Global Policy Forum

Challenges to the US Empire

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Since the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the US has dominated the globe politically, economically and, above all, militarily. However, analysts increasingly point at a number of challenges to US global preponderance. Geopolitical competitors are rising. China, enjoying unrivalled economic growth, is pursuing diplomatic offensives in Africa and South America and has modernized its military forces. India and Russia, both with rapidly growing economies, are bolstering their geopolitical clout. The European Union, an economic juggernaut, rivals the US with its single currency and seeks to forge a common foreign and security policy to gain more international influence.

The economic base on which the US system rests is beginning to show serious weaknesses. Above all, the US suffers from huge trade and budget deficits, which could lead to a dramatic fall of the dollar. The very expensive occupation of Iraq puts further strains on the economy. Therefore the US could face what historian Paul Kennedy termed "imperial overstretch." Another challenge to the unilateral stance of the US arises from people all around the world; NGOs, peoples movements and grassroots political groups raise their voice against US military intervention and global hegemony.

General Analysis on Challenges to the US Empire

This section provides a general overview of various challenges to the US Empire. It includes articles which discuss a future decline of US power in the international system due to internal weaknesses.

The Rise of Competitors

Analysts claim that countries such as China, India and Russia could become geopolitical competitors to the US in the coming decades. The supranational actor European Union rivals the US in the economic realm with the creation of the euro, that threatens the status of the US dollar as the world's major reserve currency.

Imperial Overstretch?

The US army is struggling for recruits, as the occupation of Iraq has drained the troop reserves. With troop levels markedly down from Cold-War levels and no draft in sight, some observers predict a military overstretch of the US.

US Trade and Budget Deficits, and the Fall of the Dollar

Some economic analysts, including the IMF, predict that the huge US trade and budget deficits, worsened by the bubble in the housing market, may require a severe "adjustment" resulting in deflation and a weak dollar.

Opposition to the War and Occupation in Iraq

Since September 2002, universities, trade unions, faith groups, NGOs and peace groups have mobilized against the US/UK led war and the occupation of Iraq, forming the biggest anti-war movement in history.



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