Wednesday, September 05, 2007

US hegemony

Most people want them less ... hegemonic, but then you consider the alternatives ...

Which is why we ought to be careful about demanding that the US butt out of world affairs. Just in case they do. Who will pick up the slack if the US does the multilateral thing, sending in token troops to the next genocide hot spot? Which country’s ships will be among the first into port laden with aid and troops when the next tsunami hits Asia? Are we happy to leave it to Russia or China to guard Western interests when it comes to Iran and North Korea? And just remind me the last time European soft power, not to mention hard power, solved a major conflict.

Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian.

Keep an eye on Australia for the next few days. The APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Sydney is predicted to get interesting with lots of anger on display.

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4 comments:

Nazim said...

Big power intimidates, threatens and makes one uneasy, underdog generates sympathy, that is the human nature. There is nothing americans can do about it.

NoolaBeulah said...

That is true. It always was that way so it will always be. I do wish people would remember every now and then just how much the US contributes. One example; 90% of world trade moves by sea. Who keeps the sea lanes open and safe? The US Navy.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Really? US Navy, All over the world? I think this is an overstatement...a lot of traffic out there...

NoolaBeulah said...

I have found nothing definitive to back up that statement of mine. But here are a few facts I came across while looking. The picture painted by them is consistent with what I said.

"The United States Navy is the largest in the world with a tonnage greater than that of the next 17 largest combined[6] and has a budget of $127.3 billion for the 2007 fiscal year."

Who enforces UNCLOS III (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), the most comprehensive international legal agreement with respect to the world's oceans and their associated areas, and their governance?

"[T]he U.S. Navy has been charged with the Freedom of Navigation program, introduced during the Jimmy Carter presidency. The objective of the program has been to ensure that all states recognize the legal right to operate freely in international waters and respect the navigation provisions of UNCLOS III*. Since 1979, U.S. military ships and aircraft have asserted navigational rights against excessive claims of more than 35 countries, at the rate of 30 to 40 per year."

There are major naval bases in every ocean; eg Guam, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Japan, Diego Garcia, Midway. There's a dinky little map here with the locations of the various fleets. This one shows overseas military bases of all three arms of the forces. To supply and protect all of them, you would need complete confidence in your command of the seas.