Defense Strategy Course
Lesson 1, Writing Assessment
Essay Topic: Understanding Sharing Power?
Date: 20 JULY 2015
Name: Vasquez, Manny
CW5 (Proponent: USA)
Dr. Patrick Parker’s proposition is correct in that the United States can continue to be the world’s lone hegemon, but it must also recognize the rise of regional powers. In other words, the American government cannot totally isolate itself from world events nor can it continue being the world’s lone overbearing policeman or benefactor. He suggests that future American grand strategy must consist of a middle ground that gives it the ability to protect its national interests while wisely flexing its instruments of national ...view middle of the document...
In 1949, the United States was one of the five charter members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its purpose was to be a counterweight against the Warsaw Pact, which the Soviets commanded. The Americans also signed defense treaties and established NATO-like organizations with many other countries outside of Europe. All these military moves around the periphery of the Soviet Union were part of a concept of containment eventually labeled as the “Truman Doctrine”.
In economics after the war, the United States was the world leader. The American Gross Domestic Product (GDP) doubled, it had one-half the world’s manufacturing capacity, and owned three quarters of the world’s gold reserve. The American government led efforts in establishing the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Initially these American led global financial organizations provided loans to the devastated countries of Europe and then it morphed into providing credits to underdeveloped countries.
Additionally the American government headed efforts in the founding of the United Nations and many other international institutions. The United States used it newfound economic power and military capacity to influence the establishment of these international organizations. From 1949 to 1991, the Americans focused on a singular objective, America was the other half of the bi-polar world until the Soviet Union dissolved, and the United States became the lone superpower.
The Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the world order changed with the United States again recognized as the singular most powerful country in the world. Dr. Parker seems to suggest in his monograph that by 1991 the United States is awash with global power and is blind to the eventual effects of globalization, the speed of information, and the aspirations of countries seeking to become regional powers. Countries like China, Iran, and India were looking to control their own backyards without interference from the United States. Dr. Parkers seemed to imply that due to America’s long-term supremacy on global issues it is going to be difficult for it to find a flexible grand strategy that protects its interests or sensitive to the wants and needs of other governments.
Dr. Parker used the example of how flexible American grand strategy can become as it confronts China’s expansion into the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. Instead of the United States, being the primary military defender of allies in the South Pacific, another option is for those countries to take the lead for...