The US and China Can Avoid a Collision Course – If the US Gives Up its Empire

Hits: 1812

The problem is America’s global hegemony comes with insistence on maintaining military and economic dominance right in China’s backyard.

To avoid a violent militaristic clash with China, or another cold war rivalry, the United States should pursue a simple solution: give up its empire.

Americans fear that China’s rapid economic growth will slowly translate into a more expansive and assertive foreign policy that will inevitably result in a war with the US. Harvard Professor Graham Allison has found: “in 12 of 16 cases in the past 500 years when a rising power challenged a ruling power, the outcome was war.” Chicago University scholar John Mearsheimer has bluntly argued: “China cannot rise peacefully.”

But the apparently looming conflict between the US and China is not because of China’s rise per se, but rather because the US insists on maintaining military and economic dominance among China’s neighbors. Although Americans like to think of their massive overseas military presence as a benign force that’s inherently stabilizing, Beijing certainly doesn’t see it that way.

According to political scientists Andrew Nathan and Andrew Scobell, Beijing sees America as “the most intrusive outside actor in China’s internal affairs, the guarantor of the status quo in Taiwan, the largest naval presence in the East China and South China seas, [and] the formal or informal military ally of many of China’s neighbors.” (All of which is true.) They think that the US “seeks to curtail China’s political influence and harm China’s interests” with a “militaristic, offense-minded, expansionist, and selfish” foreign policy.

China’s regional ambitions are not uniquely pernicious or aggressive, but they do overlap with America’s ambition to be the dominant power in its own region, and in every region of the world.

Leaving aside caricatured debates about which nation should get to wave the big “Number 1” foam finger, it’s worth asking whether having 50,000 US troops permanently stationed in Japan actually serves US interests and what benefits we derive from keeping almost 30,000 US troops in South Korea and whether Americans will be any safer if the Obama administration manages to reestablish a US military presence in the Philippines to counter China’s maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Many commentators say yes. Robert Kagan argues not only that US hegemony makes us safer and richer, but also that it bestows peace and prosperity on everybody else. If America doesn’t rule, goes his argument, the world becomes less free, less stable and less safe.

But a good chunk of the scholarly literature disputes these claims. “There are good theoretical and empirical reasons”, wrote political scientist Christopher Fettweis in his book Pathologies of Power, “to doubt that US hegemony is the primary cause of the current stability.” The international system, rather than cowering in obedience to American demands for peace, is far more “self-policing”, says Fettweis. A combination of economic development and the destructive power of modern militaries serves as a much more satisfying answer for why states increasingly see war as detrimental to their interests.

International relations theorist Robert Jervis has written that “the pursuit of primacy was what great power politics was all about in the past” but that, in a world of nuclear weapons with “low security threats and great common interests among the developed countries”, primacy does not have the strategic or economic benefits it once had.

Nor does US dominance reap much in the way of tangible rewards for most Americans: international relations theorist Daniel Drezner contends that “the economic benefits from military predominance alone seem, at a minimum, to have been exaggerated”; that “There is little evidence that military primacy yields appreciable geoeconomic gains”; and that, therefore, “an overreliance on military preponderance is badly misguided.”

The struggle for military and economic primacy in Asia is not really about our core national security interests; rather, it’s about preserving status, prestige and America’s neurotic image of itself. Those are pretty dumb reasons to risk war.

There are a host of reasons why the dire predictions of a coming US-China conflict may be wrong, of course. Maybe China’s economy will slow or even suffer crashes. Even if it continues to grow, the US’s economic and military advantage may remain intact for a few more decades, making China’s rise gradual and thus less dangerous.

Moreover, both countries are armed with nuclear weapons. And there’s little reason to think the mutually assured destruction paradigm that characterized the Cold War between the US and the USSR wouldn’t dominate this shift in power as well.

But why take the risk, when maintaining US primacy just isn’t that important to the safety or prosperity of Americans? Knowing that should at least make the idea giving up empire a little easier.


Originally published on 2015-06-02

Author: John Glaser

Source: The Guardian

 

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

 
READ MORE!
Is Political Islam Compatible with Democracy?
At the dawn of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, diplomats, politicians, and intellectuals debated a fresh question: what role can Islamist political parties play in a fledgling democracy?It wasn’t an esoteric or academic debating point. In the tumult that followed the collapse of dictatorial governments in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, groups of radical Islamists had organized themselves into political parties and attempting to use the ballot box to get them to where the cartridge box could never take them—control of national governments. This was a new strategy on the part of Islamists. Ever since their emergence in the 1940s and their ...
READ MORE
The “Green Traverse” and Radical Islamism in Bosnia
Information available to experts on international terrorism indicate that Bosnia Herzegovina is presently one of the epicentres of extremist Islamic circles in Europe, as it represents a hub for potential Islamic terrorists – the so called “white” or “European” Al-Qaeda . Money from Islamic countries that is laundered through “humanitarian” organizations finances the religious education of at least 100,000 young Bosnian Muslims. In addition to such education, which follows the interpretations of Wahhabi Islam, there is another type of “training” in various officially registered camps throughout the B-H Federation. There, the young and carefully selected Wahhabis attend “additional courses” in marksmanship, ...
READ MORE
Ukraine, America’s “Lebensraum”: Is Washington Preparing to Wage War on Russia?
Seeing through the Official Lies on Ukraine. “We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Poland to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – Polish mobilization.” (Adolph Hitler, 1939)  These are the words of Adolph Hitler just before invading Poland and then the Soviet Union. I have replaced Poland with Russia (see below) to show the analogy of US and Nazi pretexts. “We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Russia to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – ...
READ MORE
Thank You, Edward S. Herman (1925-2017) – Tireless Champion of Peace
Edward S. Herman died on November 11, 2017, at the age of 92. Fortunately, it was a peaceful death for a supremely peaceful man. In all he did, Ed Herman was a tireless champion of peace.Ed Herman could be considered the godfather of antiwar media critique, both because of his own contributions and because of the many writers he encouraged to pursue that work. Thanks to his logical mind and sense of justice, he sharply grasped the crucial role and diverse techniques of media propaganda in promoting war. He immediately saw through lies, including those so insidious that few dare ...
READ MORE
Trump is Racist? What is About Obama!
Compare Donald Trump and Barack Obama: Trump bans people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia but Obama bombed people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia! The question is: Who is a bigger racist?Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Thanksgiving: Celebrating the Genocide of Native Americans
The sad reality about the United States of America is that in a matter of a few hundreds years it managed to rewrite its own history into a mythological fantasy.The concepts of liberty, freedom and free enterprise in the “land of the free, home of the brave” are a mere spin. The US was founded and became prosperous based on two original sins: firstly, on the mass murder of Native Americans and theft of their land by European colonialists; secondly, on slavery.This grim reality is far removed from the fairy tale version of a nation that views itself in its ...
READ MORE
19 Years since the Start of the NATO Military Aggression on Serbia (FRY)
Adolf Heusinger was far from being the only Nazi war criminal who would later serve at a top position in NATOOnce again this March, the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, the Club of Generals and Admirals of Serbia and other independent non-party associations in Serbia pay tribute to the victims of NATO’s 1999 aggression on Serbia (FRY).This aggression took lives of more than thousand defenders, military and the police and their officers, and also of thousands of civilians, including 87 children.Regrettably, the final list of the civilian casualties has not been determined as yet, although the number is ...
READ MORE
Southeastern European Organized Crime & Extremism Review
The following research is a review around the theme of Southeastern European organized crime, mainly in the period 1995-2007, highlighting the emergence of powerful regional “Mafias” with an actual global presence. The main focus is the Albanian criminal syndicates centered on Kosovo. The research is composed by previous material of the writer, some of which was presented in international workshops.  Moreover the issue of radical Islam is being overviewed in a second part,for the same period, along with information regarding  the state of affairs of the Muslim communities in the region.Narcotics and the emergence of crime syndicates in the BalkansThe ...
READ MORE
Waffen-SS Im Einsatz: Hitler’s Soviet Muslim Legions
During World War II, hundreds of thousands of foreign peoples joined with Hitler's legions to bring theirs people into special status in Hitler's New Order. Tens of thousands among them were Muslims, where the majority of them came from Soviet Union. Under the banner of the crescent and the swastika, these Soviet Muslims believe to become holy warriors to liberated theirs land. But the end of this unholy alliance was a disaster for them.The Pro-Nazi Soviet Muslims When the German Army invaded Soviet Russia on June 22, 1941 they saw many of their opponent inhabitants welcomed them as liberators. One ...
READ MORE
September 11, 2001: The Crimes of War Committed “In the Name of 9/11″
The following text was presented at the International Conference on “9/11 Revisited – Seeking the Truth”, Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), Kuala Lumpur, November 2012IntroductionThe tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history, a decisive watershed, a breaking point.Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society. The post September 11, 2001 era is marked by the outright criminalization of the US State, including its judicial, foreign policy, national security and intelligence apparatus.9/11 marks the onslaught of ...
READ MORE
Remember Pearl Harbor: Provoking Japan, Provoking North Korea
On December 7, 1941 the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by Japanese forces. President Roosevelt, in his well known Infamy speech delivered on December 8, claimed the attack was “unprovoked” and, on this basis, asked for and received a declaration of war from the U.S. Congress. But the evidence suggests the attack was not unprovoked. On the contrary, it was carefully and systematically provoked in order to manipulate the U.S. population into joining WWII. This provocation game, spectacularly successful in 1941, is currently being played with North Korea.  The stakes are high.Many good people are reluctant to look critically ...
READ MORE
The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy
One has to wonder just how much longer the American people will silently permit the categorical failure of American foreign policy, both in theory and in practice. The evidence confirming the totality of our failure is breathtaking in scope and severity. Changes are needed to preserve U.S. national security and economic prosperity.Recent headlines have captured the character of this failure. Fifteen years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released findings that “corruption substantially undermined the U.S. mission in Afghanistan from the very beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. … We conclude that failure to ...
READ MORE
Ten Lies Told about World War I
This Remembrance Day will doubtless see strenuous efforts by some to justify the fruitless bloodbath that was the First World War. Revisionist commentators have long attempted to rehabilitate the conflict as necessary and just, but the arguments do not stand up. It does no service to the memory of the dead to allow any illusions in the justice or necessity of war, particularly so when the precedents will be used to argue for the next ‘necessary’ conflict. From the causes of the war, to its prosecution and its results, here are the counter-arguments to ten common pro-war ploys.1. The war ...
READ MORE
Washington is Ramping Up Military Confrontation With Russia and China
On November 26 the New York Times asserted that “Russia’s seizure [on November 25] of three Ukrainian naval vessels was the first overt armed conflict between the two since 2014, when Russian forces occupied Crimea.” There was no armed conflict in Crimea and not a drop of blood was spilled. There was no “occupation” because, under treaty, over 20,000 Russian troops were stationed there. Crimea’s citizens have always been Russian-speaking, Russian-cultured and in general pro-Russia. Following the US-sponsored rebellion in Ukraine that went the way the US intended it to go, there was the awkward matter of Crimea which had been part of Russia until, as noted ...
READ MORE
Remembering Jasenovac: The lesser Recognized Concentration Camp
While the numbers are not as high as Auschwitz or Treblinka, Jasenovac was notorious for its cruelty and the high number of young children who were victims.April 22 is a date that binds two groups of people who shared the same tragic fate. It is the date that commemorates the revolt of the prisoners of Jasenovac, the death camp that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma.While the numbers are not as high as Auschwitz or Treblinka, Jasenovac was notorious for its cruelty and the high number of young children who were victims. The saddest ...
READ MORE
Voting Discrimination in America
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case about the allocation of voting districts will have consequences far beyond the millions of U.S. taxpayers its ruling may deprive of representation. A decision that only counts voters, rather than all persons, will undermine the very foundation of the Republic.The American Revolution was fought over “taxation without representation,” and those who wrote the Constitution carefully apportioned taxation and representation among the states “according to their respective Numbers . . . of free Persons . . . and . . . three-fifths of all other Persons.” The authors clearly equated We, the People with ...
READ MORE
US-led Genocidal War and Destruction of Socialism: 20 Years after the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia
The NATO war on Yugoslavia which culminated in the 78-days bombing of historic cities and infrastructures – as usual under atrocity propaganda and pretexts – is on its 20th anniversary.The grim anniversary is admirably recognized by Science for Peace members to remember and to prevent who-knows-what NATO war crime next as “humanitarian intervention”.From Yugoslavia to Iraq to Libya, where does it stop? Observe that Trump is now seeking a NATO alliance with Bolsonaro Brazil (see image below)  -to perhaps back the bombing of Venezuela, or any other society, including the Brazilian people, not bowing to US-led global corporate colonization. Socialist ...
READ MORE
The Balkans today
After the Russian military victory over the Ottoman Empire in the 1877−1878 Russo-Ottoman War it was signed the San Stefano Treaty between these two states on March 3rd, 1878. According to the treaty, a Greater “San Stefano” Bulgaria, under the direct protection by Russia, had to be established within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. However, an idea of “San Stefano Bulgaria” directly affected three Balkan nations: the Serbs, Greeks and Albanians as some of their ethnic and historical territories had to become part of a Greater Bulgaria. The “San Stefano Bulgaria” was projected by the Russian authorities to cover ...
READ MORE
The Simulation of Democracy
One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn’t exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can’t even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you’ve imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about “defending democracy” ...
READ MORE
The Myth of NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” in Kosovo (in 1999)
Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo ...
READ MORE
Is Political Islam Compatible with Democracy?
The “Green Traverse” and Radical Islamism in Bosnia
Ukraine, America’s “Lebensraum”: Is Washington Preparing to Wage War on Russia?
Thank You, Edward S. Herman (1925-2017) – Tireless Champion of Peace
Trump is Racist? What is About Obama!
Thanksgiving: Celebrating the Genocide of Native Americans
19 Years since the Start of the NATO Military Aggression on Serbia (FRY)
Southeastern European Organized Crime & Extremism Review
Waffen-SS Im Einsatz: Hitler’s Soviet Muslim Legions
September 11, 2001: The Crimes of War Committed “In the Name of 9/11″
Remember Pearl Harbor: Provoking Japan, Provoking North Korea
The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy
Ten Lies Told about World War I
Washington is Ramping Up Military Confrontation With Russia and China
Remembering Jasenovac: The lesser Recognized Concentration Camp
Voting Discrimination in America
US-led Genocidal War and Destruction of Socialism: 20 Years after the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia
The 1878 San Stefano Treaty and the Albanians
The Simulation of Democracy
The Myth of NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” in Kosovo (in 1999)

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu