By Nader Mousavizadeh, 25 Aug 2011
Reuters Compass (author is not Reuters)
Last week, China quietly launched the aircraft carrier Varyag from the port of Dalian. The ship is expected to be deployed to Hainan province in close proximity to the strategic regions of Taiwan and the South China Sea. Amidst an atmosphere of existential gloom triggered by the debt-ceiling debacle and the deeper economic crisis, the reaction in the United States was dominated by the fear of a rising, militarist China challenging America’s global superiority. What few in the United States bothered to mention, however, is that the new Chinese carrier was built from an unfinished Ukrainian hull purchased in 1998 – and is the first and only aircraft carrier China has ever had. The United States, meanwhile, has eleven.
The real problem with the U.S. response was not, however, that it exaggerated the Chinese threat. It is that it greatly overestimates the benefits, to America, of the country’s continuing quest for global supremacy – politically, economically and militarily.
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Six numbers tell the story of empire’s price in stark terms: federal deficits, gross debt, military spending, infrastructure investment, income inequality and now endemic joblessness:
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From Brazil to Indonesia, Turkey to South Africa, the rising pivotal powers are not looking to replace U.S. hegemony with Chinese dependency. In fact, as they focus on strategies of inclusive growth that sustain accountability and legitimacy, the mobile networked younger generations of these countries will continue to look to America as a model in many respects. A new partnership with a right-sized America disciplined by limitations and constraints is there to be forged – if only U.S. political leaders are willing to rethink the value of empire.
In an Archipelago World defined by the fragmentation of power, capital and ideas where the winners will be those states able to vertically integrate public and private interests, America’s present global posture is more a curse than a blessing.
Phi Beta Iota: A superb article, a reference work, and not at all being understood among the “elites” who are so out of touch with reality they continue to drive the Republic to a near-term death. It is nice to see Oxford Analytic under the leadership of someone who is arguably internationalist and not a US drone.