All posters on any threads relating to USA, READ THIS!


OK, some of you don't like Stratfor. I'm not saying take it as Gospel, but it makes some very interesting points.

There are those who say that perception is reality. Geopolitics teaches the exact opposite: There is a fundamental reality to national power, and the passing passions of the public have only a transitory effect on things. In order to see the permanent things, it is important to tune out the noise and focus on the reality. That is always hard, but nowhere more so than in the United States, where the noise is incredibly loud, quite insistent, and profoundly contradictory and changeable. Long dissertations can and should be written on the dynamics of public opinion in the United States. For Stratfor, the root of these contradictions is in the dynamism of the United States. You can look at the United States and be awed by its dynamic power, and terrified by it at the same time.......

Very wordy bandwidth banging essay edited. Follow the opening link. PTP
*Yawn* did anyone actually read this? I didnt get past the first line....
FFS! If you want to post about Iraq, Afghan, Iran, Russia, Kosovo, basically anything regularly discussed on this board....


Maybe then you will have a clue as to what is really going on!

As I said, not Gospel, but to me at least it makes a lot of sense.
Ta Da!! A precis....

"The United States is a powerful, complex and in many ways tortured society. But it is the only global power -- and, as such, it is the nation all others must reckon with."
Well fine, KotB, but if you really want to know what's going on in the world today, read the full article. Of course there are other players, Russia, China, increasingly India (certainly not Europe and particularly not the UK) but for now and the rest of our lives, the USA will define the game.

I've just scanned it and whilst interesting, it isn't that well informed and feels like a calming preach to the masses. I particularly like the bits about USA ruling the waves and that there is no strategic threat to itself.

First may be true in part, the second is optimistic at best.

The greatest threat that USA has is economic in origin. As it reels into recession, other States may just take the opportunity to prove to it there is other power to be had, other than the ability to fight war.

The greatest threat to the rest of the world is the US realising this and reacting as only the US can (at the moment)......

The only global power? Not for long....
OK cheapseats, who's next? China? Well I can discuss that for a while, the current missus being Chinese. Put it this way, China won't be able or desirous of challenging the USA for a long while yet. And having heard at first hand the ramifications of the 'One Child' policy, I'm damned glad of it!
I recommend "China: Friend or Foe" by Hugo de Burgh in that respect.

Make no mistakes, China WILL be a power to reckon with, and we'll all have to get used to that, even the USA. But it won't challenge US global hegemony, in our lifetimes at least.
Yeah Right on Andy.
As I have said for years the States are going Hispanic, the Old style 'Brit' way of life and 'Justice' is now on the way out.
As I sometimes say If it was stil New Amsterdam then there would have been no Civil War and Sarf Africa would still be ruled by Honkeys.
But Bloody long artical, hard work for folks like moi.
PassingBells said:
Andy - I'm sure it's an illuminating article, but would you mind precising it for us?

The Reader's Digest version:

America is great, yeehaw

The critical analysis:

You can look at the United States and be awed by its dynamic power, and terrified by it at the same time.
Although you can be like a few billion people in the world, and feel indifferent.

The dread comes from a feeling of impending doom, the hubris from constantly overcoming it.
What was the last bit of impending doom the US so valiantly overcame? I can't think of anything since WW2, and even that was unlikely to see the end of the US.

The American republic was founded to be an exemplary regime, one that should be emulated.
Nations should be built on slavery and run by traitors, then.

Americans pushed inward to discover verdant horizons filled with riches one after another, indelibly impressing upon them that life was supposed to get better
I don't think the natives considered genocide a better life.

It is hard not to be an economic superpower when you effectively have an entire continent to yourself, and it is especially hard not to be a global economic hegemon once you've tamed that continent and use it as a base from which to push out.
Canada? The bigger neighbour to the north?

But the greatest driver for American hubris was the extraordinary economic success of the United States, and in particular its extraordinary technological achievements. There is a sense that there is nothing that the United States cannot achieve -- and no limits to American power.
The American economy was nothing to write home about until WW2. Most technological achievements in the 18th, 19th century were British, spreading among Europe and Europeans around the turn of the 20th. What were Americans inventing?

Others claimed that the fault lay in the failure to act decisively to stop Hitler and Tojo before they accumulated too much power.
The US wasn't indecisive, it was profiteering and waiting for the European powers to weaken each other.

At the same time, from Washington's farewell address to failures in Vietnam or Iraq, there has been the fear that American entanglement with the world is not merely dangerous, but it is the path to catastrophe.
International embarrassment, often at the hands of pyjama and sandal wearers, is not a catastrophe. Melodramatic tosh.

First, the United States controls all of the oceans in the world. No nation in human history has controlled the oceans so absolutely.
Balls. Utter, complete balls. The USN is large, but also largely shit, and a long way from controlling anything. The RN did control the world's oceans and built a rather large Empire doing so.

That means the United States has the potential to control, if it wishes, the flow of goods through the world's oceans
And the Chinese, Russians, Indians and Europeans would just let them? My hairy ricker.

Second, no economy in the world is as large as the American economy.
Apart from the EU's.

That means blows that would demolish other nations are absorbed with relative ease by the United States,
I seem to recall the US not absorbing the great depression with relative ease.

That much military and economic power does not collapse very easily or quickly.
Where are the old Empires of the world?

So long as the oceans are controlled by the U.S. Navy -- and barring nuclear attack -- the physical protection of the United States is assured.
Except the US is reliant on other countries maintaining its economy. Europe or China could collapse the dollar tomorrow, taking the US down with it.

The United States does not want to see any major, stable power emerge in Eurasia that could, in the long term, threaten American interests either by building a naval challenge or a nuclear one.
And as long as we pretend China and India don't exist all this is true.

The second and more-strategic threat was al Qaeda's overall goal, which was to re-create an Islamic caliphate. Put in an American context, al Qaeda wanted to create a transnational "Islamic" state that, by definition, would in the long run be able to threaten U.S. power.
Except that five sixths of the world aren't Muslim or clamouring to be so, and the only places that Al Qaeda's Caliphate has any chance in are third world backwaters that pose slighty less threat to the world than mutant jelly monsters.

The first involved a direct assault against al Qaeda's command-and-control facilities: the invasion of Afghanistan.
Forgetting that Al Qaeda doesn't have command and control facilities, and most of the major players were in Saudi Arabia.

Thus, in World War II, the United States sided with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany after their alliance collapsed.
Germany declaring war on the US had nothing to do with it, then?

The United States has achieved its two major goals in the Islamic world. First, al Qaeda has been sufficiently disrupted that it has not mounted a successful operation in the United States for six years.
That would be meaningful if Al Qaeda had mounted numerous successful operation in the 300 years prior to Sep. 11th.

In the end, the United States did not need to create a stable nation in Iraq, it simply had to use Iraq to disrupt the Islamic world.
By disrupting what was ostensibly a secular state? Brilliant reasoning.

The United States is a powerful, complex and in many ways tortured society. But it is the only global power
Apart from China, Europe, India, Russia, men in flip-flops...
I actually read the whole thing as an interested observer sitting above the mighty USA looking down upon them. (possibly a pun there) :D

While everyone could admit that the USA may be the all powerful nation it is today, nothing in history is truer than how the mighty will eventually fall. No nation has risen to world dominance and survived. It would only take an alliance between India and an emerging China, or a pissed off Europe with backing from a revitalized Russia to threaten that world power. Granted that may be a generation or two away (India and/or China) but don't bet your bottom dollar that the USA will emerge ahead.


Book Reviewer
Er Andy, what blinding insight did you want us to take away from this hash of platitudes and assertions now that the limits of US hard power have been defined by Iraq and Afghanistan, US political power has been defined by Iran and the Middle East and US economic power has been defined by the relationship with China?
in our view, this is not an America-centric analysis. Rather, it is the recognition that the world itself is now, and has been since 1992, America-centric.
The United States is a powerful... it is the only global power -- and, as such, it is the nation all others must reckon with.
And what if other countries would ignore orders from Washington. Then what? How the USA could punish Russia for example? It is impossibke from military and economical points of view.

Really we see decline of American power - both economical and military. I mean not absolute power but rather relative one.

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