Waltz - America as a Model for the World

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  America as a Model for the World? A Foreign Policy PerspectiveAuthor(s): Kenneth N. WaltzReviewed work(s):Source: PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 1991), pp. 667-670Published by: American Political Science Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 08/03/2013 05:40 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at  .  . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact  .  American Political Science Association  is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to PS: Political Science and Politics. This content downloaded on Fri, 8 Mar 2013 05:40:35 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  America s a Model for he World? 8. My alculations rom World esources 1990-91: Report y The World esources Institute New York: Oxford niversity ress, 1990), able 6.3. 9. More han 0% of homicides n the US are ntra-racial. n trends nd differentials n homicide ates ee my Historical rends n Violent rime: urope nd the United tates, in T. R. Gurr, d., Violence n America: he History f Crime Newbury ark, A: Sage, 1989): 1-54. About he Author Ted Robert urr Ted Robert urr, ho formerly aught t Northwestern niversity nd the University of Colorado, oined he University f Mary- land faculty n 1989 s professor f govern- ment nd politics nd Distinguished cholar of the Center or nternational evelopment and Conflict anagement. mong is 15 books nd mono- graphs re Why Men Rebel, which on the APSA's Wood- row Wilson rize s the est ook f 1970, nd the orth- coming inorities t Risk: Dynamics nd Outcomes f Ethno- political onflict n the Contemporary World. America s a Model for the World? A Foreign Policy Perspective Kenneth . Waltz, University f California, erkeley If the United tates, r f ny country, ould erve s a model or the world, e would ave o believe that most f the mpetus ehind foreign olicies s nternally generated. ut f he foreign olicies of nations re affected n mportant ways y he placement f countries in the nternational-political ystem, or more imply y heir elative power, hen o country an ade- quately erve s a model or thers. I. How the Placement f States Affects heir olicies Because hroughout ost f the years ince he econd World War the United tates nd the oviet Union were imilarly laced y heir power, heir xternal ehaviors should ave hown triking similarities. id they? es, more than as usually een ealized. he behavior f states an be compared on many ounts. heir rmament policies nd their nterventions abroad re two f the most revealing. n the former ount, he United tates n the arly 960s undertook he argest trategic nd conventional eace-time ilitary build-up he world as yet een. We did o even s Khrushchev as trying at once o carry hrough major reduction n the onventional orces and to follow strategy f minimum deterrence, nd we did o even though he balance f strategic weapons reatly avored he United States. s one should ave xpected, the oviet nion oon followed n America's ootsteps, hus estoring the ymmetry f great-power behavior. nd o it was through most f the years f the Cold War. Advances made by one were uickly followed y he ther, ith he United tates lmost lways eading the way. Allowing or eographic differences, he verall imilarity f their orces as apparent. he ground orces f the oviet nion were tronger han hose f the United tates, ut n naval orces he balance f advantage as reversed. The Soviet nion's argely oastal navy radually ecame more f a blue-water leet, ut ne of imited reach. ts navy ever ad more han half he onnage f ours. Year fter year, NATO countries pent more n defense han he Warsaw reaty Organization ountries id, but heir The battle f Quasinias ear antiago, une 898. ithograph y Kurz & Allison, 898. Library f Congress. December 991 667 This content downloaded on Fri, 8 Mar 2013 05:40:35 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  In Focus Decatur's conflict with he Algerine t Tripoli. llustration y Chappel. Library f Congress. troops emained oughly qual n numbers. The military orces f the United States nd the oviet nion remained n rough alance, nd, s we should ave xpected, heir mili- tary octrines onverged. e accused them f favoring ar-fighting ver deterrent octrines, hile we developed war-fighting octrine n the name f deterrence. rom he 1960s nward, ritics f our military policy rged he United tates o reconstitute ts usable war-fighting capability. efore e became ecre- tary f Defense, elvin . Laird wrote hat American trategy ust aim t fighting, inning, nd recovering, strategy hat equires the bility o wage nuclear ar nd the willingness o strike irst. ne can multiply ilitary nd civilian statements o similar ffect ver he decades. specially n the 1970s nd 1980s, we accused he oviet nion of striving or military uperiority. n turn, he Republican latform f 1980 ledged hat Republican administration ould eestablish American trategic superiority. ' Ronald Reagan s president oftened the spiration ithout liminating t by making t his goal to establish margin f safety or he United States militarily. ilitary ompeti- tion etween he wo ountries produced ts xpected esult: he similarity f forces nd doctrines. Comparison n the econd ount, interventionist ehavior, equires some discussion ecause ur onvic- tion hat he United tates as been the tatus uo, and the oviet nion the nterventionist, ountry istorts our view f reality. he United States, ike he oviet nion, as often ntervened n others' ffairs and has spent fair mount f time fighting eripheral ars. Most Americans aw ittle eed o explain our actions, ssumed o have been n the pursuit f egitimate ational interests nd of nternational ustice, and ittle ifficulty n explaining he Soviet Union's, ssumed o have been imed t spreading ommunism across he globe y ny means vail- able. Americans sually nterpreted the oviet Union's ehavior n terms of ts presumed ntentions. ntentions aside, ur nd their ctions ave been imilar. he United tates, or example, ntervened ilitarily o defend lient tates nd supported their mbitions o expand n China, Korea, nd Vietnam. he Soviet Union, or xample, cted n Afghanistan s we did n Vietnam and ntervened irectly r ndirectly in Angola, Mozambique, nd Ethiopia. Before World War I, both he United tates nd the oviet nion had developed deologies hat ould easily ropel hem o unilateral action n the name f nternational duty: nterventionist iberalism n the one country, nternational communism n the ther. either, however, idely xported ts deology earlier. he post war foreign olicies of neither ountry an be understood aside from he hanged tructure f international olitics, xercising ts pressures nd providing ts ppor- tunities. ore o than he oviet Union, he United tates as acted all over he lobe n the name f ts own ecurity nd the world's ell- being. hus, Blechman nd Kaplan found hat n roughly 0 years following 946 he government f the United tates sed military eans n one way r another o ntervene n the ffairs f other ountries bout twice s often s did the oviet Union.2 II. The Implications f Unbalanced Power Francoise Fen6lon, ho ived from 651 o 1715, was French theologian nd political dviser nd one of the first o understand balance f power s a general phenomenon ather han s merely particular ondition. e argued hat a country isposing f greater ower than thers o cannot ong e expected o behave with ecency nd moderation.3 is theorem as been Vietnam 967: Operation aker. Photo by SSG. Breedlove, SAPA. 668 PS: Political cience & Politics This content downloaded on Fri, 8 Mar 2013 05:40:35 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  America s a Model for he World? well llustrated y uch owerful rulers s Charles , Louis XIV, Napoleon, nd Kaiser Wilhelm I. There was not necessarily omething wrong ith he haracter f those rulers r of their ountries. t a minimum, t was a surplus f power that empted hem o arbitrary nd arrogant ehavior. So long s the world was bipolar, the United tates nd the oviet Union held ach other n check. With he rumbling f the oviet Union, o country r set of countries can presently estore balance. One expects wo results o follow. espite abundant ood ntentions, he United States will ften ct n accordance with F6n6lon's heorem. alance f power heory eads ne to predict that ther tates, f hey ave choice, will lock o the weaker ide, for t s the tronger ide hat threatens hem. In recent ears ave we seen what theory eads us to expect? few examples ill help o answer he question. resident eagan, when asked t a press onference ow ong we would ontinue o support he Contra's ffort o overthrow he Nicaraguan overnment, egan o give fumbling nswer. hen, impatient ith imself, e said: Oh well, ntil hey ay uncle. Vice President ush n February f 1985 explained he meaning f uncle. He laid even tipulations pon he Nicaraguan overnment, hich n sum mounted o saying hat ntil Nicaragua eveloped government and society uch ike urs we would continue o support he pposition.4 Senior fficials n the Reagan administration levated he ight o intervene o the evel f general principle. s one of them aid, we debated whether e had the ight to dictate he form f another country's overnment. he bottom line was yes, that ome rights re more fundamental han the right f nations o nonintervention, ike the rights f individual eople .... [W]e don't have the right o subvert democratic overnment ut we do have the right gainst n undemo- cratic ne. 5 In managing o much of the world's business or o long, the United tates developed rage to rule, which ur position n the world now enables us to indtulge. hus, Charles Krauthammer ooks forward to an overwhelmingly owerful America unashamedly aying own the ules f world rder nd being prepared o enforce hem. 6 eeming to reflect he ame pirit, resident Bush, n a speech f August , 1990, a speech ost n the xcitement f Iraq's nvasion f Kuwait, announced hat we would repare for egional hreats in whatever corner f the globe hey may ccur. But how do threats rising n odd corners f the globe onstitute dangers or s, and how many threats f what ort would we need to prepare o meet f our concern were o protect nly ur vital interests? With enign ntent, he United tates has behaved, nd until ts power s brought nto semblance f balance, will continue o behave n ways hat nnoy nd frighten thers. The powerful tate may, nd the United tates oes, hink f tself s acting or he ake of peace, ustice, and well-being n the world. ut these erms ill e defined o the liking f the powerful, hich may conflict ith he preferences nd the interests f others. n international politics, verwhelming ower epels and eads thers o try o balance against t. With enign ntent, he United tates as behaved, nd until its power s brought nto semblance of balance, will ontinue o behave n ways hat nnoy nd frighten thers. America's management f the war against raq, nd the ubsequent reaction f others, rovide elling examples. he United tates killfully forged wide oalition f states n opposition o raq's nvasion f Kuwait, ut he United tates opposed he fforts f France nd others o find peaceful ettlement along he way. The United tates pressed ther tates o agree hat he embargo ould xpire n January 15, unless raq complied ith he United ations' esolutions, hen many ther tates referred o give the mbargo more ime o work. he United tates hose he day when he war hould egin nd determined how t should e fought, aining ell more estruction rom he ir than immediate ilitary bjectives required. Many tates eacted s one would expect o America's making he decisions. give nly few xamples. Philippine oreign inister aul Manglapus alled he United tates constable f the world nd wondered hether it was necessary or even f t s ust for America o impose new world rder. rofessor Sakuji Yoshimura f Waseda Univer- sity xpressed is distress his way: America s a mighty ountry-and a frightening ne . .. for better r worse he Gulf war built new world order with merica t the head .. this will e fine s long s the est f the world ccepts ts role s America's nderlings. n opposi- tion member f the Diet, Masao Kunihiro, bserved hat he feeling that America s a fiercesome ountry is growing n Japan. '7 n France, fears f American mperialism ere widely xpressed nd debated. n early eptember f 1991 oreign minister oland Dumas remarked that American ight eigns ithout balancing eight, nd Jacques Delors, resident f the European Community ommission, autioned that he United tates must ot ake charge f the world. oth f them called n the United ations nd the European ommunity o counter- balance American nfluence. Professor ichael oyle has shown hat arely o democracies fight emocracies, ut dds rightly that hey ight lenty f wars gainst undemocratic tates. he first generalization s not as strong s many have thought t to be. Not only was Germany democracy n 1914 but also its being democracy elped to explain he outbreak f war. As Chancellor Bethmann ollweg lamented efore he event, nterests supporting he ruling majority pushed for policies ure o accumulate nemies or Germany. Junkers n the east demanded tariff against Russian grain. ndustrial interests n the northwest upported the Berlin o Baghdad railroad nd December 991 669 This content downloaded on Fri, 8 Mar 2013 05:40:35 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

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