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General Analysis on Challenges to the US Empire

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The Afghan Syndrome (April 10, 2012) 

In a sardonic post on his TomDispatch blog, Tom Englehardt congratulates the Afghanistan War on stepping out of the Vietnam War’s shadow, and becoming “a quagmire in its own right…beholden to no one.” Englehardt’s point however, is serious – after so many decades in which the US defeat in Vietnam was such an ominous and intransigent presence in the country’s psyche, why has it been forgotten, and why, at the end of the day, were no lessons learnt? (Tom Dispatch)

American Decline in Perspective (February 15, 2012)

In this extended article published in two parts on TomDispatch, Noam Chomsky analyzes the United State’s hegemonic position in the world, its long term strategic goals, and the thinking behind many of its foreign policy positions. Chomsky’s argument is that United States foreign policy since the Second World War has been founded on an assumption that the US has the right to global preeminence and domination, as well as free exercise of violence, and that the sovereignty of other countries only extends as far as United States strategic and economic interests allow, in a global version of the Manifest Destiny doctrine. Chomsky frames his argument in imperial terminology, explicitly connecting the modern age of empire to those past. (Tom Dispatch)


The Era of US Dominance is Coming to a Close (November 13, 2011)

The global distribution of power is going through a major change. This redistribution includes political, economic and military challenges to US superiority. Still, US politicians continue to bolster the US’ exceptionalism and its role as a global leader. However, confidence in Washington has suffered a fundamental blow and the “postwar world” supremacy that the US once obtained no longer exists. (Tom Dispatch)

An All-American Nightmare (November 8, 2011)

This excerpt from Tom Engelhart’s new book “The United States of Fear” describes how George W. Bush’s American Dream of Empire turned into a nightmare. The multi-trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan represents a defeat of the first order. US presence in these countries dragged on for a much longer than planned, and the devastation that followed tells of “unwinnable wars.” In the book, Tom Engelhart also explores how Obama embraced Bush’s secret government. (Tom Dispatch)

Is Another Depression Possible? (September 28, 2011)

Currently, America’s economic situation is in dire, and just as in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the main goal of the government is to protect the institutions that caused the crisis. The deep structural problems may cause major damage in the future, and a comparison between the 1930’s and the present crisis begs the question as to whether another Great Depression will occur. (Global Research)

America and Oil, Declining Together? (September 15, 2011)

US economic and military domination is closely connected to the nation’s control over world oil supplies.  Oil powered the country’s first giant corporation, guaranteed success in World War II and played a key role in the economic boom of the postwar era.  Today, oil is of critical importance to the US economy, leaving it particularly vulnerable to price instabilities. Increasing oil scarcity and the development of renewable sources are contributing to the decline of oil as a major source of energy. This has also coincided with the US current economic and military decline. How are they connected and how should the US respond to these developments? (Tom Dispatch)

Who will Eclipse America? (September 19, 2011)

Voltaire said that the Roman Empire fell “because all things fall.” If nothing lasts forever, American predominance will end too. The British hegemony was gradually overshadowed by the US, which since 1945 has been the major global power. But was the British decline based on external factors, or rather on problems within the empire’s borders? External threats do bring down states, but more often the big challenges are internal, like dysfunctional politics or loss of social unity. Could the US be elbowed aside any time soon, or will it be eclipsed due to problems “at home?” (Project Syndicate)

China Eclipsing U.S. in Global Reach, Poll Finds (September 8, 2011)

Findings from an annual global poll show that a growing number of people believe that China has surpassed, or will soon surpass, the US as the world “superpower.” However, there is little international enthusiasm at the prospect of China taking this position. The poll also analyzed various international issues, which found a decrease in support for the UN in some nations. Citizens in the Middle East expressed growing dissatisfaction with the direction their countries were headed in and with current policies. The report is the 10th annual poll to determine international opinion on global issues. (IPS)

9/11, Ten Years on: Reflections (September 7, 2011)

Twelve writers from Open Democracy have contributed a short piece about the impact of 9/11 on the US and the world. Each opinion tackles a different topic relating to the last decade. Topics include the increasing use of force by the US, a newfound culture of fear, as well as an increase in influence of players such as China in global finance. Each opinion piece reiterates that, post 9/11, the world has changed significantly and the saying “war begets war” is proving increasingly true. (Open Democracy)

The Price of 9/11 (September 1, 2011)

 The Price of 9/11 is measured not only in the human lives lost, but also by the impact on the economy, politics and security, argues Joseph Stiglitz. The attacks had far-reaching consequences for the US as a global power. The invasion of Iraq, purportedly justified by 9/11, resulted in financial and military overstretch that has seriously weakened the US and added to astronomical levels of debt. Today the US is experiencing an economic crisis whose foundations are directly traceable to Washington’s actions in response to 9/11. (Project Syndicate)

Future Global Hegemony and the US (August 26, 2011)

Commentators and academics frequently speak about the decline of the US as a hegemonic power. This article, by Noam Chomsky, traces the history of US global dominance, from the post WWII highs, to the present period. He provides an interesting overview of US interventions and operations that have contributed to Washington’s waning influence. The international community is increasingly losing confidence in the US as a global power due to its recent economic slide. Chomsky acknowledges that the demise of the US Empire will not be instantaneous due to the lack of any competitor strong enough to assume hegemonic power. (Al Akhbar)

The US a By-Stander in Middle Eastern Affairs? (August 17, 2011)

The Obama administration is failing in its attempts to engage the Middle East and the Muslim world, writes Michael Hudson. US foreign policy in the region, once clear, appears increasingly incoherent. Whilst Obama publicly supports withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, US troops still remain. Meanwhile, the Arab Spring has shown that people will no longer endure US supported autocrats. The US has dithered over Syria and Palestine, unwilling to commit to a new and democratic policy. Hudson argues these issues have severely discredited the US in the Middle East. (Al Jazeera)

The Death of Western Democracy? (August 15, 2011)

Though the supremacy of Western democracies was once held to be the cornerstone of world order, they are now becoming increasingly threatened by their own failures. These failures were recently highlighted by the riots in England, the self-interested political maneuvering in the US, and the concerning growth in xenophobic movements within governments and society. Over the past decade, these many affronts to democracy have continually eroded public faith in government in both the US and Europe. Consequently, today’s levels of confidence in Western democratic national governments have hit an all time low, leading the author to question if democracy is on the way out. (Alternet)

America in Decline (August 06, 2011)

In this article Noam Chomsky questions the continued international dominance of the US. The threats to US power come from external forces, but this crisis is also in a larger part self-inflicted. Chomsky highlights the clear discrepancies between the concerns of the US public – employment, education and reduced military spending – and the political and economic elite’s interests. This growing distance from societal concerns are compounded by the rising costs of political campaigns, which force candidates to rely on corporate donations. According to Chomsky this disconnect contributes to the waning influence of the US as a world power. (Znet)


Pacific Pushback: Has the US Empire of Bases Reached its High-Water Mark? (March 4, 2010)

Japan has long served as a significant aircraft carrier and naval base for US military power.  The Yokosuka base near Tokyo has functioned as the largest US overseas naval installation. The "indestructible alliance" between the US and Japan is currently under threat over the closure of the US Marine Corps air base at Futenma and the resistance from the new government in Tokyo to build a previously-agreed new US base in Okinawa. (TomDispatch)


Welcome to 2025 (October 26, 2009)

In November 2008, the National Intelligence Council published a report predicting that the US would no longer be the world's sole superpower by 2025. But recent events and the global recession suggest that US global preeminence may end earlier than forecast. The dollar's role in the global economy seems to be in danger, and the G7 has relinquished responsibility of the world economy to the larger G20.  The US will remain a strong economic and military power for some time to come, but the single player mode is already a fading reality. (TomDispatch)

Capitalism's Demise? (January 8, 2009)

Immanuel Wallerstein offers his interpretation of the financial crisis, calling it the bust of the "speculative sphere." According to Wallerstein, this bust will result in a depression that could end the capitalist system. The US is dependant on loans and it has accumulated enormous debt. The financial crisis affects US hegemony in two ways: first the US dollar is weakening and secondly the US military is very expensive. The world is poised between a defective economic system and a new historical world-system where the US would not be the leader, but instead a collaborator. (Energy Bulletin)




Barack Obama, and America's Place in the World (December 15, 2008)

Author Helena Cobban observes that a global transition could effect the US position as the dominant power in the world. As a result of the economic crisis, in which the US relies on support from non- western powers like China, the US is bound to have less economic and political leverage. Furthermore, Cobban emphasizes that unilateralism does not serve the purpose of peace and security and that the US will have to work with other countries if it wants to exert its influence on global political and economic questions. (Christian Science Monitor)

Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World (November 2008)

The US National Intelligence Council predicts a new world order in the year 2025. A shift of global wealth from the West to rising powers in the East will lead to a multipolar international system and increase the demand for multilateral cooperation. Even though the US will remain a powerful actor, it will have less political leverage and depend on the support of strong partnerships. China will become the second largest economy and a leading military power.

Where is the World Headed? (July 10, 2008)

This Yale Global article argues that the decline of the US as a world power has geopolitical and economic consequences for the world. According to the author, the world is no longer a unipolar international system, but a multipolar system, with countries like Egypt and Turkey brokering peace deals that the US opposes. Further, the fall of the dollar presents a challenge to US economic dominance. The author expects the value of competitive currencies such as the euro and the yen to continue to increase in value while the dollar further declines.

Pakistan's New Government Opposed to US Action on its Soil (May 9, 2008)

Pakistan calls US unilateral air strikes against Al-Qaeda militants near the Afghan border counterproductive. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated, "Direct intervention, hot pursuit; we are not supportive of it yesterday, we are not supportive of it today." Since President Pervez Musharraf retired as army chief, Pakistan’s government has focused on non-military means to fight terror. Qureshi argues that economic development of the border region and dialogue with tribal factions win public support and isolate terrorists more effectively than force. (Reuters)

Nonviolent Action and Pro-Democracy Struggles (January 24, 2008)

Non-violent civil insurrection offers an “ethical challenge� to US interventionism. From Iran to Nicaragua, the CIA has engineered coups against governments whose politics differ from US interests in the name of democracy promotion. Yet, there are compelling examples of peaceful grassroots movements that have toppled US-compliant authoritarian regimes, like the activists that brought down Marcos in the Phillipines and Suharto in Indonesia. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Sovereign Wealth Funds: Power vs Principle (March 5, 2008)

Authoritarian states use their Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) to undermine US hegemony, argues this openDemocracy article. To protect the Western model of global capitalism, the US seeks to stem the fall of the Dollar. The Gulf States are offering help by dispensing their SWFs – but investment from these state-owned savings entities is help in disguise. Where nations offer SWF resources to the US, they seek, for better or for worse, to challenge US international influence in the midst of a financial crisis.



Varieties of Imperial Decline - Honduras and Miranda (July 30, 2007)

This ZNet article argues that the US faces the same “imperial decline� that Spain experienced centuries ago. Recognizing that US political and economic partnership is not essential for prosperity, Latin American governments increasingly band together under Cuba and Venezuela’s left-wing leadership. The article states that Venezuela, unlike Washington, has offered “solidarity-based, preferential oil deals and help with electricity generation� to countries in the region, including Honduras. As Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, echoing the attitudes of many of his Latin American counterparts, opts for regional collaboration, Washington continues to lose authority in Latin America.

Nationwide Protests Rock Peru, Bush Seeks Allies in Latin America (July 19, 2007)

Peruvian citizens are protesting in large numbers after Peruvian President Alan Garcia signed on to a free trade agreement with the US. While Garcia’s shift toward neo-liberal economic policy benefits the national economy, it has not improved conditions for the majority of Peru’s population, which “survives on less than a dollar a day.� Many analysts argue that the Bush administration is trying to secure free trade agreements with Latin American countries including Peru, Colombia, and Panama in order to counter Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s leftist influence in the region. (Toward Freedom)

There Goes the Neighborhood (July 16, 2007)

Washington is increasingly losing support from Latin American countries, reports this Newsweek article. The US Senate’s rejection of US President George Bush’s immigration reform outraged Latin Americans who had hoped for better chances of receiving legalization and visas. Meanwhile Bush’s leftist “nemeses in the hemisphere� provide free valuable services to poor populations, winning public support. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a regional leader, is turning to Russia, rather than the US, for arms equipment and for Moscow’s promise to invest in Venezuelan oil.

Global Poll Shows Wide Distrust of United States (June 27, 2007)

The September 11 attacks in 2001 evoked international sympathy for the US. However, an international poll shows that opinions about the US and US foreign policy have worsened since then, mostly in Muslim countries and in Europe. Many people in these regions distrust US President George W. Bush and disapprove of Washington’s interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most polled stated that “the United States promotes democracy mostly where it serves American interests.� (International Herald Tribune)

ALBA: From Dream to Reality (May 17, 2007)

This Other News article asserts that ALBA - the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas - poses a considerable challenge to US economic dominance in Latin America. ALBA rejects the neo-liberal free-trade agreements, especially those negotiated with the US, that have increased poverty and inequalities in the region. Instead, ALBA promises a model of fair trade that relies on cooperation to meet the specific needs of each participating country, for example, “Cuba receives Venezuelan oil… and in exchange Venezuela receives the only thing Cuba can give: its best personnel in public health, education and sports.�

Chavez Takes Over Foreign-Controlled Oil Projects in Venezuela (May 2, 2007)

This International Herald Tribune article highlights the decision by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to nationalize oil fields that are owned by foreign corporations. The author argues that although the immediate impact on the supply of oil to the US will be slight, Chavez’s main goal is to reduce US influence in Venezuelan affairs and to ensure that the Venezuelan people – and not “imperialist� foreign corporations – benefit from the country’s resources.

World Publics Reject US Role as the World Leader (April 17, 2007)

This World Public Opinion poll shows that people throughout the world overwhelmingly believe that the US is an unreliable “world policeman.� The editor argues that the poll confirms that global public opinion of the US is “bad and getting worse.� However, there is a consensus among the countries surveyed that Washington should remain engaged in world affairs through multilateral cooperation.

Oil Showdown Looms with Venezuela's Chavez (April 10, 2007)

This International Herald Tribune article highlights the decision by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to nationalize several of the country's oil fields, many of which are owned by US companies, ultimately making less oil available for export to the US. The author argues that Chavez's decision is politically motivated as he seeks to “limit US influence around the worldâ€? starting in Venezuelaâ's oil fields.

An Anti-Bases Network Finds its Base (March 20, 2007)

This Other News article highlights the formation of the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases – an organization that wants to see the hundreds of US military bases around the world closed. The author argues that the large gathering organized by the group to protest a US air force base in Manta, Ecuador, shows that this more cohesive coalition has a greater chance of achieving its mandate than past efforts.

Global Realignment and the Decline of the Superpower (March 9, 2007)

This Global Research article predicts a grim future for the US’ status as a superpower. The author argues that the Bush administration’s destructive, failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have heightened international public resistance to US dominance. The article further argues that US “military and economic unraveling� will eventually result in a new international governance system that promotes a wider balance of power.

Afghan Bombing Sends A Danger Signal to US (February 27, 2007)

This New York Times article reports on the suicide bombing in Afghanistan, which took place during a visit by US Vice President Dick Cheney. The author argues that the persistent instability in Afghanistan – as demonstrated by attacks launched by former Taliban government supporters – represents the inability of the US military to occupy both Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time.

Venezuela Rivals US in Aid to Bolivia (February 23, 2007)

Venezuelan aid to Bolivia now roughly equals that given by the US – historically the country’s largest donor – reports this New York Times article. The author states that by providing funds to Bolivia to help increase its coca exports, which the Bush administration actively opposes, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez challenges Washington’s influence in the region.

Junior ROTC Takes a Hit in LA (February 19, 2007)

This Los Angeles Times article reports on the success of a campaign undertaken by teachers and other activists in Los Angeles public high schools aimed at deterring students from joining the US Army’s Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC). Critics of the program argue that it unfairly targets low-income minority schools with high dropout rates with the goal of boosting enlistment in the US armed forces following graduation.

Venezuela and Iran Put Up £1 Billion 'To Free Nations from US Imperial Yoke' (January 15, 2007)

The governments of Venezuela and Iran plan to collectively set up an investment fund worth £1 billion, around US$2 billion, that will help developing countries liberate themselves from US imperialism, reports this piece in the Scotsman. The author cites Tehran's eagerness to end the international isolation it has faced over its nuclear enrichment program as a major reason for the creation of this fund.

US Faces Eviction from Ecuadorian Base (January 12, 2007)

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa promised his constituents during the 2006 election campaign that he would not renew a lease, due to expire in 2009, which the US holds on an air base in the Latin American nation. This International Relations and Security Network piece argues that Ecuadorians do not want a continued US presence in their country because US operations from the air base directly support the Colombian government with which Quito has had strained relations.



The Roman Empire Is Falling - So It Turns to Iran and Syria (December 7, 2006)

This Independent piece compares US President George W. Bush's quest for dominance in the Middle East to that of the Roman Empire, noting that the US œempire faces collapse and catastrophe if it does not enlist the help of Iraq' sneighbors to bring stability and security to the region. Even the Iraq Study Group acknowledges that “the ability of the US to influence events within Iraq is diminishing. However, as the author suggests, the US has been unable to influence events in Iraq for years, and its failures have only enflamed sectarian violence and provoked an insurgency.

Ecuadorean Elections: Correa's Most Surprising, Most Important Victory (November 27, 2006)

The victory of leftist candidate Rafael Correa in Ecuador's 2006 presidential elections signifies a further decline of US influence in Latin America, already weakened after the elections in Nicaragua and Bolivia, argues this Council on Hemispheric Affairs article. President-elect Correa stated that he will not sign a free trade agreement with the US and will not renew the US Air Force's lease for the Manta air base. The author concludes that the Correa victory will provide renewed momentum to the moderate leftist movement throughout Latin America, further rejecting the neo-liberal economic policies advocated by the US.

Dismay Grows Over US Torture School (November 15, 2006)

The US Army's School of the Americas (SOA), renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in 2001, trains Latin American soldiers. The SOA has come under constant domestic and foreign criticism for promoting tactics such as coercive interrogation and torture techniques. This article in The Nation argues that many of the leftist governments in Latin America have stopped sending soldiers to the SOA because of their opposition to US interventions, leading to a decline in the SOA influence. Furthermore, massive demonstrations in November 2006 against SOA in both the US and Latin America could potentially push the Democratic US Congress to cut funding to the school, ultimately resulting in a decline of US military influence throughout the region.

United Nations Compromise Shows Limits to US Power (November 3, 2006)

The election of non-permanent UN Security Council members for the 2007-2008 term pitted the US-backed candidate Guatemala against US-opposed Venezuela for the available Latin American seat. Weeks of stalemate resulted in the election of Panama a compromise candidate. This Christian Science Monitor article argues that the election debacle ultimately demonstrates the diminishing nature of US influence in Latin America and the rest of the world as US support no longer ensures that a candidate will emerge victorious.

ALBA Venezuela's Answer to "Free Trade"? (October 2006)

This paper published by Focus on the Global South analyzes the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) as a substitute to the neoliberal US-supported Free Trade Agreement of the Americas and other Latin American integration efforts such as Mercosur. The ALBA initiative organized by Presidents Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Evo Morales of Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia respectively aims to promote regional integration through “social welfare and equity� rather than trade liberalization. The authors conclude that the widespread support ALBA receives in the region demonstrates that the majority of Latin Americans no longer have faith in the neoliberal model that has left so many mired in poverty.

America's Middle Class Has Become Globalization's Loser (October 24, 2006)

Der Spiegel argues that the undoubtedly superior United States doesn't exist anymore. Once a pillar of success in the global marketplace, the US must now cope with a massive trade imbalance, which brings rising unemployment and less purchasing power among its population. The inability of US corporations to compete with their counterparts abroad has shifted the power balance to other regions of the world, challenging the economic dominance of the US.

US Public Wants "New Approach" on Foreign Policy (October 20, 2006)

A poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes surmised that the majority of US citizens do not agree with “critical aspects of US foreign policy� under the Bush administration. Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed that the Bush administration overemphasizes military power and does not spend sufficient time on diplomacy, which ultimately hinders US national security interests. With the November 2006 midterm elections only weeks away such attitudes could force the administration to adopt a more multilateral approach to foreign policy. (Inter Press Service)

What the Believers in American Power Have Overlooked (October 2, 2006)

Governments increasingly turn to multilateral forums to resolve conflicts, signaling a decrease in support for unilateral methods. The large-scale death and destruction which has resulted from the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq demonstrates the problems of states acting unilaterally. However, the Bush administration is unlikely to accept a world in which US actions would be subject to scrutiny by other countries. This History News Network article argues that such uncooperative behavior could result in a marginalization of US power while other nations strengthen their global standing through working within international organizations.

No Longer No. 1, and No Wonder (September 27, 2006)

The US fell from 1st to 6th place in the 2006-2007 global competitiveness rankings published by the World Economic Forum. The article states that low taxation, deregulation, and increased litigation contribute to the decrease of US competitiveness. Conversely, corporations in Scandinavian countries benefit from government investments in the education and health of their populations. This Washington Post article concludes that if US corporations do not realize the detrimental effects of the economic strategies they often advocate, then they will remain less competitive in the global marketplace.

Russia's Signal to Stations Is Clear: Cut US Radio (July 7, 2006)

This Washington Post article discusses Moscow's decision to bar 60 Russian radio stations from broadcasting US government-funded news reports. Russian regulators cited “license violations and unauthorized changes in programming format in defense of the decision. The author addresses the "Catch-22"? of foreign government influence in local media versus censorship in public fora. Both options involve government in the media and violate freedom of expression.

Graham Fuller and Superpower Fatigue (Summer 2006)

President George Bush's time in office exhibits a change from implicit aspirations for unipolar global command to explicit ones. Nearing five years into an unending global war on terror, outsourced jobs, military losses, massive budget and trade deficits, and a growing disparity in domestic socio-economic classes signal the decline of the US Empire. (National Interest)

Bush Leverage with Russia, Iran, China Falls as Oil Prices Rise (May 1, 2006)

Rising prices of fossil fuels lead to a reduced US influence on certain countries, argues this Bloomberg article. Big oil-producing countries such as Russia and Venezuela now have much higher earnings, which makes them less prone to pressure from Washington. Thus, they pursue a more independent foreign policy. High energy prices have also complicated relations with oil-hungry China.

League of Dictators? (April 30, 2006)

Neo-conservative author Robert Kagan argues in this Washington Post article that theautocratic powers Russia and China will pose the biggest challenge to “Western liberalism� (read: the US) in the future. With the accession to the World Trade Organization, China has fully integrated into the international economic system. However, argues Kagan, there are no signs that Beijing moves towards the liberal democratic model, as wanted by the US. Moscow and Beijing work against Washington's interest in countries such as Iran, Sudan, Burma and Belarus.

Imminent Decline of Empire? (April 12, 2006)

According to this ZNet article, Washington's influence over global affairs is waning. Latin America is increasingly turning away from the US and is pursuing political and economic integration within the region. Other countries such as India and particularly China are entering the world stage while increasing their economic sway. If the militaristic, self-defeating and overbearing Bush Administration continues to ignore “the warning signs, the power of the US could start to decline soon.

Imperial Overreach Is Accelerating the Global Decline of America (March 28, 2006)

A triumphalist mentality that imbued the neocons led the US to invade and occupy Iraq. This Guardian article argues that the Bush administration is overestimating the long-term power of the US. Therefore, Washington pursues a very aggressive and interventionist foreign policy. This “imperial overreach� could ultimately lead to a decline of US power.

Decline and Fall (March 16, 2006)

The US is repeating the same mistakes of previous empires spending carelessly and refusing to change course even when circumstances demand it. This book review of American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century argues that the coming oil scarcity, the 'financialization' of the economy and misguided leadership will spur a decline of the US. (Salon)



Howard Zinn, The Outer Limits of Empire (September 8, 2005)

In this TomDispatch interview, Howard Zinn draws attention to the important aspects of the US empire. Zinn looks at the popular resistance to the Iraq war, and war crimes in Guantanamo and Afghanistan through the culture of exceptionalism in the US. He argues that 9/11 may be the beginning of the weakening and crumbling of the empire and speculates that with the invasion of Iraq, the US empire “has reached its outer limits in the Middle East.

Wake Up! (March 31, 2005)

The US empire has overstepped its power boundaries and faces a downfall if the government cannot cut the deficit and improve relations with the rest of the world, says author Chalmers Johnson. Acknowledging the daunting nature of the tasks, this In These Times article urges Washington to re-establish credibility by reforming several US foreign policies: leave Iraq, discourage rather than encourage nuclear proliferation, promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, recognize international law and come to terms with rising world powers.

The Third Stage of American Empire (March 1, 2005)

The US has thrived upon the notion of empire, from westward expansion and involvement in the troubles of the Old World to the present day perpetual state of war, says Truthout author William Rivers Pitt. This third stage of empire, spurred by the first taste of global dominance, manifests itself in the war on terrorism. But empires inevitably fall, and this third American empire is threatening to collapse under its own ponderous weight.

Lessons for the American Empire (January 30, 2005)

While the US is the unrivaled world leader? in terms of economic and military power, nothing lasts forever, says the New York Times. This article fails to question an empire's adverse impacts, but demonstrates that the US government, given rising debts, increased military spending, and the expanding terror war, has too much confidence in its strength. The author uses the work of empire historian Niall Ferguson to conclude that the US empire will suffer an abrupt decline unless the government cuts military spending.

A CIA Report Predicts That American Global Dominance Could End in 15 Years (January 26, 2005)

According to a National Intelligence Council report, US imperial advantages could end by 2020 due to the falling dollar, globalization trends that favors Asia over the West, and growing economies such as India and China. While forecasting potential scenarios from an economic-oriented Davos World to a fear-induced Orwellian world, the report urges the US to maintain military power and a strong counterterrorism strategy. But this Slate article argues that the US can't sell freedom if we can't sell ourselves.



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