Can the United States Think Strategically About Iran, China, and the Deepening Ties Between the Persian Gulf and Rising Asia?
One of the many satisfying aspects of Flynt’s appointment as a professor of international affairs and law at Penn State is his service on the faculty editorial board for the new Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, published jointly by Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law (DSL) and School of International Affairs (SIA). As its name suggests, the Journal focuses on subjects that lie at the intersection of law (international or national) and international relations. In keeping with the traditional law review model, Flynt’s wonderful colleague, Executive Editor (and assistant dean at DSL and SIA) Amy Gaudion oversees a talented batch of student editors from both schools who produce each issue.
The newest (second) issue of the Journal (vol. 1, no. 2) is out, see here. It includes our most recent article, “The Balance of Power, Public Goods, and the Lost Art of Grand Strategy: American Policy Toward the Persian Gulf and Rising Asia in the 21st Century”; for a pdf version, click here. It also includes pieces by (among others) Harold James, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Ronald Deibert, and P.J. Crowley. The issue grew out of a series of presentations that the Journal sponsored over the course of the last academic year around the theme of America’s emerging national security narrative.
Our article seeks to explore the roots of the worsening crisis in American foreign policy, of which America’s dysfunctional policy toward Iran is an especially salient manifestation. As we write,
“While no single factor explains the relative decline of American standing and influence in world affairs, one of the most important is the failure of American political and policy elites to define clear, reality-based goals and to relate the diplomatic, economic, and military means at Washington’s disposal to realizing them soberly and efficaciously. Defining such ends and relating the full range of foreign policy tools to their achievement is the essence of what is known among students of international relations and national security practitioners as ‘grand strategy.’ Questions of grand strategy are becoming an increasingly important element in America’s emerging national security narrative—because of accumulating policy failures, relative economic decline, and the rise of new power centers in various regional and international arenas.”
To explore what is wrong with contemporary American grand strategy and what it would take to put that strategy on a sounder course, our article evaluates “Washington’s posture toward two regions where the effectiveness of American policy will largely determine the United States’ standing as a great power in the 21st century: the Middle East (with a focus on the Persian Gulf) and rising Asia (with a focus on China).” As we explain,
“Fundamental flaws in America’s stance vis-à-vis these critical areas have contributed much to the erosion of the United States’ strategic standing. Over time, deficiencies in policy toward each of them have become synergistic with deficiencies in policy toward the other. Recovering a capacity for sound grand strategy will require a thoroughgoing recasting of American policy toward both—and a more nuanced appreciation of the interrelationship between these vital parts of the world for U.S. interests.”
We have come more and more to appreciate that recasting American policy in this way must necessarily be preceded by a kind of “cultural revolution” in the United States. Since the end of the Cold War, American foreign policy has been increasingly driven by a grand strategic model—we call it the “transformation model” in our article—in which “the United States seeks not to manage distributions of power but to transcend them by becoming a hegemon, in key regions of the world and globally.” Such a commitment to hegemony—an assertion of military, economic, and ideological dominance that aims to micromanage political outcomes in far-flung parts of the world and to remake, or at least to subordinate, vital regions in accordance with American preferences—is deeply problematic, strategically as well as morally.
Strategically, the transformation model rejects a lesson that balance of power theorists, foreign policy realists, and astute students of international history all know:
“While hegemony seems nice in theory, in the real world it is unattainable; not even a state as powerful as the United States coming out of the Cold War can achieve it. Pursuing hegemony is not just quixotic; it is counter-productive for a great power’s strategic position, dissipating resources…and sparking resistance from others. Pursuing hegemony ends up making you weaker. This is the critical factor that has undermined the effectiveness of American foreign policy over the last 20 years or so.”
Notwithstanding such a dismal record, the commitment to hegemony remains deeply rooted in American strategic and political culture. It is grounded in venerated notions of American exceptionalism and of the United States as “the indispensable nation.” It is driven by a teleological view of history reflecting a culturally-conditioned belief in “progress”—the inevitable triumph of liberal, secular modernism over other ways of looking at human and social existence—and a conviction that, ultimately, everyone wants to be “just like us.”
Of course, one can argue that there are resources available in American political culture to push back against the embrace of hegemonic foreign policy. For all that the United States has come, over the course of its history, to embody an ideology of liberal universalism, many of its founders (e.g., James Madison) and early leaders could well be described as hard-core “republican (small ‘r’) realists,” who understood that imperial ambitions are bound to undermine liberty at home and national strength abroad. But, for a long time, the relative balance of cultural resources has been tilted ever more in favor of liberal hegemony as the reigning paradigm for American foreign policy.
Today, this is most urgently felt with regard to U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. Pushing back against that is our primary task for the coming year—first and foremost, through our forthcoming book, Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which will be published just eight days into 2013.
Best wishes to all for a Happy New Year.
- Wired’s Weird Propaganda and the Most Dangerous Man in the World (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Obama signs law countering Iranian sway in Latin America (rt.com)
No comments yet.
or go to
The 7 Billion Person Halloween Scare
By John V. Walsh | Dissident Voice | October 26, 2011
This Halloween the neo-Malthusians, many dressed up as environmentalists, will have a big scare for us – the birth of the 7 billionth person on “space ship” earth. We will hear again of the demographic disaster sure to befall us with yet another mouth to feed. But a wondrous antidote to such fear mongering is one of the best books of the last year, The Coming Population Crash, by Fred Pearce. The book begins with a sound thrashing of Malthus and satisfyingly exposes the historical and conceptual links between his failed ideas and some unsavory strains of the current environmental movement such as the Carrying Capacity Network and Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization, an anti-immigrant group.
At its heart the book conveys a simple fact. The rate of population growth has been decelerating for decades – well before the publication in the 1970s of Paul Ehrlich’s alarmist, implicitly racist, and dead wrong neo-Malthusian tract, The Population Bomb. It is amazing that many environmentalists are unaware of the crucial fact of slowing population growth, and that some react with hostility to it. Further, somewhere between 2050 and 2100, growth will stop and then come crashing down. It is not the sky that will be falling but the population. From Eastern Europe to Southern Italy to Singapore, that day has already arrived and sooner or later it will come to all parts of the planet. In fact, it may well be that in the next century the problem will be a population that is not large enough to be optimal; but that will be for the 22nd century humans to decide and act on. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Maaloula nuns to be freed, Greek Orthodox Council says March 9, 2014
- Syria: Al Mayadeen journalist killed covering fighting March 9, 2014
- Saudi and Emirati journalists quit Qatari media outlets amid Gulf tensions March 9, 2014
- Yemen panel ordered to draw up decentralization plan March 9, 2014
- Netanyahu rejects settlement freeze, as teens pledge not to serve in Israeli army March 9, 2014
- Iraq: Al-Maliki accuses Saudi, Qatar of supporting terrorist movements March 9, 2014
- Thousands renew fight against patriarchy on International Women’s Day March 8, 2014
- Riyadh puts ISIS, al-Nusra Front, Muslim Brotherhood, and Houthis on list of terrorist organizations March 8, 2014
- Israeli forces attack West Bank women's day march March 8, 2014
- Rockets strike near East Lebanon hospital March 8, 2014
- Palestinian children continue to be imprisoned March 9, 2014
- Local Israel boycott part of Gaza’s “resistance mentality” March 8, 2014
- Nabi Saleh honors Muataz Washaha March 8, 2014
- Obamas Advancing Empire: Putsch, Pillage and Duplicity March 8, 2014
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
Looking for something?
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Visits Since December 2009
- 1,682,496 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- The Process of Dehumanization March 10, 2014
- Palestinian Prisoners: Imprisoned for their Love of Freedom March 9, 2014
- Anti-nuclear protests in Taiwan draw tens of thousands March 9, 2014
- US will not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia March 9, 2014
- Chicago’s Columbia College cancels class because of 5 Broken Cameras screening March 9, 2014
- La Plata MEKOROT deal suspended March 9, 2014
- Iraqi PM Al-Maliki accuses Saudi, Qatar of supporting terrorist movements March 9, 2014
- 80,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem without water for three days March 9, 2014
- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Chavez: Inside the Coup March 8, 2014
- Does the OAS Support Democracy in Venezuela? March 8, 2014
- Paul Eisen speaks with Gilad Atzmon March 9, 2014
- Alain Soral and Gilad Atzmon on Jewish Power and cultural narcissism March 8, 2014
- Press TV: US signaling to Israel by denying visas March 7, 2014
- On Monday - 'The Life of Bessie Smith' March 7, 2014
- Alain Soral: On The Complete Freedom To Consume March 6, 2014
TagsAfghanistan Africa al-Akhbar Al-Manar American Civil Liberties Union American Israel Public Affairs Committee Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Britain Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia East Jerusalem Egypt European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza George W. Bush Germany Gilad Atzmon Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India Intelligence International Atomic Energy Agency International Middle East Media Center International Solidarity Movement Internet Iran Iraq Iraq War Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Ma'an Middle East Nablus National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian National Authority Palestinian prisoners in Israel Press TV Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia South America Syria Turkey UK United Nations United States USA Venezuela West Bank Zionism