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A global testof American power

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on:2015-11-04
How long can a country that represents less than 5 per cent of the world’s population and 22 per cent of the global economy, remain the world’s dominant military and
political power? That question is being asked with increasing urgency in the Middle East, eastern Europe and the Pacific Ocean.

Since the cold war ended, the overwhelming power of the US military has been the central fact of global politics. Now, in three crucial regions, that power is being tested — as America’s rivals test its resolve and the US considers when and whether to push back.
Consider three stories that appeared in the Financial Times last week. Story one: “US warns Moscow not to escalate military operation in Syria”. Story two: “US warships to challenge Chinese claims in South China Sea ”. Story three was that Britain had agreed to join the US and Germany in posting troops to the Baltic states.

These events are taking place in different parts of the world — but they are connected. It is US military might that guarantees borders all over the world. In the Middle East the US has giant naval and airbases, which are there to reassure friends and to intimidate rivals. In east Asia, the US navy has grown used to treating the Pacific as an “American lake”, guaranteeing freedom of navigation and providing reassurance to its allies. In Europe, Nato guarantees the territorial integrity of its member states — and the US accounts for 75 per cent of Nato’s military spending.

In Europe, Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine last year represented the first forcible annexation of territory on the continent since the end of the second world war. Unsurprisingly, the Baltic states, which were once part of the Soviet Union, are very worried by the precedent — hence Nato’s decision to

In Asia, China’s island-building programme in the South China Sea has taken shape in the past year, transforming Beijing’s theoretical claim to territorial waters thousands of miles from its coast into something that is (literally) more concrete. America says it takes no position on China’s territorial disputes with its neighbours but that it is determined to protect freedom of navigation in the Pacific. Hence the US Navy’s apparent decision to challenge the idea that China has established territorial waters around its new artificial islands.

that, despite voguish talk of a “borderless world”, the control of territory is still fundamental to world politics. As Sir Robert Cooper, a former British diplomat puts it: “World orders are territorial orders. If you don’t know who owns territory, you don’t know anything about international order.” Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution makes a similar point when he argues that international political stability is dependent on “healthy regional orders, especially in Europe and east Asia. If these regions fall apart, nothing will save the global order.”