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From Superpower to Besieged Global Power. What is the Bush Doctrine and its Revolutionary Vision of a Transformed Global Order to Suit the administration’s preferences? Why has the Bush Doctrine failed, exposing the United States as a formidable global power, but NOT a superpower?

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from superpower to besieged global power
From Superpower to Besieged Global Power
  • What is the Bush Doctrine and its Revolutionary Vision of a Transformed Global Order to Suit the administration’s preferences?
  • Why has the Bush Doctrine failed, exposing the United States as a formidable global power, but NOT a superpower?
  • Leave open the question of the implications of viewing the United States as a formidable power, but not a superpower to the discussion following these remarks
what do we mean by superpower
What Do We Mean by Superpower?
  • A superpower should be able
    • (1) to impose its preferences for global order on adversaries coercively or
    • (2) to elicit the consent for its preferred vision of global order from allies
  • The Bush Doctrine has failed on both counts
the power and moral assumptions of the bush doctrine
The Power and Moral Assumptions of the Bush Doctrine
  • The United States is the Sole Superpower in International and Global Politics
    • The United States has defeated all global rivals —Fascism, Nazism, Communism
    • No one state or combination of states today can defeat its military forces
    • The United States is THE indispensable power for the preservation of the coalition of democratic, market states, providing the public goods of security and economic resources to ensure their ascendancy
    • Its power — material and ideational, hard and soft — is sufficient, unilaterally, to reform global order to its linking
the time to transform the global order is now
The Time to Transform the Global Order Is Now
  • Bush at West Point, Spring, 2002:

“. . . [A]s we defend peace, we also have an historic opportunity to preserve the peace. We have our best chance since the rise of the nation-state in the seventeenth century to build a world where the great powers compete in peace instead of prepare for war.”

from balance of power to american hegemony
From Balance of Power to American Hegemony
  • The wars of the past because of the breakdown of the balance of power are precluded because of the overwhelming material power of the United States
    • No state or coalition can balance U.S. power
    • The United States has the resources and will to outspend any state or rival coalition if it tries
    • So why try?
pax america rests on the assumption of the united states as the sole superpower
Pax America Rests on the Assumption of the United States as the Sole Superpower
  • “Competition between great nations is inevitable, but armed conflict in our world is not. More and more civilized nations find ourselves on the same side — united by common dangers of terrorist violence and chaos. America has, and intends to keep, military strength beyond challenge, thereby, making the destabilizing arms races of other eras pointless, and limiting rivalries to trade and other pursuits of peace.”
the moral right and obligation to use american power to reform global order
The Moral Right and Obligation to Use American Power to Reform Global Order
  • Every state has the right of self-defense
  • American power acts on behalf of the international community
  • The United States is obliged to act when the international community and United Nations is incapable of acting
  • Installing democratic regimes by force is justified, notwithstanding the UN Charter’s prohibition of intervening in the domestic affairs of states
    • People will choose freedom if given a choice
    • A world of democratic regimes will be peaceful
the deep domestic roots of the legitimate use of force american exceptionalism
The Deep Domestic Roots of the Legitimate Use of Force: American Exceptionalism
  • American political values and practices are morally superior and exceptional
    • Both Right and Left through American history converge on this assumption
    • President Bush in the National Security of the U.S, 2002: The United States is “a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise.”
    • If the United States is morally exceptional, then it can employ exceptional methods and means to reform global order and defeat its rivals, notably in conducting a long-term global war on terrorists and terrorist-supporting nondemocratic regimes
the strategic field of action for american power
The Strategic Field of Action for American Power
  • The entire globe
    • State boundaries are no barrier to the projection of American power
    • The territory of the United States is not apart from this strategic terrain, but an integral field of action
    • The world’s populations are no less subject to American power
    • The American people too, are subject to the inherently legitimate use of American power at the disposal of the American government, that is, the President as head of a unified executive.
    • The Constitution confers all necessary power and authority on the President as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to cope with all threats confronting the United States as the President defines them
means and methods available to the superpower as superpower
Means and Methods Available to the Superpower as Superpower
  • Need for flexible use of power requires unilateralism and renunciation of international constraints
    • ABM treaty renounced
    • Kyoto rejected
    • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is not ratified
    • The International Criminal Court rejected
    • Treaties to ban land mines and chemical and biological weapons rejected
    • The United States embarks on the renovation and perfection of its nuclear arsenal while denying other states a similar right of self-defense
    • Unilaterally imposed exceptions to the Non- Proliferation Treaty are undertaken in concessions to India
    • The Geneva Convention provisions against Torture and its proscriptions to protect prisoners are marginalized as inoperative in the global war of terror —as “quaint”
additional superpower strategic means and methods
Additional Superpower Strategic Means and Methods
  • Create “Coalitions of the Willing,” expecting other actions to bandwagon on American power
  • Employ the politics of fait accompli to compel foreign and domestic opponents to accede to American power
  • Divide and rule: Europe divided into old and new; Russia marginalized as NATO expands
  • Pre-emptive and preventive war the preferred option and always on the table in negotiations with rivals
Inherent Power and Authority of the President Precedes the Constitution under Conditions of Threats to the State
  • The Congress, having passed a resolution authorizing the President to use force to compel Iraqi adherence to international accords is henceforward precluded from limiting Presidential power
  • The President enjoys inherent authority to use American power as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces
  • The President can define through so-called signing statements those laws he will enforce or interpret how he will enforce them
the imperial president in action
The Imperial President in Action
  • Prisoners, designated by the President solely as “illegal enemy combatants” can be held, controlled and tortured in violation of international humanitarian norms and the Geneva convention; hence Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo
  • Prisoners can be rendered coercively to their home countries where they face torture and death
  • American can be held without right of habeas corpus if designated an “illegal enemy combatant”
  • Surveillance of American is conducted in violation of law
the bush doctrine meets reality
The Bush Doctrine Meets Reality
  • Five factor that have limited the scope of the Bush Doctrine and its defeat
    • The absence of a winning counterinsurgency strategy
    • Domestic opposition to the Bush Doctrine and, specifically, the war in Iraq
    • The limited material resources of the United States to realize the Bush Doctrine
    • Domestic Demands for Entitlements
    • And the Pushback of Peoples and States of the Global Society
1 absence of an effective counter insurgency strategy
1) Absence of an Effective Counter-Insurgency Strategy
  • Until recently, the US violated key tenets of counter-insurgency:

— Unity of civilian and military command divided & conflicting

— Close infiltration through surrounding states (Syrian and Iran)

— Control arms storage areas

—Most critically -- win the confidence & support of the targeted population

* Provide security

+ Separate the population from combatants

+ Gain real-time intelligence

* Provide essential civilian needs

2 increasing costs of the iraq war declining domestic support
2) Increasing Costs of the Iraq War & Declining Domestic Support
  • As of June 2007: 3500 dead; 30000~ wounded -- some impaired for a lifetime
  • Current spending: ~ $100 billion annually
  • Support for the war dwindling: President Bush’s approval rating, critically weighted by the Iraq war, in less than 30 percent of the American people -- in contrast to 90 percent after 9/11
3 limited resources of the united states
3) Limited Resources of the United States
  • Long-Term costs of the war: $1-2 Trillion, having already exceeded $500 billion (Congressional Budget Office)
  • Rising budget deficits, increased by large tax cuts
    • $9 trillion within a $13 trillion GDP
    • One-quarter of the US debt owned by foreign investors, notably Japan and China
4 rising domestic demand for entitlements
4) Rising Domestic Demand for Entitlements
  • The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided to meet current spending
    • Somewhere between 2010-15 the Fund will be in deficit
    • By 2040, the deficit will reach 2.5 % of GDP
    • Medicare spending is projected to rise from 2% of GDP to over 8 % by 2040
5 the resistance of allies adversaries to the projection expansion of american power
5) The Resistance of Allies & Adversaries to the Projection & Expansion of American Power

Central Asia:

  • Return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Sanctuaries in Pakistan
    • Pakistan regime of President Musharraf is opposed at home
    • Accord with tribes on Afghan border provides Al Qaeda bases
    • Pakistan intelligence services provides support to Taliban
    • Pakistan among the most notorious proliferators of nuclear technology
    • Preventing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons from falling into opponents of the West remains a persistent concern
  • Warlords and drug production continue as global security threat
1 middle east
1) Middle East
  • Iraq War: A Calamity
    • Insurgency widespread and uncontrolled
    • Civil war between communal groups rising and American forces attacked by all sides
    • Terrorist groups increased where they were not before
    • Iranian influence growing at the expense of the United States
      • A nuclear Iran is on the horizon
      • The Shi’ite dominated government of Iraq is aligned with Iran
      • Iranian arms are being funneled to insurgents
      • Iranian influence over Israel increased with its support of Hezbollah and the Israeli-Hezbollah statement of August 2006
2 middle east
2) Middle East
  • Israeli-Palestine Conflict
    • Neglect of the conflict has eroded US power to control the conflict
    • U.S. policy is largely defined by Israeli strategy and aims: settlements continue; military intervention by Israeli unhindered
    • U.S. call for elections in Palestine yields the victory of Hamas, dedicated to the elimination of the Israeli state and the right of return of all Palestinians
south asia
South Asia
  • U.S. efforts to draw India into its sphere of influence exposes weakness of U.S. power
    • Nuclear accord with India strengths India’s military nuclear program and weakens the Non-Proliferation treaty
    • Meanwhile, India strengths relations with China and resists the role as counter-weight to rising Chinese power
northeast asia
Northeast Asia
  • American power challenged by a nuclear North Korea
  • China is central to negotiations to denuclearize N. Korea
  • China holds the U.S. economy hostage
    • It holds a quarter of the foreign debt of the U.S.
    • The U.S. chronically runs a foreign trade debt with China
    • China also possesses over $1 trillion in foreign assets
  • South Korea pursues an increasingly independent foreign policy toward the U.S.
  • Japan, while the most reliable U.S. partner, also increasingly pursues a nationally defined foreign policy that prompts resistance from its regional neighbors, heightening national tensions
se asia
SE Asia
  • Former alignment with ASEAN states has eroded
    • Malaysia is openly opposed to Iraq War
    • Indonesia, while engaged in the war on terror, is also marked by heightened Islamic militancy
    • The Chinese ‘charm’ offensive, openness to trade, and investment draws these states into its sphere of interest
central and south america
Central and South America
  • The U.S. has failed to control its borders: 12 million illegal aliens, largely from Mexico, which does little to assist the U.S.
  • The rise of states opposed to U.S. policies and power is growing: Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador
  • Brazil leads the Group of 21 against Western and U.S. trade policies in the WTO
  • Most states of Latin America increasingly define their political and economic systems independent of U.S. influence and intervention.
  • While U.S. aid for AIDS exceeds most countries to Africa, it’s interest and will to address African conflicts exposes its marginal influence
    • Rwanda in 1993
    • Sudan and the Congo Republic: millions killed, wounded or dislocated
    • Zimbabwe spins out of control
is the united states a superpower
Is the United States a Superpower?
  • A superpower presumably is able either to impose its preferences on other states or to elicit their support
  • The United States does not meet this test
  • Yet the United remains a formidable global power
    • Its military is the most powerful relative to the forces of other states
    • Its economy is still the largest at $13 trillion in GDP
    • Its population is well educated and creative
    • It has impressive hard and soft power to negotiate a global environment favorable to its interests, but it cannot command others to do its will absent concessions to their interests and power