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Unformatted text preview: complicated, but two capture most of the variation: (1) U.S. security guarantees are not necessary to prevent dangerous rivalries and conflict in Eurasia; or (2) prevention of rivalry and conflict in Eurasia is not a U.S. interest. Each response is connected to a different theory or set of theories, which makes sense given that the whole debate hinges on a complex future counterfactual (what would happen to Eurasia’s security setting if the United States truly disengaged?). Although a certain answer is impossible, each of these responses is nonetheless a weaker argument for retrenchment than advocates acknowledge. The first response flows from defensive realism as well as other international relations theories that discount the conflictgenerating potential of anarchy under contemporary conditions. 73 Defensive realists maintain that the high expected costs of territorial conquest, defense dominance, and an array of policies and practices that can be used credibly to signal benign intent, mean that Eurasia’s major states could manage regional multipolarity peacefully without the American pacifier. Retrenchment would be a...
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- Summer '12