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u.s. unilateralism
by Richard N Hutchinson
16 February 2002 23:08 UTC
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Is it possible that the U.S. will launch another war against Iraq?
Who can say no following Iraq 1991, Kosovo and Afghanistan?

Is this necessarily stupid on the part of the U.S.?  No, not just on the
basis of disagreements and complaints from lesser powers.

The U.S. will try to marshall support, just as in 90-91, and who's to say
they won't succeed.

With Japan on the economic skids, the EU fragmented, and China still only
a rising power, the U.S. has plenty of room to maneuver.

The view of the Bush Administration unilateralists is that they can use
U.S. power to shape the world for U.S. ends with little opposition.  The
"U.S.-in-decline" analysis prevalent on the WSN list may well be true in
the long term, but has little bearing on the near to medium term, and in
fact is seriously misleading.

Good old realism is still a useful guide, and what the Bush Team is
counting on is that right now its potential competitors need the U.S.
(mainly as a market and as military protection) more than it needs any one
of them.  If they can't back up a threat to gang together against the U.S.
(and noone has even suggested that possibility), then U.S. unilateralism
can succeed.

None of this should be construed as support for U.S. unilateralism.  I
just find many of the comments on the list to be "vaguely reminiscent of
the 1970s."


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