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Thread: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

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    Post Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    We all heard about the myth of the so-called "superpower" of the USA. Despite being a myth, it is a recurring "argument" in many debates, so I took the time and tried to sum up my thoughts on this (i posted this on another forum as well). The Backroom rules state that this forum is not for uncontroversial topics, but I hope this won't turn into a flame war (it has a great potential to it), so I would welcome the help of moderators to delete disruptive and provocative posts.

    DISCLAIMER: This is not a discussion about how "bad" or "good" the USA is, it is rather a discussion of its role and future in international affairs. So I'd advise to refrain from such black-and-white arguments. The world has become a better and safer place by the efforts of this country in some ways, and has become worse and unsteadier in other ways; it remained the same by yet other efforts. The question here is: "Can the USA be regarded as a go-alone global power?"

    Let's clear up some definitions first, such as 'power' and 'dominance'. I am going to use Joseph Nye's distinction of hard power and soft power. Hard power is the main, but not the exclusive indicator of a country's international impact and it includes military and economic power. Soft power includes non-traditional forces such as cultural colonization and the influence of ideologie(s). I'd like to restrain my first post to the hard power aspects of this debate.

    The USA is still a top dog, but it is certainly not the only "top dog" in the kennel of global powers, including the European Union, China, Russia and maybe other countries as well. Moreover it is not the leader of this kennel, never was and unlikely to become one in the 21st century. It is certainly not an underdog and will remain in a strong position throughout the century, but its military and economic power is insufficient to upkeep its current rate of global exploitation. With the end of the cold war, and the interlocking ties of globalization, the structure of international affairs are starting become more and more multilateral. The attempted unilateralism of the Bush regime failed as it only alienated the allies of the USA and increased hostility towards the US military expansion. This country is militarily inefficient and economically dependent, and if it continues the current course of "global war on terror", that will only eat up her main resources.


    Military power - inefficient and unsustainable

    Let's start by reviewing the recent US military history. The military "victories" of the USA are hardly convincing. World War II was not won by American soldiers, but by Russian ones; Operation Overlord (which was too late anyway to prevent the Holocaust) met a reservist German coast-guard and incomplete defences. The cold war was not "won" by the USA. When the USA had the chance in 1956 to intervene and liberate Eastern Europe from totalitarian dictatorship, it was reluctant to do so. The cold war was ended by the inherent problems of the Soviet political and economical system that inevitably lead to its collapse - the process was of course speeded up by the reforms of Gorbachev and the independence of the Eastern European bloc. Let's also mention the Vietnam War, that is still the major fiasco of US military history, which lasted more than a decade without any apparent success for the US side. The Gulf War in 1991 was also unsuccessful as it failed to overhtrow the regime of Saddam Hussein. Not to mention the failure in Somalia in 1993.

    The September 11 attacks showed the weakness of the US administrations to grant internal safety for their citizens. The course of "global war on terrorism" began, but this concept is vague - to say the least. Nothing shows weakness more than this weird worldwide "war", in which the USA is squandering the last of her power resources. The myth of a worldwide terrorism is long gone, it only shows the social tensions deriving in the modernization of developing states. The overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the same year meant the control of the capital, Kabul and its surroundings in 80 kms. The war is still ongoing, and the USA constantly requires help and reinforcements from its allies. Again, this is hardly the evidence of a supreme global military power. Its latest "success", the Iraqi war was described as "mysterious" by John Keegan, British military historian and journalist. Defeating an already fallen regime, that shows no or minimal resistance can be hardly called as success. Both causes of war turned out to be false: there were no weapons of mass destruction found and reports showed that terrorist activity was not reduced but increased with the Iraqi war.

    The same could be said about the planned (or unplanned) operation against North Korea: attacking an already fallen, half-fallen regime to demonstrate power and push the world to a state of war from which the USA can only profit. Why is the USA reluctant to take down its major enemies: Venezuela, Iran or others? Because in order to demonstrate its military might, the USA needs to maintain the image of the "fireman" in international affairs. That's why the USA was reluctant to intervene and stop the Russian invasion of South Ossetia, or to solve the ongoing and serious Israeli-Palestine crisis. A long drawn out war is hardly in the interests of this country.

    It is almost needless to point out the obvious fact, that the global "empire" the USA built in the 20th century (especially the global military network) far overstretched itself. US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost US$904 billion in direct budgetary outlays. The US$687 billion spent on Iraq exceeds alone the costs of any other US war except World War II. A CSBA study says that, even if the US reduced its troop deployment by half, the Iraq conflict could cost US taxpayers up to an additional US$817 billion over the next decade. This would result in a total of US$1.72 trillion spent on Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2018. This is an unsustainable process. The USA can't maintain more military outposts, moreover it needs to cut back its military spending. Which means it needs to rely more and more on her allies to maintain its global presence.

    Economic power - dependent and unsustainable

    The USA is not self-sufficient economically. Its external debt in international trade is growing from year to year. Gross U.S. liabilities to foreigners are $16.3 trillion as of the end of 2006 (over 100% of GDP). The U.S. Net International Investment Position (NIIP) deteriorated to a negative $2.5 trillion at the end of 2006, or about minus 19% of GDP. National debt. The borrowing cap debt ceiling as of 2005 stood at $8.18 trillion. In March 2006, Congress raised that ceiling an additional $0.79 trillion to $8.97 trillion, which is approximately 68% of GDP. As of October 2008, the "The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" raised the current debt ceiling to US$ 11.3 trillion. Private debt reached a critical level too, see the subprime mortgage crisis. The US public and private debt has reached unstoppable levels. The balance of import/export is starting to become problematic too. As you can see on this chart, the proportion of imports compared to exports is growing since 1996.

    The US economy can be described as a black hole that attracts the most various goods of the world, consumes them in an incontinent manner, but its production rate is not in keeping with this tempo. The US economy needs the continual influx of foreign capital and products in order to upkeep the standard of living. Its economy is clearly declining and tending towards improductivity since the 2008 economic crisis.
    Last edited by PowerWizard; 04-04-2009 at 17:22.
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  2. #2
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    even when you use a metric like mine that scores power based only on rank, and not weighted for score, you still fine that america comes out significantly ahead of every body, and over 50% higher than anybody except china:
    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showp...99&postcount=2

    if you weighted my metric for score rather than rank you would find america ahead by at least double, and that counts as superpower status in my eyes.

    there was a brief period in the nineties when america could be termed a hyper-power, but the rise of china in particular has reduced that.

    and for those overly excitable types who constantly predict the eclipse of america by china i give you this:
    http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjir/6.1.03_miller.html
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Putting the United States in the looking glass of former world powers is not really applicable. The United States simply can't murder whomever it pleases capture a few key cities and roads and deem the place conquered. Nor would I want us to.

    As for the recent military history. I think you not only severely shortchange the US military but also equate inconsequential events (Desert Storm, Somalia, even Vietnam) with Americas power.

    You also point to Americas reluctance to go into certain places. America is not 19th century Blighty we can't do what we please nor would the populace support such an endeavor.

    The economy is in bad shape right now however having a large debt is by no means writing on the wall and the world economy rise and falls with America. A more tight knit global economy is exactly what America needs.

    Also who will overtake us? The EU, China and Russia all have demographic time bombs.
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    The USA is not self-sufficient economically.
    Name a country that is.

    The US economy can be described as a black hole that attracts the most various goods of the world, consumes them in an incontinent manner, but its production rate is not in keeping with this tempo.
    So what happens to the other countries when we stop buying so much?

    Good article on China, Furunculus.

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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Hum, if we are to agree with you, then we also have to admit that there was no superpower at any point throughout history.

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    smell the glove Senior Member Major Robert Dump's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    I thought a nations status as a super power was based on it's prestige score. As long as the USA is ahead by 2050 then they are teh win.
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    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Military power - inefficient and unsustainable
    While the US military isn't as powerful as it could be, it can defeat any conventional force in combat. While China and Russia are threats, they can't project power as effectively as the United States is able to do. We were able in a matter of weeks to move forces and bring to bear in Afghanistan an armed task-force of not only US but NATO troops that had maintained peace and driven out the Taliban. Were it not for circumstances that are our own fault and unforeseeable at the time, Afghanistan would still be stable. But one can't disagree that we were able to bring a sledgehammer down across the globe with negligible impact on our economy.
    While the military may be unsustainable in some aspects, we do have some of the most advanced technology and military equipment on the globe. We don't get cool stuff for free, so of course it will cost alot of money. We could sustain our military if we needed to do so, but the Armed Forces isn't at the top of this administrations agenda.

    The cold war was ended by the inherent problems of the Soviet political and economical system that inevitably lead to its collapse - the process was of course sped up by the reforms of Gorbachev and the independence of the Eastern European bloc.
    The fall of the Soviet Union wasn't pre-ordained. The Soviet Union could've done alot of things different, and had they been able to, they could've created a Soviet Union that might've survived. However, due to America's ability to project power, we prevented the Soviet Union from disbanding it's forces or working on infrastructure problems that it was having.

    The Gulf War in 1991 was also unsuccessful as it failed to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein.
    While the coalition of forces created by the United States didn't overthrow Saddam Hussein, it did liberate Kuwait from Iraqi control. The mandate given to the United States didn't order the US to overthrow Saddam Hussein (AFAIK), so we succeeded in liberating Kuwait, and gave Saddam a chance to change his tune.
    Last edited by Marshal Murat; 04-04-2009 at 22:55.
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    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Murat View Post
    While the coalition of forces created by the United States didn't overthrow Saddam Hussein, it did liberate Kuwait from Iraqi control. The mandate given to the United States didn't order the US to overthrow Saddam Hussein (AFAIK), so we succeeded in liberating Kuwait, and gave Saddam a chance to change his tune.
    Exactly. The goal was never to invade Iraq and take Saddam down. If we had wanted to do that it would have been extremely easy to depose him, as we eventually did, especially since Saddam's conventional forces were already in shambles.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    good god yes, towards he close of the kuwait war the british had persuaded the marsh arabs to rise against saddam because he was 'going' to be deposed.

    instead we letfhim in place, and he in turn drained the marshes and launched reprisals against the marsh arabs. a low point indeed.

    but iraq was there for the taking, there was no inability to take iraq.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 04-05-2009 at 00:58.
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    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    So, do you think the Russians or Chinese would have it any easier than the US/NATO in dealing with a Situation like Afghanistan or Iraq. Heck, the Soviet Union used to be a Super Power and it couldn't deal with Afghanistan, and they shared a border. The fact that we've managed to stay in a relatively dominate position within a land locked country tens of thousands of miles from the homeland, which is shared by at least two relatively powerful US hostile neighbors, and not too many overly friendly ones anymore, using far less troops than the Soviets, and not using overly brutal tactics, yet somehow managing to stay there for nearly the same amount of time, and probably longer than them how do not suppose the US is not a superpower? Actually, if I was a country like China or Russia, and no nukes were to be exchanged, I'd be incredibly nervous to face an America in a total war type situation.
    Last edited by Samurai Waki; 04-05-2009 at 04:31.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Friendly big dog, but why not look at what it could do if it wanted to, and who could do anything about it.

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    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Friendly big dog, but why not look at what it could do if it wanted to, and who could do anything about it.
    I really meant it more as comparison to what other nations can field (and I mentioned NATOs significant role) so I'm not really trying to yank on anyone's chain.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Wakizashi View Post
    I really meant it more as comparison to what other nations can field (and I mentioned NATOs significant role) so I'm not really trying to yank on anyone's chain.
    Me neither, was replying to OP. Let's be realistic, the USA has the power to overpower, in the nineteenth century power was defined by just that, and while Europe graciously moved on towards what it itself concieves to be it's own achievement nothing really changed.

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    Vindicative son of a gun Member Jolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    Military power - inefficient and unsustainable
    It can defeat any other nation in a one-on-one conventional warfare. It can be sustained for as long as the tax payers want it.

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    Economic power - dependent and unsustainable
    dependent? As was well said before, is there any economy (Heck! Was there any economy ever completely self-sustainable in history?).
    BLARGH!

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    so the end result is every reply disagreeing with the OP, how surprising.
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    Post Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolt View Post
    It can defeat any other nation in a one-on-one conventional warfare. It can be sustained for as long as the tax payers want it.
    Really? Can it take down Russia? Can it take down the EU? Can it take down China? Or Iran for that matter? Why isn't it intervening in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the abundance of UN resolutions that would authorize her to do so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolt View Post
    dependent? As was well said before, is there any economy (Heck! Was there any economy ever completely self-sustainable in history?).
    Yes, EU is tending towards self-suffeciency. In fact, it is one of the main aim of the European Union. Russia is also much more self-sufficient than the USA for that matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    even when you use a metric like mine that scores power based only on rank, and not weighted for score, you still fine that america comes out significantly ahead of every body, and over 50% higher than anybody except china:
    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showp...99&postcount=2

    if you weighted my metric for score rather than rank you would find america ahead by at least double, and that counts as superpower status in my eyes.

    there was a brief period in the nineties when america could be termed a hyper-power, but the rise of china in particular has reduced that.

    and for those overly excitable types who constantly predict the eclipse of america by china i give you this:
    http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjir/6.1.03_miller.html
    You are good juggling with numbers, but you fail to see the bigger picture here: the trends. This may be a snapshot of what the situation currently is, and even then it doesn't tell too much, since you take some factors into account, which are very subjective, like "Diplomatic Influence". There's no objective way to count out numbers like that. But the bigger flaw in your calculus is that you reckon European nations as separate powers. They are not anymore. Ever heard of the European Union? According to the latest breaking news it is indeed a political and economic union. And nations like France and Germany are in great accordance within the European Union. The aggregated power of European nations outweigh the power of the USA.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    Also who will overtake us? The EU, China and Russia all have demographic time bombs.
    The USA has much bigger social problems than the EU atm.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wakizashi View Post
    So, do you think the Russians or Chinese would have it any easier than the US/NATO in dealing with a Situation like Afghanistan or Iraq. Heck, the Soviet Union used to be a Super Power and it couldn't deal with Afghanistan, and they shared a border. The fact that we've managed to stay in a relatively dominate position within a land locked country tens of thousands of miles from the homeland, which is shared by at least two relatively powerful US hostile neighbors, and not too many overly friendly ones anymore, using far less troops than the Soviets, and not using overly brutal tactics, yet somehow managing to stay there for nearly the same amount of time, and probably longer than them how do not suppose the US is not a superpower? Actually, if I was a country like China or Russia, and no nukes were to be exchanged, I'd be incredibly nervous to face an America in a total war type situation.
    Hmm, the situation during the Soviet regime in Afghanistan was much more complex than you describe it. The current US regime is facing similar problems and it couldn't be said that US forces are more in command of the area than the Soviets were. Read up on the subject. ;)

    Again, I am willing to see how the USA would deal with Russia or China in a "total war situation". They couldn't even handle the South Ossetian war, lending a hand to a small nation under invasion, how do you expect that they would do handle a full-scale assault? No, sorry, the current US empire is just not the same as Victorian Great Britain was. It is not the supreme global superpower. It can't take down any country in the world. It is one of the major powers, but not a go-alone power.

    I see the massive resistance to my OP, but I understand that since most of you are probably US citizens, so you are biased. I am biased too, as I am an European citizen. But this doesn't mean we couldn't bring up reasonable arguments.

    PS I saw that no one countered my point about the overstretching empire and the US military budget. Why is this weird silence?
    Last edited by PowerWizard; 04-05-2009 at 14:38.
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    I see the massive resistance to my OP, but I understand that since most of you are probably US citizens, so you are biased. I am biased too, as I am an European citizen. But this doesn't mean we couldn't bring up reasonable arguments.
    Where do you think Jolt, Meneldil, and Fragony are from?

    What do you think has been unreasonable about the arguments presented? You accepted that no nation was self sufficient when that was pointed out, so surely you found that argument to be reasonable?

    To me it seems like you are defining superpower deliberately to exclude the US. Not many people here have a real attachment to being called a superpower, in fact I think you'll find many of them wish we would get involved less.

  18. #18

    Post Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasaki Kojiro View Post
    Where do you think Jolt, Meneldil, and Fragony are from?
    I said most.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasaki Kojiro View Post
    What do you think has been unreasonable about the arguments presented? You accepted that no nation was self sufficient when that was pointed out, so surely you found that argument to be reasonable?
    No I did not accept it in that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasaki Kojiro View Post
    To me it seems like you are defining superpower deliberately to exclude the US. Not many people here have a real attachment to being called a superpower, in fact I think you'll find many of them wish we would get involved less.
    It seems to you, yet I didn't define it that way. Please read my posts again, this time more thoroughly. ;)
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    I said most.
    Do you think their criticism is biased by a love for america?



    No I did not accept it in that way.
    You did tacitly, when you agreed that there weren't self sufficient countries and changed your argument to "usa is less self sufficient than other countries".



    It seems to you, yet I didn't define it that way. Please read my posts again, this time more thoroughly. ;)
    The question here is: "Can the USA be regarded as a go-alone global power?"
    This is not the definition of a superpower. You said you know that you are biased against america, why is that?

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Wakizashi View Post
    So, do you think the Russians or Chinese would have it any easier than the US/NATO in dealing with a Situation like Afghanistan or Iraq. Heck, the Soviet Union used to be a Super Power and it couldn't deal with Afghanistan, and they shared a border. The fact that we've managed to stay in a relatively dominate position within a land locked country tens of thousands of miles from the homeland, which is shared by at least two relatively powerful US hostile neighbors, and not too many overly friendly ones anymore, using far less troops than the Soviets, and not using overly brutal tactics, yet somehow managing to stay there for nearly the same amount of time, and probably longer than them how do not suppose the US is not a superpower? Actually, if I was a country like China or Russia, and no nukes were to be exchanged, I'd be incredibly nervous to face an America in a total war type situation.
    Yep, but it shouldn't be forgotten that it was all done with sympathetic Russia. If Russia chose to oppose instead of to assist, the situation in Afghanistan could have been vastly different.

    Don't forget that every conflict that either US or USSR had with a minor nation during the cold war, it usually involved the other super power assisting that minor nation. Neither Russia nor China support anyone in Afghanistan, in fact you could say that Russia supports the US.

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    smell the glove Senior Member Major Robert Dump's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    I didn't know EU was a country, Wizard, so it never occurred to me "why" we would or would not be able to take them down.

    When asking questions like "why" haven't we intervened in situations like Israel, you seem to confuse ability with desire, or capabilities with national interest.

    A nation doesn't have friends, it has interests. A war doesn't stop at clearly defined borders, its a powder keg that spreads and spreads. So while I'm not going to take the time to discuss every single instance of why or why not we act militarily -- and believe me, there are plenty of times I think we should have acted and others where I think we should not have -- I will say this about Palestine/Israel: We haven't intervened militarily because it's not in our national interest to do so.

    You also have to understand that national interests change in time, not just with the elected government but also based on demographics, geopolitics and economic trends. It is not the job for the USA to save the world from all evil, we just act like it is when we need a reason to make a move for the sake of national interest.


    Your OP reminds me of the polls we did in high school to see who was considered the hottest girl, or the toughest guy.
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    Spirit King Senior Member seireikhaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Few points here-

    Since we are talking about the "most powerful" nations, let us take a look.

    China- Severe demographic problems lay ahead unless they reverse the one-child policy, or at least extend it to a two-child policy; increasingly, too many parents and grandparents are being supported by too few children. Further, its increasing modernization is making even more dependent on imports than the States, due to its inherently larger base for energy needs.

    EU- First of all, it should be noted that the EU isn't actually a single entity like the US or Russia. ()Second, when talking of self-dependence, Europe is not it. Europe imports much of its energy from Russia and/or Algeria. Yes, Europe is increasing its output from sources such as nuclear and wind, yet so is the United States. And, again, it cannot be understated that the EU will always lack the cohesion of actual nations, due to being made of various nations that have long, proud histories which were often times spent battling one another. Not that the EU couldn't be made into a single, true union. However, until significant progress is made into developing a constitution that can be made satisfactory to every party, they will stay semi-divided.

    Russia- Still developing, has lots of natural resources, yet is still too dependent on income from said sources. When energy prices popped, the Russian economy popped as well. While others may be dependent on imports, Russia is ironically dependent on exports; until the Russian economy is diversified enough to withstand volatility in energy prices, they are just as dependent on everyone else.

    Now, am I saying that the US is a total hegemon? No. The US isn't going to go invade Crimea just because it can. However, the simple fact is that the world doesn't run quite like that anymore. One could point to military failures in Vietnam, and current struggles in Afghanistan, and say that the US military is a paper tiger. I would not quite say that; instead, that properly executed guerilla warfare, particularly in harsh environments(as opposed to Iraq, which has much flatter terrain, and has seemingly stabilized militarily), is nearly undefeatable sans resorting to extreme measures such as Nuclear bombing entire regions. Look at the Chinese civil war- the Guomingdang had every advantage; more cash, more advanced weapons, more weapons period, backing from western powers, and they still lost. Completely, they were kicked off the continent. Keep an eye on Afghanistan now- Petreaus' efforts in Iraq were monumentally more successful than his predecessors. If it wasn't a fluke, if Petraus actually does have the smarts to figure out ways to combat guerilla warfare on the enemy's own turf, it could well mark a turning point in history.
    It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then, the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

  23. #23

    Post Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasaki Kojiro View Post
    Do you think their criticism is biased by a love for america?
    You just said it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasaki Kojiro View Post
    You did tacitly, when you agreed that there weren't self sufficient countries and changed your argument to "usa is less self sufficient than other countries".
    No, I didn't. Now let's skip this yes-no part, shall we? The more you are trying to force that, the more it shows your inability to counter my points in the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasaki Kojiro View Post
    This is not the definition of a superpower. You said you know that you are biased against america, why is that?
    I didn't say I am biased against America. Now stop putting words in my mouth, thank you.
    Last edited by PowerWizard; 04-09-2009 at 01:47.
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  24. #24
    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    its[USA] role and future in international affairs.
    The United States will no doubt have problems in the future, but so will other countries. The United States future is stable, despite periodic fluctuations. While it's easy to say that Russia/China/EU will overtake the United States in the future, we can't put pen to paper on that subject. Russia is entirely dependent on either arms sales or energy sales until it can reorganize it's industry so it won't depend on the two shaky pillars aforementioned. Russia, still, doesn't have a warm port, and can't really deploy troops outside it's borders without international help.
    China is stable, right now. It depends entirely on exporting goods to other countries, and that can't continue forever. The population is exploding, even with the 1-child policy. The rivers are polluted, the air is dirty, and everyone is cramming themselves into cities. That can't be good. Then the populations of Western China and Tibet aren't too happy either, both of which are powder-kegs.
    The European Union, while it has the combined might of German and French Industry, it isn't a shining paradise. The European nations, as I understand it, aren't all that keen to unite themselves under one supreme executive power. Were they able to join together and actually wield a united power, then we'd be talking about a major player in international affairs. That being said, it doesn't look like everyone's keen on following one leaders role. Besides, many of those nations are part of NATO, which allows them to spend money on other things (socialized healthcare, good education, mass transportation).
    That isn't to say that the US is the epitome of social harmony, but we do have a large economy, strong military, and a relatively united and happy populace.

    "Can the USA be regarded as a go-alone global power?"
    In the light of the previous debates, it seems to me that the question has supposed that a nation can "go-alone" and do something. Inherently flawed in the context of the current century.
    It's like asking whether vodka can be considered a vegetable. Vodka used to be a vegetable, but that was some time ago, but it's impractical and illogical to say that vodka is a vegetable today.

    That being said, the United States can still "go-alone" on an issue, but why would we do something like that? (National Interests Argument) As stated, it's impossible to "go-alone" on an issue in this age of globalization.
    The Example of North Korea: The United States could invade North Korea, but it's the height of hubris (and stupidity) for us to do so without using the resources of South Korea or Japan to defeat the North Koreans.

    Money Argument
    The United States isn't on a "war-footing". If we were on a "war-footing", then the resources of the United States could be wielded for full effectiveness and the aforementioned costs of sustaining the war in Iraq would be lower because fewer people would be buying gas or food, those resources going to the war effort. It's a testament to the United States that we can both spend 1.72 Trillion dollars on the War in Iraq and not bankrupt the USA (we just spent how much on a stimulus package?)

    Ending Statement
    {rant} I think the OP, and you Mr. PowerWizard, were looking only for our reaction. When we provide (in my view) a reasonable response to at least some of your points; you simply dismiss our views as biased. Your views are no doubt just as biased, for you're the one who provided the original question from a biased viewpoint. You're asking for our opinions, based on our beliefs, so don't act so surprised when we give you OUR BELIEFS, with inherent biases. Don't plant corn if you want wheat to grow.
    Last edited by Marshal Murat; 04-05-2009 at 17:04.
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    Re: Pursuit of happiness
    Have you just been dumped?

    I ask because it's usually something like that which causes outbursts like this, needless to say I dissagree completely.

  25. #25
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    I am really amazed by the stupid ignorance of some of the replies, so someone can just go ahead and close this thread as it serves no purpose other than bashing me for trying to make a point.
    That's a rather immature view to have. You've explained your position and various people responded by explaining why they think that position isn't correct. Great, no problem with, might have been a start of an interesting thread, but then instead of continuing the discussion you decided that all people who don't agree with you are biased, because they are predominantly from the US. Well, a lot of people here aren't from the US. I don't know if even the majority is from the US. It doesn't matter anyway, because assuming that someone is biased just because he/she is American/European/whatever is wrong.

    You may wanna rethink some of your replies and views. This thread can still end up interesting...

  26. #26

    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Murat View Post
    The European Union, while it has the combined might of German and French Industry, it isn't a shining paradise. The European nations, as I understand it, aren't all that keen to unite themselves under one supreme executive power. Were they able to join together and actually wield a united power, then we'd be talking about a major player in international affairs. That being said, it doesn't look like everyone's keen on following one leaders role. Besides, many of those nations are part of NATO, which allows them to spend money on other things (socialized healthcare, good education, mass transportation).
    You are right in some of these observations, but I'd like to point out the obvious fact (that many posters seem to ignore), that the European Union is indeed a political and economic union. It does have a central government and parliament, and there are other institutions too to harmonize the interests of the natinon-states on the highest level. Tell me a federation that was up and running, united and ready to act in unison etc. in its early years. Hey, the USA was still crippled by civil war 70 years after its creation. At least we got over that period, AKA world wars. Europe is now united, it has one of the wealthiest economy in the world, it is more self-sufficient than the USA, it has an unique political system harmonizing and uniting the interests of nation-states, it can rally its own troops for defense, it can launch military operations and it is ready to become the leading global power in the 21st century (again in history).


    The official statements of the External Service of the European Commission
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The European Union in a changing world

    The European Union's influence in world affairs is on the increase. The process of integration, the launch of the euro and the progressive development of a common foreign and security policy are all providing the EU with political and diplomatic status to match its undoubted economic and commercial clout.
    The Union has a number of strategic foreign policy objectives. The first is to establish a stable Europe with a stronger voice in the world. The recent wars in Bosnia and Kosovo and the bloody fighting in Chechnya underline how important it is to secure peace, democracy and respect for human rights throughout Europe. Enlargement can help achieve that by creating an internal market of over 500 million consumers and ending the long divide in Europe.
    As the world's biggest trading partner, the EU is also determined to secure its international competitiveness while at the same time promoting global commerce through further liberalisation of world trade rules - a process that it believes will be of particular benefit to developing countries.
    Until recently, there were three main components to the Union's external activities: trade policy, development aid and the political dimension. These provided it with considerable instruments for a credible foreign policy in diplomatic, economic and commercial arenas. It now wants to reinforce these capabilities, if and when necessary, with the ability to use force where its vital interests are at stake and to be able to respond more effectively to crises. This does not mean fighting wars or creating a European army. It means greater cooperation between EU members in carrying out humanitarian and peacekeeping tasks. At the same time, the Union is becoming more involved in security issues, taking on greater responsibility for ensuring peace and stability in parts of the world close to its own spheres of influence.
    Foreign policy is not just a question of trade, security and diplomacy. There are a host of other issues, many of which affect the daily lives of Europe's citizens, that help to condition the Union's approach to the wider world. These range from the need to fight the spread of AIDS and famine and to govern migration flows to the campaigns against drugs and terrorism. They all require closer transnational cooperation since the problems of today's world can only really be solved by working together.
    Economic and political changes in the world require the European Union to adapt continuously its external policies and priorities. It has done so by broadening and deepening its contacts with partners, incorporating economic, trade and political dimensions into those relationships. It can now count on a diversity of interregional partnerships and cooperation agreements with countries on all five continents.


    Make sure to check out these pages:
    The European Union in a changing world
    External relations: a global commitment
    Trade: removing barriers, spreading growth
    Promoting development, fighting poverty
    Defence and security: keeping the peace

    The bottom line is not just on the level of raw power however, but how international affairs are managed and solved. At this point of history, the USA along with Russia, China and Arab nations seem to belong to the old world of using raw power, military expansion, threats and disregarding the opinion of international community to achieve their selfish goals. The United States, resort to force more quickly and, compared with Europe, is less patient with diplomacy. Americans generally see the world divided between good and evil, between friends and enemies, while Europeans see a more complex picture. When confronting real or potential adversaries, Americans generally favor policies of coercion rather than persuasion, emphasizing punitive sanctions over inducements to better behavior, the stick over the carrot. Americans tend to seek finality in international affairs: They want problems solved, threats eliminated. And, of course, Americans increasingly tend toward unilateralism in international affairs. They are less inclined to act through international institutions such as the United Nations, less inclined to work cooperatively with other nations to pursue common goals, more skeptical about international law, and more willing to operate outside its strictures when they deem it necessary, or even merely useful.

    Europeans approach problems with greater nuance and sophistication. They try to influence others through subtlety and indirection. They are more tolerant of failure, more patient when solutions don’t come quickly. They generally favor peaceful responses to problems, preferring negotiation, diplomacy, and persuasion to coercion. They are quicker to appeal to international law, international conventions, and international opinion to adjudicate disputes. They try to use commercial and economic ties to bind nations together. They often emphasize process over result, believing that ultimately process can become substance.

    I think that's the main difference. Not a matter of quantity, but quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Murat View Post
    That isn't to say that the US is the epitome of social harmony, but we do have a large economy, strong military, and a relatively united and happy populace.
    You may be right or wrong, there isn't really a way to determine "happiness". So I might just reply, that other nations' populace are happier and social tenses are milder, but that leaves us at the same point. ;)


    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Murat View Post
    In the light of the previous debates, it seems to me that the question has supposed that a nation can "go-alone" and do something. Inherently flawed in the context of the current century.
    It's like asking whether vodka can be considered a vegetable. Vodka used to be a vegetable, but that was some time ago, but it's impractical and illogical to say that vodka is a vegetable today.

    That being said, the United States can still "go-alone" on an issue, but why would we do something like that? (National Interests Argument) As stated, it's impossible to "go-alone" on an issue in this age of globalization.
    The Example of North Korea: The United States could invade North Korea, but it's the height of hubris (and stupidity) for us to do so without using the resources of South Korea or Japan to defeat the North Koreans.

    Right, Sir, you agree that indeed it is not a go-alone power. It means you agree with my statements in the first post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Murat View Post
    Money Argument
    The United States isn't on a "war-footing". If we were on a "war-footing", then the resources of the United States could be wielded for full effectiveness and the aforementioned costs of sustaining the war in Iraq would be lower because fewer people would be buying gas or food, those resources going to the war effort. It's a testament to the United States that we can both spend 1.72 Trillion dollars on the War in Iraq and not bankrupt the USA (we just spent how much on a stimulus package?)
    Check out this page. Do it:
    http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/c.../overindex.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Murat View Post
    Ending Statement
    {rant} I think the OP, and you Mr. PowerWizard, were looking only for our reaction. When we provide (in my view) a reasonable response to at least some of your points; you simply dismiss our views as biased. Your views are no doubt just as biased, for you're the one who provided the original question from a biased viewpoint. You're asking for our opinions, based on our beliefs, so don't act so surprised when we give you OUR BELIEFS, with inherent biases. Don't plant corn if you want wheat to grow.

    Yes, I was looking for reaction, who doesn't looking for reaction who starts a thread? Might as well just whisper the arguments to myself. BTW I didn't dismiss all arguments, see this post for evidence. I think you made some good points and your posts are well-constructed too (as well as other posters' like Strike for the South, Furunculus and maybe others). I was referring to the spammers / flamers who btw inevitably show up in similar threads. So no problem. :D
    Last edited by PowerWizard; 04-05-2009 at 17:47.
    Life is full of surprises and you never know what you're going to get until you get it; always expect the unexpected.

  27. #27
    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    The bottom line is not just on the level of raw power however, but how international affairs are managed and solved. At this point of history, the USA along with Russia, China and Arab nations seem to belong to the old world of using raw power, military expansion, threats and disregarding the opinion of international community to achieve their selfish goals. The United States, resort to force more quickly and, compared with Europe, is less patient with diplomacy. Americans generally see the world divided between good and evil, between friends and enemies, while Europeans see a more complex picture. When confronting real or potential adversaries, Americans generally favor policies of coercion rather than persuasion, emphasizing punitive sanctions over inducements to better behavior, the stick over the carrot. Americans tend to seek finality in international affairs: They want problems solved, threats eliminated. And, of course, Americans increasingly tend toward unilateralism in international affairs. They are less inclined to act through international institutions such as the United Nations, less inclined to work cooperatively with other nations to pursue common goals, more skeptical about international law, and more willing to operate outside its strictures when they deem it necessary, or even merely useful.

    Europeans approach problems with greater nuance and sophistication. They try to influence others through subtlety and indirection. They are more tolerant of failure, more patient when solutions don’t come quickly. They generally favor peaceful responses to problems, preferring negotiation, diplomacy, and persuasion to coercion. They are quicker to appeal to international law, international conventions, and international opinion to adjudicate disputes. They try to use commercial and economic ties to bind nations together. They often emphasize process over result, believing that ultimately process can become substance.

    I think that's the main difference. Not a matter of quantity, but quality.

    Flame away.
    The Bush presidency does not equal American diplomacy.

    The fact that you think Europeans are more sophisticated pretty much tells me you are coming from a Euro-centric position. A western European one at that. I've seen those Polish diplomats and tact really isn't in there vocab. I will remind you that the UK was with us in Iraq with the same deadline and Germany and France gave us a deadline themselves.

    We act alone because we can. So do other countries. We prefer allies but don't always need them. Every major diplomatic decision of the last 50 years has included The US, China, and/or Russia. Saying we simply get our way by bullying is wrong.

    I would also like to know what demographic problems America has when compared to the EU?
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    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

  28. #28
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    I am really amazed by the stupid ignorance of some of the replies, so someone can just go ahead and close this thread as it serves no purpose other than bashing me for trying to make a point.
    No need for such aggression, we tend to disagree here in the backroom.

  29. #29
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerWizard View Post
    You are good juggling with numbers, but you fail to see the bigger picture here: the trends. This may be a snapshot of what the situation currently is, and even then it doesn't tell too much, since you take some factors into account, which are very subjective, like "Diplomatic Influence". There's no objective way to count out numbers like that. But the bigger flaw in your calculus is that you reckon European nations as separate powers. They are not anymore. Ever heard of the European Union? According to the latest breaking news it is indeed a political and economic union. And nations like France and Germany are in great accordance within the European Union. The aggregated power of European nations outweigh the power of the USA.
    I am from the geographic area of europe, in case you believed me to be a biased american.

    While I agree that some metrics are hard to quantify, i once again point out that by scoring based only on rank and not on relative merit I seriously under-estimate america's power, and even then it comes out in from by a long margin.

    The EU is only a superpower in economic and geographic terms.
    The first simple truth is there is NO common foreign policy, and if there were then the UK would not be in it.
    The second simple truth is that even aggregated the EU's military spending is less than half that of the US, and its effectiveness is half again that because of capability overlap and gap, once again if there does become some federal europe with a combined military structure then it is unlikely you will find the UK in it.

    So no, the EU is not a superpower, nor too is it likely to be.


    Security Council membership should be considered on four premises by order of importance leading to a cumulative total.

    (1) military power - modified dependent on: the expeditionary emphasis of armed forces (0 to 10)
    (2) diplomatic influence - modified dependent on: total number of speakers (1 to 5) (*)
    (3) economic power - modified dependent on: how many rankings change when contrasted with PPP (**)
    (4) geographic/demographic - modified dependant HDI: ranking (1 to 5) (***)
    (5) total - modified dependant on: nukes (+5) new region representative (+5)

    (1) - Military Expenditure + Manpower
    1 = US - (20 + 9 + 10 = 39) = [39] ($583,283,000,000)
    2 = UK - (18 + 1 + 8 = 27) = [27] ($79,872,000,000)
    3 = France - (16 + 3 + 6 = 25) = [25] ($74,690,470,000)
    4 = China - (10 + 10 + 2 = 22) = [22] ($59,000,000,000)
    5 = Japan - (12 + 2 + 4 = 18) = [18] ($48,860,000,000)
    6 = Germany - (14 + 4 + 0 = 18) = [18] ($45,930,000,000)
    7 = Russia - (08 + 7 + 2 = 17) = [17] ($41,050,000,000)
    8 = India - (06 + 8 + 2 = 16) = [16] ($26,500,000,000)
    9 = Aust - (04 + 0 + 4 = 8) = [08] ($20,727,710,000)
    10 = Brasil - (02 + 5 + 0 = 7) = [07] ($25,396,731,055)
    11 = Indon - (00 + 6 + 0 = 6) = [06] ($04,740,000,000)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...y_expenditures (0 to 20)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._active_troops (0 to 10)

    (2) - Diplomatic Influence + Corruption Index (subjective)
    1 = US - (20 + 5 + 7 = 32) = [32]
    2 = China - (18 + 5 + 3 = 26) = [26]
    3 = UK - (16 + 5 + 7 = 21) = [28]
    4 = France - (14 + 3 + 6 = 23) = [23]
    5 = Japan - (12 + 1 + 7 = 20) = [20]
    6 = Russia - (10 + 2 + 2 = 14) = [14]
    7 = Germany - (08 + 1 + 7 = 16) = [16]
    8 = Aust - (06 + 5 + 8 = 19) = [19]
    9 = India - (04 + 5 = 9) = [09]
    10 = Brasil - (02 + 2 = 4) = [04]
    11 = Indon - (00 + 2 = 2) = [02]
    Diplomatic Influence (0 to 20)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ative_speakers (0 to 5)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrupt...ceptions_Index (0-10)

    (3) - Economic Power GDP + PPP (millions)
    1 = US - (20 + 10 + 3 = 33) = [33] ($13,244,550)
    2 = Japan - (18 + 8 + 2 = 28) = [28] ($4,367,459)
    3 = China - (14 + 9 + 5 = 28) = [28] ($2,630,113)
    4 = Germany - (16 + 6 + 1 = 23) = [23] ($2,897,032)
    5 = UK - (12 + 5 + 2 = 19) = [19] ($2,373,685)
    6 = France - (10 + 4 + 2 = 16) = [16] ($2,231,631)
    7 = India - (04 + 7 + 5 = 12) = [16] ($886,867)
    8 = Brasil - (08 + 3 + 4 = 13) = [15] ($1,067,706)
    9 = Russia - (06 + 2 + 4 = 10) = [12] ($979,048)
    10 = Indon - (00 + 1 + 5 = 5) = [05] ($364,239)
    11 = Aust - (02 + 0 + 2 = 4) = [04] ($754,816)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._GDP_(nominal) (0 to 20)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s_by_GDP_(PPP) (0 to 10)

    (4) - Demographic + Geographic
    1 = US - (16 + 9 + 5 = 30) = [30] (301,950,000)
    2 = China - (20 + 5 + 2 = 27) = [27] (1,321,000,000)
    3 = Russia - (10 + 10 + 2 = 24) = [24] (141,400,000)
    4 = India - (18 + 4 + 1 = 23) = [23] (1,129,000,000)
    5 = Brasil - (12 + 7 + 2 = 21) = [21] (186,500,000)
    6 = Japan - (08 + 3 + 5 = 16) = [16] (127,720,000)
    7 = France - (04 + 6 + 5 = 15) = [15] (64,102,140)
    8 = Indon - (14 + 0 + 1 = 15) = [15] (234,950,000)
    9 = Aust - (00 + 8 + 5 = 13) = [13] (20,830,000)
    10 = Germany - (06 + 1 + 5 = 14) =[12] (82,310,000)
    11 = UK - (02 + 2 + 5 = 9) = [09] (60,609,153)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_population (0 to 20)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_Economic_Zone (table inc onshore territory) (0 to 10)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...elopment_Index (1 to 5)

    (5) - Total -
    1 = US - (134 + 5 + 0 = 132)..........=.........[139]
    2 = China - (100 + 5 + 0 = 105)......=........ [108]
    3 = UK - (86 + 5 + 0 = 88).............=........[088]
    4 = France - (79 + 5 + 0 = 84)........=........[084]
    5 = Japan - (75 + 0 + 0 = 75).........=.........[082]
    6 = India - (64 + 5 + 5 = 74)..........=.........[077]
    7 = Russia - (65 + 5 + 0 = 70)........=.........[072]
    8 = Germany - (62 + 0 + 0 = 62).....=.........[062]
    9 = Brasil - (50 + 0 + 5 = 55)..........=.........[055]
    10 = Aust - (36 + 0 + 5 = 41).........=.........[041]
    11 = Indon - (28 + 0 + 5 = 33)........=.........[033]
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Appendix -
    (*)--------------|-(**)--------------|-(***)--------------
    5 - 800m - plus -|- 5 - 2 ranks up----|- 5 - 0.90 plus
    4 - 600m - 800m-|- 4 - 1 rank up-----|- 4 - 0.85 to 0.90
    3 - 400m - 600m-|- 3 - 0 change-----|- 3 - 0.80 to 0.85
    2 - 200m - 400m-|- 2 - 1 rank down--|- 2 - 0.75 to 0.80
    1 - 000m - 200m-|- 1 - 2 ranks down-|- 1 - 0.00 to 0.75
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Furunculus; 04-05-2009 at 18:45.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  30. #30
    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth and reality about the USA being "top dog"

    Right, Sir, you agree that indeed it is not a go-alone power. It means you agree with my statements in the first post.
    I disagree that the question itself is even valid in this current day and age. I also went on to point out that the United States could act unilaterally, but it's stupid and the height of hubris to do so. If you will notice, I disagreed with the statement Inherently flawed in the context of the current century. Disposing of that statement, I also stated the United States can still "go-alone" on an issue, which is direct opposition to your above statement. Don't do that, it's not very nice.


    You are right in some of these observations, but I'd like to point out the obvious fact (that many posters seem to ignore), that the European Union is indeed a political and economic union. It does have a central government and parliament, and there are other institutions too to harmonize the interests of the natinon-states on the highest level.
    While the rest of the quote continues to promote the idea that the United States wasn't all that united until 1861 (really noise); it doesn't remove the fact that the European Union hasn't ratified the Lisbon Treaty, nor does it act as a united body except in the most broad issues. Europe isn't unified now, and it's up to the people of Europe to unify themselves in the future. Europe isn't one big, happy, joyous nation; both you and I know it. As such, I am issuing a call for Manic From Mars to interpose a Youtube Video from that SouthEast British conservative or some similar substitute.

    In regards to your link, I did view it. It's nice to have an alternative to the Drudge Report, but the compliers lend themselves to highlighting only those articles that degrade the ability of the United States to conduct war or employ troops. As such, were the United States on war-footing, we could employ those resources capable of deploying troops as sufficient levels.

    Now:While I did enjoy your little rant about how "Europeans see a more complex picture." Very touching discussion of Euro-centristic thinking and the relative brute barbarity of us poor Americanos. Next time y'all have a war, we won't bother! Especially all that money we paid y'all for the trouble

    As to when "Americans tend to seek finality in international affairs" was a bad thing. I always assumed that policy-making and political or military action is taken up to "end bad things". I never knew that the "complexity" of Europeans granted you an ability to end bad things unlike how Americans end bad things. I'll just file the Belgian Congo and French Indochina under "Complexity" now.

    They are less inclined to act through international institutions such as the United Nations
    I'm only going to highlight that specific portion because it seems that us brute Americanos aren't willing to play ball. Without the force of America behind the United Nations, it wouldn't be able to stand on it's own two feet. The League of Nations, without America, was a shambles that allowed the USSR to invade Finland, Italy to invade Ethiopia, and Japan to invade Manchuria without any significant repercussions. Meanwhile, today, the UN has been unwilling to step in on conflicts in Africa, leading horrible human rights abuses that the UN has been unable to stop. SWAPO was allowed to mismanage Namibia under the UN. Rwanda had a genocide, under the UN's nose. Congo is having terrific troubles even with UN troops stationed there. The UN has not been able to "end problems", which is why the United States acted in Somalia.

    Whether we were right or wrong is why we're having this debate; but without the US 10th Mountain, Muhammad Farah Addid took over rice shipments into Somalia and sold them off at his profit. That's not right, is it? So we moved in, tried to stop Addid before the death could continue.
    "Nietzsche is dead" - God

    "I agree, although I support China I support anyone discovering things for Science and humanity." - lenin96

    Re: Pursuit of happiness
    Have you just been dumped?

    I ask because it's usually something like that which causes outbursts like this, needless to say I dissagree completely.

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