Global Ambitions and Decline- Emergence of the Interregional Asian Triangle and the Relegation of the US as a Hegemonic Power. The Reorientation of Europe
4. Different patterns underlying the global interaction of powers 27
4. Different patterns underlying the global interaction of powers 4.1. The USA: empire or hegemony? Two controversial views 4.1.1. The USA as an empire There are two notions relating to the theories of realism/(neo-)liberalism that vie with each other in the discourse on international relations: For a long time, the first of the two perceived the USA as a self-reliant global empire that divided up its surrounding territory into a secure zone and an insecure periphery, was responsible for overseeing the welfare of other nations, and acted as a non- partisan peacemaker in periods of conflict. For instance, a total of 375,000 American troops were stationed in 120 countries across the world. The US had a doctrine of preemption and an economic agenda of its own on the basis of a very large and consumer-oriented national economy, with the US dollar as valid cur- rency for the most important raw materials and goods. George W. Bush’s administration had little regard for international laws, as demonstrated by the disrespect shown to the Geneva Convention through the maintenance of secret prisons (Tagesspiegel, September 7, 2006) and a new interpretation of torture. The USA claimed the right of denying enemy states access to space (signed by Bush on the 31st of August and notified on the 6th of October 2006). How could these examples be seen as anything but the hallmarks of an American empire which laid down internationally valid law and carried it through with its overwhelming power. As...
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