies the U.S. pursued in this process, outlining in particular the military-economic aspect of the role that the United States came to play in the New World Order. In this regard, I argue that the institutional arrangements made in the 1950s between the U.S. and Western European countries, which are now being presented as the New World Order, lag behind the radical economic, demographic and political shifts that have occurred since then. As a result of this discrepancy, I contend that the United States increasingly resorts to military force to enforce these archaic arrangements, which do not correlate with the current state of the world. Finally, I claim that a plausible way to prevent further militarization of the world order would be to reform the international institutional order to better represent current economic, demographic, and political realities. Alfred Mahan’s views regarding the elements of sea power and the advantages of the U.S. in relation to those elements sheds some light in tracing the rise of U.S. military hegemony. His argument, which depends on the comparative advantage of sea transport, especially given the material conditions of the 18 th and early 19 th centuries, is economic. According to Mahan, sea power is by far the most important component of military might, because the most important trade routes are found in the seas, and the trade volume of the world consists mostly of sea trade, or at least it did in x century, when Mahan wrote. People choose to trade overseas as opposed to over land, because “both travel and traffic by water have always been easier and cheaper than by land.” 2 Moreover, historical examples, such as the rise of the British Empire, support Mahan’s case.
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66 Of the six principle conditions affecting the sea power of nations, the first one is geographical position, in which regard Mahan favors an isolated and/or island nation because “…if a nation be so situated that it is neither forced to defend itself by land nor induced to seek extension of its territory by way of land, it has, by the very unity of its aim directed upon the sea, an advantage as compared with a people one of whose boundaries is continental.” 3 Being forced to defend itself only by sea is a great advantage, provided that the nation has a strong navy, which it should, otherwise the condition of being mostly surrounded by sea will make that nation vulnerable. A country does not necessarily need to be an island-nation to benefit from the advantages outlined by Mahan, since the United States, although not an island State, is certainly isolated from major seats of power in Europe. However, two other conditions
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course GENBUS 304 taught by Professor Greed during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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tjir5-1_2d - A Military History of the New World Order and...

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