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In a world of technology and military might, the United States has wielded supreme power and authority, especially in the light of the Post-Cold War era. The United States has enjoyed the position of the hegemon, often being able to hold…
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MEMORANDUM White House Chief of Staff Preeti Raghunath, Policy Analyst RE: MEMO CONCERNING WORLD POLARITY AND THE UNITED S’ POSITION DATE: OCTOBER 27, 2009
BACKGROUND
In a world of technology and military might, the United States has wielded supreme power and authority, especially in the light of the Post-Cold War era. The United States has enjoyed the position of the hegemon, often being able to hold sway and have its way in world politics. The big question however is, whether the United States continues to enjoy this undisputed position.
ISSUES
Today, the world no longer resembles the Gramscian model. In fact, one can contend that the world today has many a rising power in many pockets of the world. For instance, the 21st century has been hailed as the Asian century. China, followed by India, are powers that hold the position wherein they can influence international politics in a big way. In addition to this, the rise of international organizations, like the BRIC and the ASEAN, have great implications that challenge the role of the United States as the supreme nation. These organizations, often dominant players from the Developing World hold important implications for the United States, since they challenge the world order existent and the implications it holds for them.
ANALYSIS
As a Policy Analyst, I would say, that a Multi-Polar world order is in the offing. Besides the rise of developing countries and middle powers, other factors, like the rise of non-state actors, besides international organizations, play a major role in deciding their implications for the United States. Terrorism, as a non-state actor is a major issue that continues to haunt the United States. The US policy in Afghanistan-Pakistan and the stand taken, are extremely important in this case. Besides this, religion and ethnicity have assumed a rather big meaning today, and this has considerable importance, since United States is largely a melting pot. In forums like the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, the United States’ dominant position is not welcome, among these actors. Nations like India and China and other South-Asian nations often resist such a position. In addition to this, the Af-Pak policy is often a bone of contention, besides the stand taken on Palestine.
POLICY PRESCRIPTION
As a policy analyst, I would recommend that the United States should definitely look at directly countering terror, without affecting civilian life, to the largest possible extent. Aid to Pakistan must be reduced and made accounted for, the Afghanistan policy needs a revamp, in terms of targeting the strongholds of terrorist tribal leaders, instead of deploying full forces and targeting civilians. Greater collaboration with China and India and giving their position enough room, in terms of actually considering their status as rising powers is important. The under-developed world could do a great deal in contributing to world peace and stability, if the amount spent on military deployment of forces is relatively reduced, and the same resources are used to strengthen the under-developed world. This would only increase support for the United States and thus, it would reinstate the country’s role in the world.
CONCLUSION
Thus, a transparent dealing with the Af-Pak region, a more collaborative approach towards working with rising powers, and an integrative approach towards the under-developed nations would see the United States’ role bing reiterated in a developing multi-polar world.
TO: White House Chief of Staff
FROM: Preeti Raghunath, Policy Analyst
RE: MEMO CONCERNING WAR, ARMAMENT AND THE WORLD
DATE: OCTOBER 27, 2009
BACKGROUND
Today’s world comprises nations that are vying for the top spot, in terms of military might, owing to the fact that this would help reiterate their position. Nations today collect stockpiles of armament, due to mutual distrust, desire for supremacy and also as a defensive measure.
ISSUES:
The prisoner’s dilemma theory is relevant in this context, as nations often arm themselves in order to defend themselves. They are wary of the other nations’ military spending and channelise resources in order to compete with them. The United States was the foremost country to enjoy the monopoly over nuclear weaponry, in order to counter Soviet aggression. Today, a number of nations like North Korea, Iran, Israel et al are indulging in arms-stockpiling. This could spark an arms race, leading to a nuclear war.
ANALYSIS
Man indulges in war with two aims. First, to secure himself from outside threats, as a defensive measure. Next, to rise above others nations and attain supremacy. Almost like a reiteration of the Hobbesian concept, man is in a perpetual quest for power, and for self-preservation and this is especially reflective in the international politics front. A number of approaches and theories of war, have been propounded. The Just War theory, that justifies war depending upon the context, is a major theory. It identifies just cause, comparative justice, using war as the last resort, right intention and proportionality, as the bases for resorting to war. The new war on terrorism, is an example of this. Another concept that justifies war, is that of the Balance of Power. The concept of balance of power envisages an equally balanced world, and it is in this context that war is justified, in order to restore balance in world politics.
The Principle of Non-Intervention has been the laying foundation for many an international organization. However, the recent cases of intervention, have been considered as justified, as they supposedly help in restoring the rights of individuals, and are considered to be processes that liberate groups of people under oppression. For instance, the United Nations itself supports the deployment of peace-keeping forces in a country, in order to restore peace in that country, and to bring about better accountability, a democratic order et al. The United States has a history of spending excessively on military might. It is important to understand that while it is good to be prepared and to head the world, it is a must to gain the support of the periphery, by other means like economic means, foreign policy-related collaborations and stand on issues.
CONCLUSION:
Evidently, while liberalism does entail the right to self-determination, it also propounds contradictory elements of excessive self-orientation and ability to impose a certain ideology, considered as the one that would in turn propagate liberal growth. Wars and interventionist measures are an off-shoot of this. Hence, it is important to regulate expenditure on military enhancements and to promote the strengthening of position by means other than military ones.
REFERENCES
International Relations, Vinay Kumar Malhotra, Third Revised Edition, Anmol Publications.
Multi-polarity Does Not Equal an Anti-U.S. Position, Wang Yizhou; Research Fellow, Institute of World Economy and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Read More
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