How to Dismantle the American Empire

Barack Obama's America is plagued by imperial overstretch and perpetual war


| Online Exclusive July 2009


However ambitious President Barack Obama's domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union.

According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. We deploy over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories. In just one such country, Japan, at the end of March 2008, we still had 99,295 people connected to U.S. military forces living and working there—49,364 members of our armed services, 45,753 dependent family members, and 4,178 civilian employees. Some 13,975 of these were crowded into the small island of Okinawa, the largest concentration of foreign troops anywhere in Japan.

These massive concentrations of American military power outside the United States are not needed for our defense. They are, if anything, a prime contributor to our numerous conflicts with other countries. They are also unimaginably expensive. According to Anita Dancs, an analyst for the website Foreign Policy in Focus, the United States spends approximately $250 billion each year maintaining its global military presence. The sole purpose of this is to give us hegemony—that is, control or dominance—over as many nations on the planet as possible.

We are like the British at the end of World War II: desperately trying to shore up an empire that we never needed and can no longer afford, using methods that often resemble those of failed empires of the past—including the Axis powers of World War II and the former Soviet Union. There is an important lesson for us in the British decision, starting in 1945, to liquidate their empire relatively voluntarily, rather than being forced to do so by defeat in war, as were Japan and Germany, or by debilitating colonial conflicts, as were the French and Dutch. We should follow the British example. (Alas, they are currently backsliding and following our example by assisting us in the war in Afghanistan.)



Here are three basic reasons why we must liquidate our empire or else watch it liquidate us.

1. We Can No Longer Afford Our Postwar Expansionism 

RaviVaghel
5/2/2016 6:28:21 AM

Packers and Movers Hyderabad @ http://packersandmovershyderabad.top3rd.co.in Packers and Movers Bangalore @ http://packersandmoversbangalore.top3rd.co.in Packers and Movers Pune @ http://packersandmoverspune.top3rd.co.in Packers and Movers Mumbai @ http://packersandmoversmumbai.top3rd.co.in Packers and Movers Chennai @ http://packersandmoverschennai.top3rd.co.in Packers and Movers Delhi @ http://packersandmoversdelhi.top3rd.co.in


RaviVaghel
5/2/2016 6:26:15 AM

Packers and Movers Hyderabad @ http://ipackersmovershyderabad.top4th.in Packers and Movers Bangalore @ http://ipackersmoversbangalore.top4th.in Packers and Movers Pune @ http://ipackersmoverspune.top4th.in Packers and Movers Mumbai @ http://ipackersmoversmumbai.top4th.in Packers and Movers Chennai @ http://ipackersmoverschennai.top4th.in Packers and Movers Delhi @ http://ipackersmoversdelhi.top4th.in Packers and Movers Gurgaon @ http://ipackersmoversgurgaon.top4th.in


RaviVaghel
5/2/2016 6:24:26 AM

Packers and Movers Hyderabad @ http://packersmovershyderabad.top3rd.in Packers and Movers Bangalore @ http://packersmoversbangalore.top3rd.in Packers and Movers Pune @ http://packersmoverspune.top3rd.in Packers and Movers Mumbai @ http://packersmoversmumbai.top3rd.in Packers and Movers Chennai @ http://packersmoverschennai.top3rd.in Packers and Movers Delhi @ http://packersmoversdelhi.top3rd.in Packers and Movers Gurgaon @ http://packersmoversgurgaon.top3rd.in















Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265