In addition to my current educational efforts, am still serving as a United States Army soldier. The combination of these characteristics causes me to be constantly interested in the world’s happenings. Due to those events having a possible and very real affect on my life. This question of American Power in the world we are now in, is one that I have been having with myself academically for over a year now. The conclusions that I have come to concerning this topic are constantly changing, and as many mentors have told me, including this semester, this evolution is imperative as a historian.
While America’s foreign policy has fluctuated in the last century, the firm relationship between American economic and military power was not unconvinced, however it was emphatically declared by President Theodore Roosevelt foreign policy over 100 years ago. This is no surprise either, because that policy ultimate goal was and still is to protect America’s interests. Much like the purpose of any country military to not only protect its citizenry, but also its interests.
This idea is not a novel one, a nation’s ultimate end should be to protect what will either sustain itself and/or allow it to grow. Since the birth of civilization, military power has been used to conquer, insure, and defend the resources of a nation in order for that validation to economically flourish. American power and influence Powell 12 within globalization is not solely reliant on defense capabilities, the real driving force of globalization is business. The free market system is inherently American because it offers leverage, choice, and flexibility.
Some could argue that this free market mindset was America’s largest export during the Cold War, therefore I would like to take a look at the relationship between technology, power, the merits of more American contact with other cultures, and the reasons why America has embraced new players in the global economy. We will begin to analyze the implications for globalization, and how the national security of other states means a more secure America, and in theory, is therefore mutually beneficial.
Terms Individuals experience globalization differently, which sometimes causes the term to be difficult to define. In order to try and answer my paper’s overarching questions, first I will provide definitions. Globalization, according to Professor of Political Science Manfred B. Stager at the University of Hawaii- Manna, “is the myriad forms of connectivity and flows linking the local (and cantonal) to the global-?as well as the West to the East and The North to the South” (Stager, 201 3, p. 2). A more dynamic definition of globalization, according to Bruce W.
Sonless Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, “is the increasing interconnectedness of the world across nation-state boundaries-?an interconnectedness that affects governments, business, communities, and people in a wide range of policy areas” (Sonless, 2010 p. 529). This concept of globalization is both endorsed and criticized by those at different ends of the debate on whether or not this is a good or bad concept ND/or reality. Since globalization is “neither irresistible nor irreversible. (Kirsches, p. 364), The specific Powell ! 3 positive and negative attributes are at times categorized rather easily. Optimistic hyperbolically , understand that problems are encountered in a progressively globalize world, but see the glass as half full and ultimately think the concept is positive. An example of this would be a European brand product, like Australia’s Red Bull, being available in America. An optimistic hyperbolical, thinks the positives associated with a foreign product outweigh the negatives.
The optimistic hyperbolical acknowledges that foreign products sold in another country may take away from local craftsmanship or even result in a small business shutting down because the foreign product is more successful in the local market. Economic prosperity generated by selling the European products through American distributors, however, outweighs the negatives and in the end these globalizes truly support an international free market. Pessimistic hyperboloid’s are conveniently placed on the opposite end of the hyperventilating spectrum.
They disagree with these optimistic voices and are skeptical of globalization. A current discussion that we are experiencing now is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TIP). A pessimist on this subject would see that European made products would not only be threatened, but the quality of agricultural goods for example would decline and have an adverse affect on the general public in Europe due to American goods being imported. Please consider that unless a part Of globalization is labeled as negative or positive, no negative or positive connotation is being implied.
In order to stay objective toward the concept in its entirety, this paper’s position should be awaken as critical, but neutral. Hyperboloid’s (Stager 201 3, P. 61, 65-67) – Individuals within the globalization debate that profess the rise of a borderless world that involves the decline of divides and understanding the possibilities for political and social change. Powell 14 Frame of Reference Globalization is not a new concept. One could argue that globalization actually began when the first humans crossed the Bearing Strait and migrated to various corners of the globe. The globalization I am referring to really began in the asses.
However, here I am only really concerned with the lapse of the Soviet Union ending the Cold War, and the importance of that event on American power and resources as it relates to globalization. When the iron curtain fell, many on both sides were left wondering ‘What do we do now? ” The American psyche had been so caught up in a “near nuclear war” atmosphere since 1945 with the Soviets, in addition to a “war on communism” implemented through various proxy conflicts The innovations made in technology, trade, social equality, and innovations in medicine placed America ahead of the curve.
Those who are not necessarily pessimistic about liberation, but who are pessimistic about those 50 years of American history and claim that as a nation the U. S. Did not actuality its full potential, are too quick in their conclusions. One program, for example, that contributed to making globalization happen when it did was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The space program allowed America to learn more about computing power, satellite communications, and new discoveries in medicine. This example is but one small contributing factor to globalization and America’s influence on a globalization world.
With an optimistic lens the challenge presented to early NASA scientists in the space race allowed the opposing countries to circumvent each other and push the limits of science quicker than might have been done without competing forces. 3 Many agencies such as NASA that were conceived as a result of 2 Proxy conflicts I’m referring to- The Korean War, international intelligence operations, various overseas military deployments, the Vietnam War, and other anticommunist insurgencies. 3 For further reading into the shifting of American national interests following the Cold War, see Samuel P.
Huntington, “American identity: the erosion of American national interests. “(November 1997) Powell 15 the Cold War, allowed the U. S. And other nations to collectively implement progress much quicker because of the potential for conflict that the Soviets imposed. What would America compete with now that Communism had been defeated? Did America need a new enemy? Does America have one today? “The downfall of the Roman Empire brought an end not just to Roman rule, but to Roman government and law and to an entire economic system stretching from Northern Europe to North Africa.
Culture, the arts, even progress in science and technology, were set back a few centuries” (Kananga, “Why the World needs America”) Interdependence Before the Soviet Union’s collapse, the globe was split into a very political and economic heterogeneous climate, but globalization has mixed most of the globe into a homogeneous mixture. The fall of the Iron Curtain allowed countries that had already been experiencing globalization to potentially trade with 15 newly ratified nations. America does business with countries it never would have considered twenty to thirty years ago. The global economic interconnectedness globalization causes requires nations to be more reliant on one other, making conventional warfare between states less likely. “Globalization will also affect the balance of power between states, relatively empowering some at the expense of others. Globalization will also change the nature of conflict, generating new axes of strife, privileging distinct expressions of violence, and affecting the likelihood of war. (Kirsches, 364) America becomes more economically involved internationally every day and the need for a military to contend with an opposing super power, like Russia, is not as necessary. However the events in Ukraine since Spring of 2014 have made the climate of that region and the question of security in Europe and Western Asia a new topic in the headlines of the media daily. America’s potential for involvement has been a topic of discussion recently due to Russia threatening the sovereignty of another nation. Actions such as those in Ukraine call 4 See Appendix E for map.
Powell 16 into question the ability, and some would argue, duty of the United States and/or NATO support for nations who are threatened militarily by nations within the region. This is an example of global security concerns and how America’s power economically and militarily is still relevant even in a post Cold War world, regardless of Russia being the topic of discussion. In terms of personnel this is something the U. S. Department of Defense has realized. A smaller, better-trained, better-equipped military, has been a more prominent trend.
This trend away from a “quantity’ policy to a policy of “quality’ in an active military force has resulted in a reduction from 2,044,000 personnel in 1 990 to 1 ,431 ,OHO in 2010. 5 In 2012, military spending declined from $711 billion to $668 billion; in terms of dollars this is the largest decline nice 1991. (Walker, 2013) Within the U. S. Army for example, troop counts were near 490,000 by February 2014, but since the unveiling of the Army’s new 5 year plan, that number will be closer to 450,000 in the next couple of years as the Army downsizes and consolidates itself.
Some might argue that this is one way American military power is affected by globalization, however, this is not a negative result. In a homogeneity economic climate, military power and its capabilities must be repositioned in order to successfully protect American interests. We must not neglect the importance that domestic activities have on the international perception of the U. S. This has been visibly apparent in recent events, such as government sequestration, and other domestic issues, such as the government shutdown that happened on multiple occasions in 2013.
These occurrences offer a problematic and includes all reserve components from Army, Navy, Air force, and Marine Corps. Also includes retired regular personnel on extended or continuous active duty. Excludes Coast Guard, Dept. Of Homeland Security. (Other officer candidates were included under enlisted personnel) Source: U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census and the U. S. Department Of Defense. See Appendix B for source table. Powell 17 awkward environment for America’s trading partners and could potentially leave them second guessing investments made in the American economy causing them to go elsewhere.
Military expediters are such a large topic in the discussion on American economic health because historically such a large amount of its GAP is spent on defense while such small percentages are spent in other sectors. 6 When analyzing American defense expenditures, one could question if our 100-year-old foreign policy could use a makeover, or at east a couple lessons in public relations, and a lesson or two from a certified public accountant. Should our “Big Stick Diplomacy’7 continue? Is this something we should reconsider?
Globalization is causing us to revisit these questions more thoroughly, subsequently impacting American power or the perceptions of its own power. The New Boogieman As the Soviet Union faded from America’s radar, U. S. Defense spending ebbed and flowed through the ass and asses, due to conflicts such as the “War on Drugs”, ‘War on Terror, and Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, to name a few. In the past three years, however defense spending has been on a smooth decline. This does not mean America has less of a need for defending itself, only that its focus has shifted, that it has learned how to better utilize its resources for security.
This is evident from a look at the defense department budget over the last few years. The defense department has been slightly more “choosy’ with its funds, or at least has been asking for less since 201 0, as the tables in the appendix illustrate. 8 This change in focus occurred with the rise of violent non-state actors, factions of people who are not sponsored erectly by governments, or recognized as so, or who have no clearly defined borders of their own, but who act within the borders of another sovereign 6 See Appendix C 7 See Appendix A 8 See Appendix D Powell state. More recently the best example of this would be the Islamic State (IS), also known as, Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS). The increase in actors such as these has resulted due to many of the conflicts of the Cold War and the immediate conflicts that followed. American involvement within Iraq and Syria today is due in part to the poor foreign policy decisions of the past 20 years by multiple U. S. Administrations. It seems that until further notice America will continue to clean up mistakes in the region until an undetermined date in the future.
The regulations that the IS imposed on the nations inside its borders before the wall fell created a more stable arms market in that region of the globe. The U. S. S. R previously kept a relatively strong hold on weapons and other assets that could be used against itself and its allies. Once the collapse occurred, the accessibility to the Soviet arsenal became great news for the international arms dealer community. It became the worst nightmare f security agencies around the globe. As evidence of this, below is a piece investigating Ukrainian black market and the destination Of their weapons. Ukrainian arms have been linked to some of the world’s bloodiest conflicts and most notorious governments, including the Iraqi regime of Sad Hussein, and, until recently, the Taliban in Afghanistan A Ukrainian parliamentary inquiry concluded that between 1992 and 1998, Ukraine lost $32 billion in military assets, in part through theft; discount arms sales and lack of oversight. (In comparison, Ukrainian spending on legal arms for offense in 1999 is estimated to have been $500 million. Many of the missing weapons found their way into the hands of willing buyers in hot spots around the globe, from Sierra Leone to Croatia. ” (Gilson, Frontline Report) It is important to note that violent non-state actors whose purpose is to undermine differing ideologies in other regions, countries, etc. Do not require a religious theme. Religious extremists often eclipse the different breeds of violent non-state actors, but these religious fanatics are not the only violent non-state actors.
Philosophical, political, social, and cultural 9 Examples: Taliban, Irish Republican Army, Hezbollah, Hams, AAA-Qaeda, United National, Liberation Front, etc. Differences can cause factions to act violently against sovereign states if they feel alienated. Such factions pose difficult security concerns for sovereign states because of their unpredictability, funding, and alliances with various nations throughout the globe that offer sanctuary for these actors. The United States finds its own autonomy and capacity encroached upon by the processes of globalization, and will attract both more violent resistance and political opposition to its international ambitions. (Kirsches, 363) One of the “Potholes on the Road to Globalization”, according to Peter Marble author, professional money manager, and faculty member at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, is armed conflict.
America may have an economy large enough to continue to do business and conduct military’ operations simultaneously around the globe, but smaller nations are put in tougher positions when their time and resources are focused on defense and not economic development. Marble goes on to say, smaller nations are not able to compete economically, create capital, or evolve their own markets if involved in armed conflicts where assets are stretched too thin. The economic prosperity of sovereign nations means a more secure world, and a more secure American selflessness.
It is imperative for less developed nations to have the support of nations that are more developed, with regards to innovations in research and development. Knowledge shared, means shared profits in the end. Industries have the ability to grow quicker and get onto a level playing field quicker, making trade possible sooner, thus maximizing potential and production. Well functioning economies and governments around the globe are the first line of deterrence against globalization opponents. “The eroding capacity of weak states creates fertile ground for terrorists, insurgents, and separatists to thrive. (Kirsches, 370) Skeptics of globalization like Mary Sailor, Professor of Global Governance at the London School of Powell 110 Economics, do not share my optimism on the importance of a properly functioning government and strong economy as a first line of defense for deflecting these types of groups. “Rather than classical state-against-state warfare, weak state and information interconnectedness will combine to fuel events that undermine the state from below, with smaller scale. Open- ended conflicts maintained by external support, criminal networks, and plunder.
Collectively, the processes of globalization contribute to violent uprisings by making weak state weaker and creating opportunities that strengthen their armed opponents. ” (Sailor, Kirsches, 371 ) As optimistic as this paper tries to be, it at the same time must be realistic. In an odd paradox, under modern globalization, America is more powerful than it has ever been; however at the same time, even the globe’s most powerful action feels the inherent risks and limitations of globalization. These risks are the subject of more global political opposition than in any other moment in history.