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Why America Shouldn’t Dominate the World

Author: Stephen Wertheim

Affiliation: Quincy Institute For Responsible StateCraft

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: March/April, 2020, U.S.

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 4420


Keywords: America, Soviet Union, Climate Change, War Machine, Trump


This article profiles the US, post-Soviet Union collapse, exposing the bankruptcy of Washington’s global ambitions. The US could have chosen to live in harmony with the world, pulling back its armed forces and deploying them only for vital purposes. But Washington did the opposite. Its grand military strategies turned the United States into a destructive actor in the world. The launching of futile wars in Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011, led to the creation of more enemies than it defeated. Although America did a great job in addressing the AIDS pandemic and climate change, its overall performance as a global neighbor is terrible. Since 1990, the US emits 20% of the world’s total carbon monoxide although it comprises only 4% of the world population. The article claims that Washington’s post cold war strategy has failed, and that the US should abandon its quest for armed primacy in order to protect the planet and create more opportunity for more people. America’s claim of calling itself a liberal hegemony is not justified, as its methods and objectives are always more hegemonic than liberal. According to Brown University’s Costs of War project, the US military consumes more oil than any other institution on the earth. The US military is costlier than the next seven largest armed forces combined. The US should understand that bombs and bullets can’t fix everything and should think of a common good.

By: Saima Rashid, CIGA Research Assistant



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