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The American Colossus

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The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone Joseph S. Nye

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780195161106 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI: 10.1093/0195161106.001.0001

The American Colossus Joseph S. Nye (Contributor Webpage)

DOI:10.1093/0195161106.003.0001

Abstract and Keywords The U.S. security policy needs to be based on a proper appreciation of the roots of the nation's superpower status, which recognizes the contribution of “soft” (economic and cultural) power to the defense of a balanced world system, which would preclude the formation of peer competitors or an anti‐U.S. consensus. This chapter assesses the potential of China, Japan, Russia, India and the European Union to challenge U.S. hegemony, or to contribute to such a challenge.

Keywords:   balance of power, foreign policy, soft power, strategic competition, U.S.A

Not since Rome has one nation loomed so large above the others. In the words of The Economist, “the United States be‐strides the globe like a colossus. It dominates business, commerce and communications; its economy is the world's most successful, its military might second to none.”1 French foreign minister Hubert Védrine argued in 1999 that the United States had gone beyond its superpower status of the twentieth century. “U.S. supremacy today extends to the economy, currency, military areas, lifestyle, language and the products of mass culture that inundate the world, forming thought and fascinating even the enemies of the United States.”2 Or as two American triumphalists put it, “Today's international system is built not around a balance of power but around American hegemony.”3 As global interdependence has increased, many have argued that globalization is simply a disguise for American imperialism. The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported that “American idols and icons are

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shaping the world from Katmandu to Kinshasa, from Cairo to Caracas. Globalization wears a ‘Made in USA’ label.”4

The United States is undoubtedly the world's number one power, but how long can this situation last, and what should we do with it? (p.2) Some pundits and scholars argue that our preeminence is simply the result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and that this “unipolar moment” will be brief.5 Our strategy should be to husband our strength and engage the world only selectively. Others argue that America's power is so great that it will last for decades, and the unipolar moment can become a unipolar era.6 Charles Krauthammer argued in early 2001 that “after a decade of Prometheus playing pygmy, the first task of the new administration is to reassert American freedom of action.” We should refuse to play “the docile international citizen. . . . The new unilateralism recognizes the uniqueness of the unipolar world we now inhabit and thus marks the real beginning of American post–Cold War foreign policy.”7

Even before September 2001, this prescription was challenged by many, both liberals and conservatives, who consider themselves realists and consider it almost a law of nature in international politics that if one nation becomes too strong, others will team up to balance its power. In their eyes, America's current predominance is ephemeral.8As evidence, they might cite an Indian journalist who urges a strategic triangle linking Russia, India, and China “to provide a counterweight in what now looks like a dangerously unipolar world,”9 or the president of Venezuela telling a conference of oil producers that “the 21st century should be multipolar, and we all ought to push for the development of such a world.”10 Even friendly sources such as The Economist agree that “the one‐superpower world will not last. Within the next couple of decades a China with up to 1½ billion people, a strongly growing economy and probably a still authoritarian government will almost certainly be trying to push its interests. . . . Sooner or later some strong and honest man will pull post‐Yeltsin Russia together, and another contender for global influence will have reappeared.”11 In my view, terrorism notwithstanding, American preponderance will last well into this century—but only if we learn to use our power wisely.

Predicting the rise and fall of nations is notoriously difficult. In February 1941, publishing magnate Henry Luce boldly proclaimed the “American century.” Yet by the 1980s, many analysts thought Luce's vision had run its course, the victim of such culprits as Vietnam, a (p.3) slowing economy, and imperial overstretch. In 1985, economist Lester Thurow asked why, when Rome had lasted a thousand years as a republic and an empire, we were slipping after only fifty.12 Polls showed that half the public agreed that the nation was contracting in power and prestige.13

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The declinists who filled American bestseller lists a decade ago were not the first to go wrong. After Britain lost its American colonies in the eighteenth century, Horace Walpole lamented Britain's reduction to “a miserable little island” as insignificant as Denmark or Sardinia.14 His prediction was colored by the then current view of colonial commerce and failed to foresee the coming industrial revolution that would give Britain a second century with even greater preeminence. Similarly, the American declinists failed to understand that a “third industrial revolution” was about to give the United States a “second century.”15 The United States has certainly been the leader in the global information revolution.

On the other hand, nothing lasts forever in world politics. A century ago, economic globalization was as high by some measures as it is today. World finance rested on a gold standard, immigration was at unparalleled levels, trade was increasing, and Britain had an empire on which the sun never set. As author William Pfaff put it, “Responsible political and economic scholars in 1900 would undoubtedly have described the twentieth‐century prospect as continuing imperial rivalries within a Europe‐dominated world, lasting paternalistic tutelage by Europeans of their Asian and African colonies, solid constitutional government in Western Europe, steadily growing prosperity, increasing scientific knowledge turned to human benefit, etc. All would have been wrong.”16 What followed, of course, was two world wars, the great social diseases of totalitarian fascism and communism, the end of European empires, and the end of Europe as the arbiter of world power. Economic globalization was reversed and did not again reach its 1914 levels until the 1970s. Conceivably, it could happen again.

Can we do better as we enter the twenty‐first century? The apocrypha of Yogi Berra warns us not to make predictions, particularly about the future. Yet we have no choice. We walk around with pictures of the future in our heads as a necessary condition of planning (p.4) our actions. At the national level, we need such pictures to guide policy and tell us how to use our unprecedented power. There is, of course, no single future; there are multiple possible futures, and the quality of our foreign policy can make some more likely than others. When systems involve complex interactions and feedbacks, small causes can have large effects. And when people are involved, human reaction to the prediction itself may make it fail to come true.

We cannot hope to predict the future, but we can draw our pictures carefully so as to avoid some common mistakes.17 A decade ago, a more careful analysis of American power could have saved us from the mistaken portrait of American decline. More recently, accurate predictions of catastrophic terrorism failed to avert a tragedy that leads some again to foresee decline. It is important to prevent the errors of both declinism and triumphalism. Declinism tends to produce overly cautious behavior that could undercut our influence; triumphalism could beget a potentially dangerous absence of restraint, as well

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as an arrogance that would also squander our influence. With careful analysis, we can make better decisions about how to protect our people, promote our values, and lead toward a better world over the next few decades. We can begin this analysis with an examination of the sources of our power.

The Sources of American Power We hear a lot about how powerful America has become in recent years, but what do we mean by power? Simply put, power is the ability to effect the outcomes you want, and if necessary, to change the behavior of others to make this happen. For example, NATO's military power reversed Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing of Kosovo, and the promise of economic aid to Serbia's devastated economy reversed the Serbian government's initial disinclination to hand Milosevic over to the Hague tribunal.

The ability to obtain the outcomes one wants is often associated with the possession of certain resources, and so we commonly use shorthand and define power as possession of relatively large amounts (p.5) of such elements as population, territory, natural resources, economic strength, military force, and political stability. Power in this sense means holding the high cards in the international poker game. If you show high cards, others are likely to fold their hands. Of course, if you play your hand poorly or fall victim to bluff and deception, you can still lose, or at least fail to get the outcome you want. For example, the United States was the largest power after World War I, but it failed to prevent the rise of Hitler or Pearl Harbor. Converting America's potential power resources into realized power requires well‐designed policy and skillful leadership. But it helps to start by holding the high cards.

Traditionally, the test of a great power was “strength for war.”18War was the ultimate game in which the cards of international politics were played and estimates of relative power were proven. Over the centuries, as technologies evolved, the sources of power have changed. In the agrarian economies of seventeenth‐ and eighteenth‐century Europe, population was a critical power resource because it provided a base for taxes and the recruitment of infantry (who were mostly mercenaries), and this combination of men and money gave the edge to France. But in the nineteenth century, the growing importance of industry benefited first Britain, which ruled the waves with a navy that had no peer, and later Germany, which used efficient administration and railways to transport armies for quick victories on the Continent (though Russia had a larger population and army). By the middle of the twentieth century, with the advent of the nuclear age, the United States and the Soviet Union possessed not only industrial might but nuclear arsenals and intercontinental missiles.

Today the foundations of power have been moving away from the emphasis on military force and conquest. Paradoxically, nuclear weapons were one of the causes. As we know from the history of the Cold War, nuclear weapons proved so

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awesome and destructive that they became muscle bound—too costly to use except, theoretically, in the most extreme circumstances.19 A second important change was the rise of nationalism, which has made it more difficult for empires to rule over awakened populations. In the nineteenth century, a few adventurers conquered most of Africa with a handful of soldiers, (p.6) and Britain ruled India with a colonial force that was a tiny fraction of the indigenous population. Today, colonial rule is not only widely condemned but far too costly, as both Cold War superpowers discovered in Vietnam and Afghanistan. The collapse of the Soviet empire followed the end of European empires by a matter of decades.

A third important cause is societal change inside great powers. Postindustrial societies are focused on welfare rather than glory, and they loathe high casualties except when survival is at stake. This does not mean that they will not use force, even when casualties are expected—witness the 1991 Gulf War or Afghanistan today. But the absence of a warrior ethic in modern democracies means that the use of force requires an elaborate moral justification to ensure popular support (except in cases where survival is at stake). Roughly speaking, there are three types of countries in the world today: poor, weak preindustrial states, which are often the chaotic remnants of collapsed empires; modernizing industrial states such as India or China; and the postindustrial societies that prevail in Europe, North America, and Japan. The use of force is common in the first type of country, still accepted in the second, but less tolerated in the third. In the words of British diplomat Robert Cooper, “A large number of the most powerful states no longer want to fight or to conquer.”20 War remains possible, but it is much less acceptable now than it was a century or even half a century ago.21

Finally, for most of today's great powers, the use of force would jeopardize their economic objectives. Even nondemocratic countries that feel fewer popular moral constraints on the use of force have to consider its effects on their economic objectives. As Thomas Friedman has put it, countries are disciplined by an “electronic herd” of investors who control their access to capital in a globalized economy.22 And Richard Rosecrance writes, “In the past, it was cheaper to seize another state's territory by force than to develop the sophisticated economic and trading apparatus needed to derive benefit from commercial exchange with it.”23 Imperial Japan used the former approach when it created the Greater East Asia Co‐prosperity Sphere in the 1930s, but Japan's post–World War II role as a trading state turned out to be far more successful, leading it to become the (p.7) second largest national economy in the world. It is difficult now to imagine a scenario in which Japan would try to colonize its neighbors, or succeed in doing so.

As mentioned above, none of this is to suggest that military force plays no role in international politics today. For one thing, the information revolution has yet to transform most of the world. Many states are unconstrained by democratic

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societal forces, as Kuwait learned from its neighbor Iraq, and terrorist groups pay little heed to the normal constraints of liberal societies. Civil wars are rife in many parts of the world where collapsed empires left power vacuums. Moreover, throughout history, the rise of new great powers has been accompanied by anxieties that have sometimes precipitated military crises. In Thucydides's immortal description, the Peloponnesian War in ancient Greece was caused by the rise to power of Athens and the fear it created in Sparta.24 World War I owed much to the rise of the kaiser's Germany and the fear that created in Britain.25

Some foretell a similar dynamic in this century arising from the rise of China and the fear it creates in the United States.

Geoeconomics has not replaced geopolitics, although in the early twenty‐first century there has clearly been a blurring of the traditional boundaries between the two. To ignore the role of force and the centrality of security would be like ignoring oxygen. Under normal circumstances, oxygen is plentiful and we pay it little attention. But once those conditions change and we begin to miss it, we can focus on nothing else.26 Even in those areas where the direct employment of force falls out of use among countries—for instance, within Western Europe or between the United States and Japan—nonstate actors such as terrorists may use force. Moreover, military force can still play an important political role among advanced nations. For example, most countries in East Asia welcome the presence of American troops as an insurance policy against uncertain neighbors. Moreover, deterring threats or ensuring access to a crucial resource such as oil in the Persian Gulf increases America's influence with its allies. Sometimes the linkages may be direct; more often they are present in the back of statesmen's minds. As the Defense Department describes it, one of the missions of American troops based overseas is to “shape the environment.”

(p.8) With that said, economic power has become more important than in the past, both because of the relative increase in the costliness of force and because economic objectives loom large in the values of postindustrial societies.27 In a world of economic globalization, all countries are to some extent dependent on market forces beyond their direct control. When President Clinton was struggling to balance the federal budget in 1993, one of his advisors stated in exasperation that if he were to be reborn, he would like to come back as “the market” because that was clearly the most powerful player.28 But markets constrain different countries to different degrees. Because the United States constitutes such a large part of the market in trade and finance, it is better placed to set its own terms than is Argentina or Thailand. And if small countries are willing to pay the price of opting out of the market, they can reduce the power that other countries have over them. Thus American economic sanctions have had little effect, for example, on improving human rights in isolated Myanmar. Saddam Hussein's strong preference for his own survival rather than the welfare of the Iraqi people meant that crippling sanctions failed for more than a decade to remove him from power. And economic sanctions may disrupt

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but not deter non‐state terrorists. But the exceptions prove the rule. Military power remains crucial in certain situations, but it is a mistake to focus too narrowly on the military dimensions of American power.

Soft Power In my view, if the United States wants to remain strong, Americans need also to pay attention to our soft power. What precisely do I mean by soft power? Military power and economic power are both examples of hard command power that can be used to induce others to change their position. Hard power can rest on inducements (carrots) or threats (sticks). But there is also an indirect way to exercise power. A country may obtain the outcomes it wants in world politics because other countries want to follow it, admiring its values, emulating its example, aspiring to its level of prosperity and openness. In this sense, it is just as important to set the agenda in world politics (p.9) and attract others as it is to force them to change through the threat or use of military or economic weapons. This aspect of power—getting others to want what you want—I call soft power.29 It co‐opts people rather than coerces them.

Soft power rests on the ability to set the political agenda in a way that shapes the preferences of others. At the personal level, wise parents know that if they have brought up their children with the right beliefs and values, their power will be greater and will last longer than if they have relied only on spankings, cutting off allowances, or taking away the car keys. Similarly, political leaders and thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci have long understood the power that comes from setting the agenda and determining the framework of a debate. The ability to establish preferences tends to be associated with intangible power resources such as an attractive culture, ideology, and institutions. If I can get you to want to do what I want, then I do not have to force you to do what you do not want to do. If the United States represents values that others want to follow, it will cost us less to lead. Soft power is not merely the same as influence, though it is one source of influence. After all, I can also influence you by threats or rewards. Soft power is also more than persuasion or the ability to move people by argument. It is the ability to entice and attract. And attraction often leads to acquiescence or imitation.

Soft power arises in large part from our values. These values are expressed in our culture, in the policies we follow inside our country, and in the way we handle ourselves internationally. As we will see in the next chapter, the government sometimes finds it difficult to control and employ soft power. Like love, it is hard to measure and to handle, and does not touch everyone, but that does not diminish its importance. As Hubert Védrine laments, Americans are so powerful because they can “inspire the dreams and desires of others, thanks to the mastery of global images through film and television and because, for these

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same reasons, large numbers of students from other countries come to the United States to finish their studies.”30 Soft power is an important reality.

Of course, hard and soft power are related and can reinforce each other. Both are aspects of the ability to achieve our purposes by affecting the behavior of others. Sometimes the same power resources (p.10) can affect the entire spectrum of behavior from coercion to attraction.31 A country that suffers economic and military decline is likely to lose its ability to shape the international agenda as well as its attractiveness. And some countries may be attracted to others with hard power by the myth of invincibility or inevitability. Both Hitler and Stalin tried to develop such myths. Hard power can also be used to establish empires and institutions that set the agenda for smaller states— witness Soviet rule over the countries of Eastern Europe. But soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century. Conversely, the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia, even though its economic and military resources continued to grow. Imperious policies that utilized Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. And some countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian states have political clout that is greater than their military and economic weight, because of the incorporation of attractive causes such as economic aid or peacekeeping into their definitions of national interest. These are lessons that the unilateralists forget at their and our peril.

Britain in the nineteenth century and America in the second half of the twentieth century enhanced their power by creating liberal international economic rules and institutions that were consistent with the liberal and democratic structures of British and American capitalism—free trade and the gold standard in the case of Britain, the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and other institutions in the case of the United States. If a country can make its power legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter less resistance to its wishes. If its culture and ideology are attractive, others more willingly follow. If it can establish international rules that are consistent with its society, it will be less likely to have to change. If it can help support institutions that encourage other countries to channel or limit their activities in ways it prefers, it may not need as many costly carrots and sticks.

In short, the universality of a country's culture and its ability to establish a set of favorable rules and institutions that govern areas of (p.11) international activity are critical sources of power. The values of democracy, personal freedom, upward mobility, and openness that are often expressed in American popular culture, higher education, and foreign policy contribute to American power in many areas. In the view of German journalist Josef Joffe, America's soft power “looms even larger than its economic and military assets. U.S. culture, low‐brow or high, radiates outward with an intensity last seen in the days of the

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Roman Empire—but with a novel twist. Rome's and Soviet Russia's cultural sway stopped exactly at their military borders. America's soft power, though, rules over an empire on which the sun never sets.”32

Of course, soft power is more than just cultural power. The values our government champions in its behavior at home (for example, democracy), in international institutions (listening to others), and in foreign policy (promoting peace and human rights) also affect the preferences of others. We can attract (or repel) others by the influence of our example. But soft power does not belong to the government in the same degree that hard power does. Some hard power assets (such as armed forces) are strictly governmental, others are inherently national (such as our oil and gas reserves), and many can be transferred to collective control (such as industrial assets that can be mobilized in an emergency). In contrast, many soft power resources are separate from American government and only partly responsive to its purposes. In the Vietnam era, for example, American government policy and popular culture worked at cross‐ purposes. Today popular U.S. firms or nongovernmental groups develop soft power of their own that may coincide or be at odds with official foreign policy goals. That is all the more reason for our government to make sure that its own actions reinforce rather than undercut American soft power. As I shall show in the next chapter, all these sources of soft power are likely to become increasingly important in the global information age of this new century. And, at the same time, the arrogance, indifference to the opinions of others, and narrow approach to our national interests advocated by the new unilateralists are a sure way to undermine our soft power.

Power in the global information age is becoming less tangible and less coercive, particularly among the advanced countries, but most of (p.12) the world does not consist of postindustrial societies, and that limits the transformation of power. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in preindustrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers. Other countries, such as China, India, and Brazil, are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid‐twentieth century.33 In such a variegated world, all three sources of power—military, economic, and soft—remain relevant, although to different degrees in different relationships. However, if current economic and social trends continue, leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix. Table 1.1 provides a simplified description of the evolution of power resources over the past few centuries.

Power in the twenty‐first century will rest on a mix of hard and soft resources. No country is better endowed than the United States in all three dimensions— military, economic, and soft power. Our greatest mistake in such a world would

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be to fall into one‐dimensional analysis and to believe that investing in military power alone will ensure our strength.

Balance or Hegemony? America's power—hard and soft—is only part of the story. How others react to American power is equally important to the question of stability and governance in this global information age. Many realists extol the virtues of the classic nineteenth‐century European balance of power, in which constantly shifting coalitions contained the ambitions of any especially aggressive power. They urge the United States to rediscover the virtues of a balance of power at the global level today. Already in the 1970s, Richard Nixon argued that “the only time in the history of the world that we have had any extended periods of peace is when there has been a balance of power. It is when one nation becomes infinitely more powerful in relation to its potential competitors that the danger of war arises.”34

But whether such multipolarity would be good or bad for the United States and for the world is debatable. I am skeptical. (p.13)

Table 1.1 Leading States and Their Power Resources, 1500–2000

Period State Major Resources

Sixteenth century

Spain Gold bullion, colonial trade, mercenary armies, dynastic ties

Seventeenth century

Netherlands Trade, capital markets, navy

Eighteenth century

France Population, rural industry, public administration, army, culture (soft power)

Nineteenth century

Britain Industry, political cohesion, finance and credit, navy, liberal norms (soft power), island location (easy to defend)

Twentieth century

United States

Economic scale, scientific and technical leadership, location, military forces and alliances, universalistic culture and liberal international regimes (soft power)

Twenty‐first century

United States

Technological leadership, military and economic scale, soft power, hub of transnational communications

War was the constant companion and crucial instrument of the multipolar balance of power. The classic European balance provided stability in the sense of maintaining the independence of most countries, but there were wars among the great powers for 60 percent of the years since 1500.35 Rote adherence to the

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balance of power and multipolarity may prove to be a dangerous approach to global governance in a world where war could turn nuclear.

(p.14) Many regions of the world and periods in history have seen stability under hegemony—when one power has been preeminent. Margaret Thatcher warned against drifting toward “an Orwellian future of Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia—three mercantilist world empires on increasingly hostile terms . . . In other words, 2095 might look like 1914 played on a somewhat larger stage.”36

Both the Nixon and Thatcher views are too mechanical because they ignore soft power. America is an exception, says Josef Joffe, “because the ‘hyperpower’ is also the most alluring and seductive society in history. Napoleon had to rely on bayonets to spread France's revolutionary creed. In the American case, Munichers and Muscovites want what the avatar of ultra‐modernity has to offer.”37

The term “balance of power” is sometimes used in contradictory ways. The most interesting use of the term is as a predictor about how countries will behave; that is, will they pursue policies that will prevent any other country from developing power that could threaten their independence? By the evidence of history, many believe, the current preponderance of the United States will call forth a countervailing coalition that will eventually limit American power. In the words of the self‐styled realist political scientist Kenneth Waltz, “both friends and foes will react as countries always have to threatened or real predominance of one among them: they will work to right the balance. The present condition of international politics is unnatural.”38

In my view, such a mechanical prediction misses the mark. For one thing, countries sometimes react to the rise of a single power by “bandwagoning”— that is, joining the seemingly stronger rather than weaker side—much as Mussolini did when he decided, after several years of hesitation, to ally with Hitler. Proximity to and perceptions of threat also affect the way in which countries react.39 The United States benefits from its geographical separation from Europe and Asia in that it often appears as a less proximate threat than neighboring countries inside those regions. Indeed, in 1945, the United States was by far the strongest nation on earth, and a mechanical application of balancing theory would have predicted an alliance against it. Instead, Europe and Japan allied with the Americans because the Soviet (p.15) Union, while weaker in overall power, posed a greater military threat because of its geographical proximity and its lingering revolutionary ambitions. Today, Iraq and Iran both dislike the United States and might be expected to work together to balance American power in the Persian Gulf, but they worry even more about each other. Nationalism can also complicate predictions. For example, if North Korea and South Korea are reunited, they should have a strong incentive to maintain an alliance with a distant power such as the United States in order to balance their two giant neighbors, China and Japan. But intense nationalism

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resulting in opposition to an American presence could change this if American diplomacy is heavy‐handed. Non‐state actors can also have an effect, as witnessed by the way cooperation against terrorists changed some states' behavior after September 2001.

A good case can be made that inequality of power can be a source of peace and stability. No matter how power is measured, some theorists argue, an equal distribution of power among major states has been relatively rare in history, and efforts to maintain a balance have often led to war. On the other hand, inequality of power has often led to peace and stability because there was little point in declaring war on a dominant state. The political scientist Robert Gilpin has argued that “Pax Britannica and Pax Americana, like the Pax Romana, ensured an international system of relative peace and security.” And the economist Charles Kindleberger claimed that “for the world economy to be stabilized, there has to be a stabilizer, one stabilizer.”40 Global governance requires a large state to take the lead. But how much and what kind of inequality of power is necessary—or tolerable—and for how long? If the leading country possesses soft power and behaves in a manner that benefits others, effective countercoalitions may be slow to arise. If, on the other hand, the leading country defines its interests narrowly and uses its weight arrogantly, it increases the incentives for others to coordinate to escape its hegemony.

Some countries chafe under the weight of American power more than others. Hegemony is sometimes used as a term of opprobrium by political leaders in Russia, China, the Middle East, France, and others. The term is used less often or less negatively in countries where American soft power is strong. If hegemony means being able to dictate, or at least dominate, the rules and arrangements by which (p.16) international relations are conducted, as Joshua Goldstein argues, then the United States is hardly a hegemon today.41 It does have a predominant voice and vote in the International Monetary Fund, but it cannot alone choose the director. It has not been able to prevail over Europe and Japan in the World Trade Organization. It opposed the Land Mines Treaty but could not prevent it from coming into existence. Saddam Hussein remained in power for more than a decade despite American efforts to drive him out. The U.S. opposed Russia's war in Chechnya and civil war in Colombia, but to no avail. If hegemony is defined more modestly as a situation where one country has significantly more power resources or capabilities than others, then it simply signifies American preponderance, not necessarily dominance or control.42 Even after World War II, when the United States controlled half the world's economic production (because all other countries had been devastated by the war), it was not able to prevail in all of its objectives.43

Pax Britannica in the nineteenth century is often cited as an example of successful hegemony, even though Britain ranked behind the United States and Russia in GNP. Britain was never as superior in productivity to the rest of the

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world as the United States has been since 1945, but as we shall see in chapter 5, Britain also had a degree of soft power. Victorian culture was influential around the globe, and Britain gained in reputation when it defined its interests in ways that benefited other nations (for example, opening its markets to imports or eradicating piracy). America lacks a global territorial empire like Britain's, but instead possesses a large, continental‐scale home economy and has greater soft power. These differences between Britain and America suggest a greater staying power for American hegemony. Political scientist William Wohlforth argues that the United States is so far ahead that potential rivals find it dangerous to invite America's focused enmity, and allied states can feel confident that they can continue to rely on American protection.44 Thus the usual balancing forces are weakened.

Nonetheless, if American diplomacy is unilateral and arrogant, our preponderance would not prevent other states and non‐state actors from taking actions that complicate American calculations and constrain our freedom of action.45 For example, some allies may follow the (p.17) American bandwagon on the largest security issues but form coalitions to balance American behavior in other areas such as trade or the environment. And diplomatic maneuvering short of alliance can have political effects. As William Safire observed when presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush first met, “Well aware of the weakness of his hand, Putin is emulating Nixon's strategy by playing the China card. Pointedly, just before meeting with Bush, Putin traveled to Shanghai to set up a regional cooperation semi‐alliance with Jiang Zemin and some of his Asian fellow travelers.”46 Putin's tactics, according to one reporter, “put Mr. Bush on the defensive, and Mr. Bush was at pains to assert that America is not about to go it alone in international affairs.”47

Pax Americana is likely to last not only because of unmatched American hard power but also to the extent that the United States “is uniquely capable of engaging in ‘strategic restraint,’ reassuring partners and facilitating cooperation.”48 The open and pluralistic way in which our foreign policy is made can often reduce surprises, allow others to have a voice, and contribute to our soft power. Moreover, the impact of American preponderance is softened when it is embodied in a web of multilateral institutions that allow others to participate in decisions and that act as a sort of world constitution to limit the capriciousness of American power. That was the lesson we learned as we struggled to create an antiterrorist coalition in the wake of the September 2001 attacks. When the society and culture of the hegemon are attractive, the sense of threat and need to balance it are reduced.49 Whether other countries will unite to balance American power will depend on how the United States behaves as well as the power resources of potential challengers.

New Challengers?

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Periods of unequal power can produce stability, but if rising countries chafe at the policies imposed by the largest, they may challenge the leading state and form alliances to overcome its strength. So who are the potential candidates that might challenge the United States, and how much of a threat do they represent?

(p.18) China

Many view China, the world's most populous country, as the leading candidate.50

“Almost every commentator has for some years been regarding China as the likeliest of the usual suspects for future ‘peer competitor’ status.”51 Polls show that half the American public thinks China will pose the biggest challenge to U.S. world power status in the next hundred years (compared with 8 percent for Japan and 6 percent for Russia and Europe).52 Some observers compare the rise of authoritarian China to that of the kaiser's Germany in the period preceding World War I. Sinologist Arthur Waldron, for example, argues that “sooner or later, if present trends continue, war is probable in Asia . . . China today is actively seeking to scare the United States away from East Asia rather as Germany sought to frighten Britain before World War I.” Similarly, the columnist Robert Kagan claims “the Chinese leadership views the world in much the same way Kaiser Wilhelm II did a century ago. . . . Chinese leaders chafe at the constraints on them and worry that they must change the rules of the international system before the international system changes them.”53Chinese leaders have often complained about U.S. “gunboat diplomacy” and invited Russia, France, and others to join it in resisting U.S. “hegemonism.”54 Moreover, “in government pronouncements, stories in the state‐run press, books and interviews, the United States is now routinely portrayed as Enemy No. 1.”55 As two sober analysts put it, “It is hardly inevitable that China will be a threat to American interests, but the United States is much more likely to go to war with China than it is with any other major power.”56

We should be skeptical, however, about drawing conclusions solely from current rhetoric, military contingency plans, and badly flawed historical analogies. In both China and the United States, perceptions of the other country are heavily colored by domestic political struggles, and there are people in both countries who want to see the other as an enemy. Even without such distortions, the military on both sides would be seen by its countrymen as derelict in its duties if it did not plan for all contingencies. As for history, it is important to remember that by 1900, Germany had surpassed Britain in industrial (p.19) power and the kaiser was pursuing an adventurous, globally oriented foreign policy that was bound to bring about a clash with other great powers. In contrast, China lags far behind the United States economically and has focused its policies primarily on its region and on its economic development; its official communist ideology holds little appeal. Nonetheless, the rise of China recalls Thucydides's warning that belief in the inevitability of conflict can become one of its main causes.57 Each side, believing it will end up at war with the other, makes

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reasonable military preparations, which then are read by the other side as confirmation of its worst fears.

In fact, the “rise of China” is a misnomer.“Reemergence” would be more accurate, since by size and history the Middle Kingdom has long been a major power in East Asia. Technically and economically, China was the world's leader (though without global reach) from 500 to 1500. Only in the last half millennium was it overtaken by Europe and America. The Asian Development Bank has calculated that in 1820, at the beginning of the industrial age, Asia made up an estimated three‐fifths of world product. By 1940, this had fallen to one‐fifth, even though the region was home to three‐fifths of the world's population. Rapid economic growth has brought that back to two‐fifths today, and the bank speculates that Asia could return to its historical levels by 2025.58 Asia, of course, includes Japan, India, Korea, and others, but China will eventually play the largest role. Its high annual growth rate of 8 to 9 percent led to a remarkable tripling of its GNP in the last two decades of the twentieth century. This dramatic economic performance, along with its Confucian culture, enhanced China's soft power in the region.

Nonetheless, China has a long way to go and faces many obstacles to its development. At the beginning of the twenty‐first century, the American economy is about twice the size of China's. If the American economy grows at a 2 percent rate and China's grows at 6 percent, the two economies would be equal in size sometime around 2020. Even so, the two economies would be equivalent in size but not equal in composition. China would still have a vast underdeveloped country‐side—indeed, assuming 6 percent Chinese growth and only 2 percent American growth, China would not equal the United States in (p. 20) per capita income until somewhere between 2056 and 2095 (depending on the measures of comparison).59 In terms of political power, per capita income provides a more accurate measure of the sophistication of an economy. The Asian Development Bank projects Chinese per capita income will reach 38 percent of that of the United States by 2025, about the same level relative to the United States that South Korea reached in 1990.60 That is impressive growth, but it is a long way from equality. And since the United States is unlikely to be standing still during that period, China is a long way from posing the kind of challenge to American preponderance that the kaiser's Germany posed when it passed Britain at the beginning of the last century.

Moreover, linear projections of economic growth trends can be misleading. Countries tend to pick the low‐hanging fruit as they benefit from imported technologies in the early stages of economic take‐off, and growth rates generally slow as economies reach higher levels of development. In addition, the Chinese economy faces serious obstacles of transition from inefficient state‐owned enterprises, a shaky financial system, and inadequate infrastructure. Growing inequality, massive internal migration, an inadequate social safety net,

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corruption, and inadequate institutions could foster political instability. Coping with greatly increasing flows of information at a time when restrictions can hinder economic growth presents a sharp dilemma for Chinese leaders. As the Harvard economist Dwight Perkins points out, “Much of the early success of market reforms . . . resulted from the basic simplicity of the task.” The process of creating a rule of law and adequate institutions in the economic area will be “measured in decades, not years or months.”61 Indeed, some observers fear instability caused by a collapsing rather than rising China.62 A China that cannot control population growth, flows of migration, environmental effects on the global climate, and internal conflict poses another set of problems. Politics has a way of confounding economic projections.

As long as China's economy does grow, it is likely that its military power will increase, thus making China appear more dangerous to its neighbors and complicating America's commitments in the region. A RAND study projects that by 2015, China's military expenditure will be more than six times higher than Japan's and its accumulated military (p.21) capital stock would be some five times that of Japan (measured at purchasing power parity).63 The Gulf War of 1991, the tensions over Taiwan in 1995–96, and the Kosovo campaign of 1999 showed Chinese leaders how far China lagged behind in modern military capabilities, and as a result they nearly doubled military expenditures over the course of the 1990s. Nonetheless, China's total military budget actually declined from 2.5 to 2 percent of GDP in the last decades of the twentieth century, and the weakness of its political system makes it inefficient at converting economic resources into military capacity.64Some observers think that by 2005 China might achieve a military capability similar to that of a European country in the early 1980s. Others, citing imported technology from Russia, are more concerned.65 In any event, growing Chinese military capacity would mean that any American military role in the region will require more resources.

Whatever the accuracy of such assessments of China's military growth, the most useful tool for our purposes is comparative assessment, and that depends on what the United States (and other countries) will be doing over the next decades. The key to military power in the information age depends on the ability to collect, process, disseminate, and integrate data from complex systems of space‐based surveillance, high‐speed computers, and “smart” weapons. China (and others) will develop some of these capabilities, but according to the Australian analyst Paul Dibb and colleagues, the revolution in military affairs (RMA) “will continue to favor heavily American military predominance. It is not likely that China will, in any meaningful way, close the RMA gap with the U.S.”66

Robert Kagan believes that China aims “in the near term to replace the United States as the dominant power in East Asia and in the long term to challenge America's position as the dominant power in the world.”67 Even if this is an accurate assessment of China's intentions (and that is debated by experts), it is

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doubtful that China will have the capability. Every country has a wish list that reads like a menu without prices. Left to itself, China might like to force the return of Taiwan, dominate the South China Sea, and be recognized as the primary state in the East Asian region, but Chinese leaders will have to contend with the prices imposed by other countries as well as the constraints created (p. 22) by their own objectives of economic growth and the need for external markets and resources. Moreover, too aggressive a Chinese posture could produce a countervailing coalition among its neighbors in the region that would weaken both its hard and soft power.

The fact that China is not likely to become a peer competitor to the United States on a global basis does not mean that it could not challenge the United States in East Asia or that war over Taiwan is not possible. Weaker countries sometimes attack when they feel backed into a corner, such as Japan did at Pearl Harbor or China did when it entered the Korean War in 1950.“Under certain conditions Beijing will likely be fully undeterrable. If, for example, Taiwan were to declare independence, it is hard to imagine that China would forgo the use of force against Taiwan, regardless of the perceived economic or military costs, the likely duration or intensity of American intervention, or the balance of forces in the region.”68 But it would be unlikely to win such a war.

The U.S.‐Japan alliance, which the Clinton‐Hashimoto declaration of 1996 reaffirmed as the basis for stability in post–Cold War East Asia, is an important impediment to Chinese ambitions. This means that in the triangular politics of the region, China cannot play Japan against the United States or try to expel the Americans from the area. From that position of strength, the United States and Japan can work to engage China as its power grows, and provide incentives for it to play a responsible role. How China will behave as its power increases is an open question, but as long as the United States remains present in the region, maintains its relationship with Japan, does not support independence for Taiwan, and exercises its power in a reasonable way, it is unlikely that any country or coalition will successfully challenge its role in the region, much less at the global level. If the United States and China stumble into war or a cold war in East Asia, it will more likely be caused by inept policy related to Taiwan's independence rather than China's success as a global challenger.

Japan

Japan's economy has recently been in the doldrums because of poor policy decisions, but it would be a mistake to sell Japan short. It possesses (p.23) the world's second largest national economy, highly sophisticated industry, the largest number of Internet users after the United States, and the most modern military in Asia. While China has nuclear weapons and more men under arms, Japan's military is better equipped and better trained. It also has the

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technological capacity to develop nuclear weapons very quickly if it chose to do so.

Only a decade ago Americans feared being overtaken by the Japanese. A 1989Newsweek article put it succinctly: “In boardrooms and government bureaus around the world, the uneasy question is whether Japan is about to become a superpower, supplanting America as the colossus of the Pacific and perhaps even the world's No. 1 nation.”69 Books predicted a Japanese‐led Pacific bloc that would exclude the United States, and even an eventual war between Japan and the United States.70 Futurologist Herman Kahn had forecast that Japan would become a nuclear superpower and that the transition in Japan's role would be like “the change brought about in European and world affairs in the 1870s by the rise of Prussia.”71 These views extrapolated from an impressive Japanese record.72

On the eve of World War II, Japan had accounted for 5 percent of world industrial production. Devastated by the war, it did not regain that level until 1964. From 1950 to 1974, Japan averaged a remarkable 10 percent annual growth rate, and by the 1980s it had become the world second largest economy, with 15 percent of world product.73 It became the world's largest creditor and largest donor of foreign aid. Its technology was roughly equal to that of the United States and even slightly ahead in some areas of manufacturing. Japan armed only lightly (restricting military expenditures to about 1 percent of GNP) and focused on economic growth as a highly successful strategy. Nonetheless, as mentioned above, it created the most modern and best‐equipped conventional military force in East Asia.

Japan has an impressive historical record of reinventing itself. A century and a half ago, Japan became the first non‐Western country to successfully adapt to modern globalization.74 After centuries of isolation, Japan's Meiji Restoration chose selectively from the rest of the world, and within half a century the country became strong enough to defeat a European great power in the Russo‐ Japanese War. After 1945, it rose from the ashes of World War II. Recently, a prime (p.24) minister's commission on Japan's goals in the twenty‐first century has called for a new reinvention.75 Given the weakness of the political process, the need for further deregulation, the aging of the population, and the resistance to immigration, such change will not be easy and may take more than a decade to complete.76 But given the continuing skills of Japan's people, the stability of its society, areas of technological leadership (for instance, mobile Internet applications), and manufacturing skills, current assessments of Japan may be too depressed.

Could a revived Japan, a decade or two hence, become a global challenger to the United States, economically or militarily, as was predicted a decade ago? It seems unlikely. Roughly the size of California, Japan will never have the

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geographical or population scale of the United States. Its record of economic success and its popular culture provide Japan with soft power, but the nation's ethnocentric attitudes and policies undercut that. Japan does show some ambition to improve its status as a world power. It seeks a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and polls show that many younger Japanese are interested in becoming a more “normal country” in terms of defense. Some politicians have started a movement to revise Article 9 of the country's constitution, which restricts Japan's forces to self‐defense. If the United States were to drop its alliance with Japan and follow the advice of those who want us to stay “offshore” and shift our allegiance back and forth to balance China and Japan, we could produce the sense of insecurity that might lead Japan to decide it had to develop its own nuclear capacity.77

Alternatively, if Japan were to ally with China, the combined resources of the two countries would make a potent coalition. While not impossible, such an alliance seems unlikely unless the United States makes a serious diplomatic or military blunder. Not only have the wounds of the 1930s failed to heal completely, but China and Japan have conflicting visions of Japan's proper place in Asia and in the world.78 China would want to constrain Japan, but Japan might not want to play second fiddle. In the highly unlikely prospect that the United States were to withdraw from the East Asian region, Japan might join a Chinese bandwagon. But given Japanese concerns about (p.25) the rise of Chinese power, continued alliance with the United States is the most likely outcome. An allied East Asia is not a plausible candidate to be the challenger that displaces the United States.

Russia

If Japan is an unlikely ally for China, what about Russia? Balance‐of‐power politics might predict such an alliance as a response to the 1996 reaffirmation of the U.S.‐Japan security treaty. And there is historical precedent for such a union: in the 1950s, China and the Soviet Union were allied against the United States. After Nixon's opening to China in 1972, the triangle worked the other way, with the United States and China cooperating to limit what both saw as a threatening Soviet power. That alliance ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1992, Russia and China declared their relations a “constructive partnership”; in 1996, they proclaimed a “strategic partnership”; and in July 2001 they signed a treaty of “friendship and cooperation.” A theme of the partnership is common opposition to the present (U.S.‐dominated) “unipolar world.”79 China and Russia each supported America's anti‐terrorist campaign after September, but remained leery of American power.

Despite the rhetoric, there are serious obstacles to a military alliance between China and Russia. The demographic situation in the Far East, where the population on the Russian side of the border is 6 million to 8 million and on the China side is up to 120 million, creates a degree of anxiety in Moscow.80 Russia's economic and military decline has increased its concern about the rise of

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Chinese power. Trade and investment between the two countries is minor, and both sides rely much more on access to Western (including American) markets in goods and finance. It would take very clumsy (but not impossible) American behavior to overcome these obstacles and drive Russia and China more fully into each other's arms. As one observer has commented, the “way for the United States to retain its overall influence is to exercise power in a restrained, predictable manner that disproves the charge of hegemonism.”81 The more heavy‐handed we are, the more we help Russia and China overcome their differences. (p.26) While this might not lead to as full‐fledged a military alliance as occurred in the 1950s, it could lead to a high degree of political coordination designed to frustrate American plans.

Russia alone still poses a threat to the United States, largely because it is the one country with enough missiles and nuclear war‐heads to destroy the United States, and its relative decline has made it more reluctant to renounce its nuclear status. Russia also possesses enormous scale, an educated population, skilled scientists and engineers, and vast natural resources. But while a turn toward a nationalistic repressive regime might make Russia a threat again, it would not present the same sort of challenge to American power that the Soviet Union presented during the four decades after World War II.

In the 1950s, many people in the West feared that the Soviet Union would surpass the United States as the world's leading power. The Soviet Union had the world's largest territory, third largest population, and second largest economy, and it produced more oil and gas than Saudi Arabia. It possessed half the world's nuclear weapons, more men under arms than the United States, and the highest number of people employed in research and development. It exploded a hydrogen bomb in 1953, only one year after the United States, and was the first to launch a satellite into space, in 1957. In terms of soft power, following World War II, the Soviet Union's communist ideology and transnational organization had gained prestige in Europe by resisting Hitler, and in the Third World its identification with the popular movement toward decolonization made it attractive. It actively fostered a myth of the inevitability of the triumph of communism.

Nikita Khrushchev famously boasted in 1959 that the Soviet Union would overtake the United States by 1970 or 1980 by the latest. As late as 1976, Leonid Brezhnev told the French president that communism would dominate the world by 1995. Such predictions were bolstered by reported annual economic growth rates ranging between 5 and 6 percent and an increase in the Soviet share of world product from 11 to 12.3 percent between 1950 and 1970. After that, however, the Soviet growth rate and share of world product began a long decline. In 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev described the Soviet economy as “very disordered. We lag in all indices.”82 A year later, Foreign Minister Eduard (p. 27) Shevardnadze told his officials that “you and I represent a great country

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that in the last 15 years has been more and more losing its position as one of the leading industrially developed nations.”83

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left a Russia significantly shrunken in territory (76 percent of the USSR's), population (50 percent of the USSR's), economy (45 percent of the USSR's), and military personnel (33 percent of the USSR's). Moreover, the soft power of communist ideology had virtually disappeared. Russian economic statistics, like those of the USSR before it, are notoriously inaccurate, but at the turn of the century it appeared that the United States economy was roughly twenty‐seven times larger than that of Russia, its spending on research and development over sixty times that of Russia, and its military expenditure more than nine times greater.84 In relative numbers of personal computers and Internet hosts, the ratios were 11:1 and 150:1.

Nor does it look as though Russia will catch up for a long time. To be sure, there are signs of improvement since the decline of the Soviet Union. Russia is no longer shackled with communist ideology and a cumbersome central planning system. There is some degree of democracy and free expression, although the regime of Vladimir Putin has taken measures aimed at stifling dissent and reasserting central political control. The likelihood of ethnic fragmentation, though still a threat (as the wars in Chechnya showed), has been reduced. Whereas ethnic Russians were only half of the former Soviet Union, they are now 81 percent of the Russian Federation. The political system remains fragile, and the institutions for an effective market economy are largely missing. Russia's robber baron capitalism lacks the kind of effective regulation that creates trust in market relationships, and “even 5 percent growth will not bring Russian incomes to the level of Spain and Portugal for decades.”85 The public health system is in disarray, mortality rates have increased, and birthrates are declining. Midrange estimates by UN demographers suggest that Russia's population may decline from 145 million today to 121 million by midcentury.86

Many Russian futures are possible, and according to the American government's National Intelligence Council, the possibilities range (p.28) from political resurgence to dissolution.“The most likely outcome is a Russia that remains internally weak and institutionally linked to the international system primarily through its permanent seat on the UN Security Council. . . . Even under a best case scenario of five percent annual economic growth, Russia would attain an economy less than one‐fifth the size of that of the United States” by 2015.87

Because of its residual nuclear strength, its proximity to Europe, and the potential of alliance with China or India, Russia can choose to cooperate or to cause problems for the United States but not to be a global challenger.

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India

India too is sometimes mentioned as a future great power, and its population of a billion people is four times that of the United States. For decades, India suffered from what some called the “Hindu rate of economic growth,” that is, a rate of 1 or 2 percent, but in the last decade that has changed and growth rates have approached 5 to 6 percent. India has an emerging middle class of several hundred million, and English is an official language spoken by some 50 million to 100 million people. Building on that base, Indian information industries are beginning to play a transnational role. In addition, India is a military power, with several dozen nuclear weapons, intermediate‐range missiles, 1.2 million military personnel, and an annual military expenditure of nearly $11 billion. In terms of soft power, India has an established democracy and was long regarded as a leader of non‐aligned countries during the Cold War. India has an influential diaspora, and its motion picture industry is the largest in the world in terms of the number of films produced yearly, competing with Hollywood in parts of Asia and the Middle East.88

At the same time, India remains very much an underdeveloped country, with hundreds of millions of illiterate citizens living in poverty. Despite rapid economic growth, more than half a billion Indians will remain in dire poverty. Harnessing technology to improve agriculture will be India's main challenge in alleviating poverty by 2015. Moreover, the widening gulf between have and have‐not regions and disagreements over the pace and nature of reforms could (p.29) be a source of domestic strife.89 India's GDP of $1. 7 trillion is less than half that of China and 20 percent of U.S. GDP. If the United States grows at 3 percent and India at 6 percent, it would take India until 2077 to reach the overall size of the American economy. And the gap in per capita income is even more dramatic, with the United States at $33,900 and India at $1, 800. At a 3 percent difference in growth rates, it would take India until 2133 to reach parity with the American economy.90 India's military capabilities are impressive in South Asia but not in the larger Asian context, where its equipment is less sophisticated and its expenditures only about half those attributed to China.91

RAND projects that if Indian economic growth continues at 5.5 percent and it continues to spend 4 percent of GNP on defense, in fifteen years its military capital stock would reach $314 billion, or 62 percent of China's (compared with 48 percent today).92

India is unlikely alone to become a global challenge to the United States in this century, but it has considerable assets that could be added to the scales of a Sino‐Russian‐Indian coalition. And yet the likelihood that such a coalition would become a serious anti‐American alliance is small. Just as there is lingering suspicion in the Sino‐Russian relationship, so there is a similar rivalry between India and China. While the two countries signed agreements in 1993 and 1996 that promised peaceful settlement of the border dispute that led them to war in 1962, it is also worth noting that India's defense minister labeled China as

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India's “potential enemy number one” just prior to India's nuclear tests in March 1998. Rather than becoming an ally, India is more likely to become part of the group of Asian nations that will tend to balance China.

Europe

The closest thing to an equal that the United States faces at the beginning of the twenty‐first century is the European Union (EU). Although the American economy is four times larger than that of Germany, the largest European country, the economy of the European Union is roughly equal to that of the United States; its population is (p.30) considerably larger, as is its share of world exports. These proportions will increase if, as planned, the European Union gradually expands to include the states of Central Europe over the next decades. Europe spends about two‐thirds of what the United States does on defense, has more men under arms, and includes two countries that possess nuclear arsenals. In terms of soft power, European cultures have long had a wide appeal in the rest of the world, and the sense of a Europe uniting around Brussels has had a strong attraction to Eastern Europe as well as Turkey. Governments and peoples there have begun to shape their policies to fit in with Brussels. Europeans have been important pioneers and played central roles in international institutions. As Samuel Huntington argued a decade ago, a cohesive Europe “would have the population resources, economic strength, technology, and actual and potential military strength to be the preeminent power of the 21st century.”93 And some today see America and Europe on the road to political conflict. A 1995 article in the National Review provides a good example of this, arguing that “a political bloc is emerging in the form of the European Union that likes to see itself as a challenge to America.”94

The key question in assessing the challenge presented by the EU is whether it will develop enough political and social‐cultural cohesion to act as one unit on a wide range of international issues, or whether it will remain a limited grouping of countries with strongly different nationalisms and foreign policies. The uniting of Europe has been a slow but steady process for half a century, and the pressures of globalization have added to the incentives to strengthen European regional institutions.

Already the European Union has effectively constrained American power. On questions of trade and influence within the World Trade Organization, Europe is the equal of the United States. European countries successfully defied American trade sanctions against Cuba and Iran. The creation of the European Monetary Union and the launching of the euro at the beginning of 1999 was greeted by a number of observers as a major challenge to the United States and to the role of the dollar as the dominant reserve currency.95 While such views overly discounted the unique depth and breadth of American (p.31) capital markets, which make countries willing to hold dollars, the European role in monetary affairs and the International Monetary Fund is nearly equal to that of the United

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States. The size and attraction of the European market has meant that American firms seeking to merge have had to seek approval from the European Commission as well as the U.S. Justice Department—as GE found out to its consternation in 2001 when the EU rejected its proposed takeover of Honeywell. And in the Internet age, American policy makers are concerned to make sure American practices do not contravene European regulations on privacy of information; “whether you like it or not, the EU is setting the standards for privacy protection for the rest of the world.”96 In short, for better or worse, Europe could be America's equal in power.

At the same time, Europe faces significant limits on its degree of unity. National identities remain stronger than a common European identity, despite fifty years of integration, and national interests, while subdued in comparison to the past, still matter.97 Integration was driven for years by the engine of Franco‐German cooperation. Europe was for Germany (in light of its history) both a goal and a substitute for a more assertive foreign policy. For France, there were few contradictions between Europe and an assertive French foreign policy so long as it had Germany “in its pocket.” As Germany grew with reunification, developed a more “normal” foreign policy, and insisted on more weight in votes on European issues, French attitudes toward EU institutions became more cautious. As French prime minister Lionel Jospin put it, “I want Europe, but I remain attached to my nation. Making Europe without unmaking France, or any other European nation, that is my political choice.”98 Moreover, the continuing enlargement of the European Union to include Central Europeans means that European institutions are likely to remain sui generis, but tending toward the confederal rather than the federal end of the spectrum. The prospects for a strong federal Europe may have disappeared when the original six countries agreed upon expansion that included Britain and parts of Scandinavia. On the question of whether the EU is becoming a state, Harvard political scientist Andrew Moravscik summarizes succinctly: “Most informed observers (p.32) prefer to speak of a ‘postmodern polity’ in which the EU rules alongside, rather than in place of, national governments.”99

None of this is to belittle European institutions and what they have accomplished. Legal integration is increasing, with European Court verdicts compelling member countries to change practices, and the number of cases before the court has been growing by 10 percent per year.100 On the other hand, legislative and executive branch integration has lagged. The European Parliament plays a useful but limited role, and turnout for its elections is lower than for national elections. When the fifteen member countries held a summit in Nice in December 2000 to revamp institutions and prepare for the possible entry of twelve new countries, the members were reluctant to strengthen the European Commission or Parliament. While majority voting was extended to

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cover additional issues in trade, tax and social security policy remained subject to national vetoes.

The integration of foreign and defense policy has been especially contentious. In 1999, the EU created a position for a high‐ranking official to coordinate foreign policies, and agreed to create a force of sixty thousand troops for crisis intervention backed by the necessary command staff, intelligence, and decision‐ making authority. But French ambitions to create an independent force‐planning structure that would have duplicated NATO capabilities were not accepted. Other European countries wanted to make sure that the new force did nothing to weaken NATO and the American commitment to Europe. The idea of a modest European force that was “separable but not separate” from NATO could actually strengthen the alliance by allowing for a better sharing of burdens through improved European capacity to deal with minor intra‐European conflicts. Some American defense officials were skeptical of the new force, but even French attitudes were ambivalent. As Karl Kaiser, a German political scientist, noted, “The first to scream if American troops upped and left Germany would be the French because of their lingering fears of German hegemony.”101

The other key to whether the EU becomes a global challenger to the United States rests on the nature of the linkages across the Atlantic.102 Some foresee a progressive erosion of ties. Harvard's Stephen (p.33) Walt cites three serious reasons: the lack of a common threat reduces cohesion in the alliance; the United States now trades one and a half times as much with Asia as with Europe; and there are growing cultural differences among elites on both sides of the Atlantic as generations change.103 In the words of an Italian editor, “A collective apprehension about the United States seems the only glue that binds Europeans together. Scathing stories about the United States' death penalty, shootings in high schools, unforgiving market, and lack of welfare abound in the European press. Cross the ocean and you will read about European gerontocracy, high unemployment, and very low defense budgets. There is no sign of a community forming between the two entities that the world insists on branding together as the West.”104

On the other hand, reports of transatlantic differences are often overstated. A decade ago, some realists proclaimed that NATO was finished. They predicted that Germany would weaken its ties with Europe and ally with Russia.105 Lord Ismay, the alliance's first secretary‐general, famously quipped that the purpose of NATO was “to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down.” Today, NATO still provides an insurance policy against Russia becoming an authoritarian threat, ensures German integration into a larger defense domain that appeals to Germans themselves, and remains a popular institutional connection to Europe in the United States. In addition, NATO provides insurance against new threats in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East that would be beyond the modest capacities of the European Rapid Reaction Force.

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As The Economist speculates, it is possible that “by about 2030, both Europe and America will be having the same trouble with some other part of the world.” It cites Russia, China, and Muslim southwest Asia as likely suspects.106 At the same time, such projections could be disrupted by inept American policies that fail to manage the Russian relationship while antagonizing Europeans. After September 2001, relations with Russia improved in the context of the coalition to combat terrorism. “Although Russia will continue to recede in importance to the European governments, they will use U.S. handling of Russia as a barometer of how well or poorly Washington is exerting leadership and defending European interests.”107

(p.34) Nor is economic divorce likely. New technology, flexibility in labor markets, strong venture capital, and an entrepreneurial culture make the American market attractive to European investors. Direct investment in both directions is higher than with Asia and helps knit the economies together. Nearly a third of trade occurs within transnational corporations. Moreover, while trade inevitably produces some degree of friction in the domestic politics of democracies, it is a game from which both sides can profit if there is a will to cooperate, and U.S.‐European trade is more balanced than U.S. trade with Asia. While there will be conflicts over economic policy, and a need for compromise, Europe is not likely to be in a position to dictate to the United States. Lingering labor market rigidity and state regulation will hamper restructuring, retooling, and reinvestment strategies. Europe will trail the United States in entrepreneurship and innovation as governments seek ways to balance encouragement of these factors against social effects. Thus the National Intelligence Council predicts that Europe will not achieve fully “the dreams of parity with the United States as a shaper of the global economic system.”108

Cooperation will continue, though again, much will depend on avoiding heavy‐ handed policies.

At the cultural level, Americans and Europeans have sniped at and admired each other for more than two centuries. For all the complaints about McDonald's, no one forces the French (and other Europeans) to eat there, though millions do each year. In some ways, the inevitable frictions show a closeness rather than a distance. As Karsten Voigt, a senior German politician, put it, “The distinction between foreign and domestic policy has blurred as our societies have interwoven. That is why emotional issues like genetically altered food or the way we treat the children of international divorces rise to the surface. In a way foreign policy was easier when it dealt with interests rather than emotions and morals.”109 Yet it is also true that American consumers can benefit from European efforts to raise standards in antitrust actions or Internet privacy. And in a larger sense, Americans and Europeans share the values of democracy and human rights more thoroughly with each other than with any other region of the world. As Ambassador Robert Blackwill has written, at the deepest (p.35) level,

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neither the United States nor Europe threatens the vital or important interests of the other side.110

Whether these deeper values or the surface frictions that accompany cultural change will prevail will depend in large part on how the United States plays its hand. Despite the concern and unity expressed by many Europeans in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States in September 2001—the French newspaper Le Monde, often critical of American policy, proclaimed, “We are all Americans”—many of America's European friends continue to worry about recent American behavior. The specter of U.S. isolationism that haunted Europe during the Cold War has been replaced by the specter of U.S. unilateralism. “Perceptions prevail that the United States is increasingly tempted to pursue unilaterally defined policies with little regard for the interests and viewpoints of other nations, as if the United States confuses its national interest with a global interest.”111 Such frictions are more likely to lead to a drifting apart rather than a sharp divorce that would create a hostile challenger, but the loss would nonetheless be great. Not only will Europeans conspire more often to frustrate American political objectives, but the United States will lose important opportunities for cooperation in the solution of global problems such as terrorism and its best partner for promoting the values of democracy and human rights. Europe remains the part of the world that is closest to us in basic values. As Samuel Huntington has put it, “Healthy co‐operation with Europe is the prime antidote for the loneliness of U.S. superpowerdom.”112American unilateralism may not produce a hostile European challenger in the military sense, but it would certainly reduce some of our best opportunities for friendship and partnership.

The Distribution of Power in The Global Information Age How great is the disparity between our power and that of the rest of the world? In military power, we are the only country with both nuclear weapons and conventional forces with global reach. Our military (p.36) expenditures are greater than those of the next eight countries combined, and we lead in the information‐based “revolution in military affairs.”113 Economically, we have a 27 percent share of world product, which (at market prices) was equal to that of the next three countries combined (Japan, Germany, France). We are the home of fifty‐nine of the hundred largest companies in the world by market value (compared to thirty‐one for Europe and seven for Japan.) Of the Financial Times' listing of the 500 largest global companies, 219 were American, 158 European, and 77 Japanese.114 In direct foreign investment, we invested and received nearly twice as much as the next ranking country (Britain) and accounted for half of the top ten investment banks. American e‐commerce was three times that of Europe, and we are the home of seven of the top ten software vendors. Forty‐ two of the top seventy‐five brands were American, as well as nine of the top ten business schools.115 In terms of soft power, the United States is far and away the number one film and television exporter in the world, although India's

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“Bollywood” actually produces more movies per year.116 We also attract the most foreign students each year to our institutions of higher education, followed by Britain and Australia. In addition to students, over 500,000 foreign scholars were in residence at American educational institutions in 2000.117 In the words of the Financial Times, “the U.S. is the dominant economic model for the rest of the developed world and much of the developing world.”118

The United States had already become the world's largest economy by the end of the nineteenth century. America's economic domination reached its peak (at between a third and a half of world product, depending on the calculation) soon after 1945.120 For the next twenty‐five years, the American share declined to its long‐term average as others recovered and developed.121 Before World War I and again before World War II, the United States accounted for about a quarter of world product, and it remains slightly above or below that level today (depending on whether market prices or purchasing parity prices are used in the calculation). The American share of the GDP of the seven largest economies that hold annual economic summits was 48.7 percent in 1970, 46.8 percent in 1980, and 45.2 percent at the end of the century. “What has appeared to keep the U.S. safely (p.37)

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Table 1.2 Power Resources c. 2000119

United States Japan Germany (EU)

France (EU) Britain (EU) Russia China India

Basic

Territory in thousands of km2

9,269 378 357 547 245 17,075 9,597 3,288

Population in millions (1999)

276 127 83 59 60 146 1,262 1,014

Literacy rate 97 99 99 99 99 98 81.5 52

Military

Nuclear warheads (1999)

12070 0 0 450 192 22,500 >40 85–90

Budget in billions of dollars (1999)

288.8 41.1 24.7 29.5 34.6 31 12.6 10.7

Personnel 1,371,500 236,300 332,800 317,300 212,400 1,004,100 2,480,000 1,173,000

Economic

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United States Japan Germany (EU)

France (EU) Britain (EU) Russia China India

GDP in billions of dollars in purchasing power parity (1999)

9,255 2,950 1,864 1,373 1,290 620 4,800 1,805

Per capita GDP, in purchasing power parity (1999)

33,900 23,400 22,700 23,300 21,800 4,200 3,800 1,800

Manufacturin g value added, in billions of dollars (1996)

1,344 1,117 556 290 214 NA 309 63

High‐tech exports, in billions of dollars (1997)

637 420 112 69 96 87 183 32

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United States Japan Germany (EU)

France (EU) Britain (EU) Russia China India

Number of personal computers per thousand population

570.5 286.9 297 221.8 302.5 37.4 12.2 3.3

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(p.38) at the top of the league has been its traditional strengths—a huge single market fostering competition, a stable currency and a sound financial system—allied to rapid technological progress in its information technology sector.”122

Can this degree of economic dominance continue? Probably not. As globalization stimulates economic growth in poor countries that are able to take advantage of new technology and world markets, their share of world product should increase, much as did that of East Asian countries over the past few decades. If the United States and other wealthy countries grow at about 2.5 percent per year but the fifteen largest underdeveloped countries grow between 4 and 5.5 percent per year, “over half of world gross output 30 years hence will be in countries that are poor today whereas 1990s rich ones, the current members of the OECD, will see their share fall from 70% of the world total to about 45%. The United States share falls from about 23% to 15%.”123 The United States would still have the largest economy, but its lead would be more modest than it is today. Of course, such linear projections can be foiled by political change and historical surprises, and growth in developing countries may not be this fast. Nonetheless, it would be surprising if the U.S. share did not shrink over the course of the century. As a Canadian political scientist concludes, “Unless the United States suffers a major catastrophe (and one, moreover, that does not also affect other major powers), there is only one way that the relative balance of power capabilities between the United States and the other major powers extant at the turn of the millennium will change: very slowly, and over many decades.”124 Although the September 2001 tragedy was terrible, it would take a series of much larger catastrophes to really reduce the American lead.

Even in the likely event that the United States remains the largest country well into the century as measured by the power resources summarized in Table 1.2, there are other changes occurring in the distribution of power. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some have described the resulting world as unipolar, some as multipolar. Both groups are right and both are wrong, because each is referring to a different dimension of power that can no longer be assumed to be homogenized by military dominance. Unipolarity is misleading because it exaggerates the degree to which the United States is able to get the (p.39) results it wants in some dimensions of world politics, but multipolarity is misleading because it implies several roughly equal countries.

Instead, power today is distributed among countries in a pattern that resembles a complex three‐dimensional chess game.125 On the top chessboard, military power is largely unipolar. As we have seen, the United States is the only country with both intercontinental nuclear weapons and large, state‐of‐the‐art air, naval, and ground forces capable of global deployment. But on the middle chessboard, economic power is multipolar, with the United States, Europe, and Japan representing two‐thirds of world product, and with China's dramatic growth likely to make it a major player early in the century. As we have seen, on this economic board, the United States is not a hegemon and often must bargain as

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an equal with Europe. This has led some observers to call it a hybrid uni‐ multipolar world.126 But the situation is even more complicated and difficult for the traditional terminology of the balance of power among states to capture. The bottom chess‐board is the realm of transnational relations that cross borders outside of government control. This realm includes non‐state actors as diverse as bankers electronically transferring sums larger than most national budgets, at one extreme, and terrorists carrying out attacks and hackers disrupting Internet operations, at the other. On this bottom board, power is widely dispersed, and it makes no sense to speak of unipolarity, multipolarity, or hegemony. Those who recommend a hegemonic American foreign policy based on such traditional descriptions of American power are relying on woefully inadequate analysis. When you are in a three‐dimensional game, you will lose if you focus only on the interstate military board and fail to notice the other boards and the vertical connections among them.

Because of its leading edge in the information revolution and its past investment in traditional power resources, the good news for Americans is that the United States will likely remain the world's single most powerful country well into this new century. While potential coalitions to check American power could be created, as we have seen above, it is unlikely that they would become firm alliances unless the United States handles its hard power in an overbearing, unilateral manner that undermines its soft power. As Joseph Joffe has written, “Unlike centuries past, when war was the great arbiter, today the most (p.40) interesting types of power do not come out of the barrel of a gun. . . . Today there is a much bigger payoff in ‘getting others to want what you want,’ and that has to do with cultural attraction and ideology and agenda setting and holding out big prizes for cooperation, like the vastness and sophistication of the American market. On that gaming table, China, Russia and Japan, even the West Europeans, cannot match the pile of chips held by the United States.”127 The United States could squander this soft power by heavy‐handed unilateralism. As Richard Haass, the director of policy planning at the State Department in George W. Bush's administration, has warned, any attempt to dominate “would lack domestic support and stimulate international resistance, which in turn would make the costs of hegemony all the greater and its benefits all the smaller.”128 Much will depend on the evolution of American public opinion, congressional attitudes, and administration policies. That part of the answer is largely in American hands.

The bad news for Americans in this more complex distribution of power in the twenty‐first century is that there are more and more things outside the control of even the most powerful state. September 11, 2001, should have sounded a wake‐up call. Although the United States does well on the traditional measures, there is increasingly more going on in the world that those measures fail to capture. Under the influence of the information revolution and globalization, world politics is changing in a way that means Americans cannot achieve all

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their international goals acting alone. The United States lacks both the international and domestic prerequisites to resolve conflicts that are internal to other societies, and to monitor and control transnational transactions that threaten Americans at home. We must mobilize international coalitions to address shared threats and challenges. We will have to learn better how to share as well as lead. As a British observer has written, “The paradox of American power at the end of this millennium is that it is too great to be challenged by any other state, yet not great enough to solve problems such as global terrorism and nuclear proliferation. America needs the help and respect of other nations.”129

We will be in trouble if we do not get it. For reasons we shall see in the next two chapters, that part of the answer will increasingly be in others' hands.

Notes:

(1.) “America's World,” The Economist, October 23, 1999, 15.

(2.) Lara Marlowe, “French Minister Urges Greater UN Role to Counter US Hyperpower,” The Irish Times, November 4, 1999, 14. In 1998, Védrine coined the term “hyperpower” to describe the United States because “the word ‘superpower’ seems to me too closely linked to the cold war and military issues.” Hubert Védrine with Dominique Moisi, France in an Age of Globalization (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001), 2.

(3.) Robert Kagan and William Kristol, “The Present Danger,” The National Interest, spring 2000.

(4.) William Drozdiak, “Even Allies Resent U.S. Dominance,” Washington Post, November 4, 1997, 1.

(5.) See Charles Krauthammer, “The Unipolar Moment,” Foreign Affairs, winter 1990–91, 23–33; Christopher Lane, “The Unipolar Illusion: Why New Great Powers Will Arise,” International Security, spring 1993, 5–51; Charles Kupchan, “After Pax Americana: Benign Power, Regional Integration and the Sources of Stable Multipolarity,” International Security, fall 1998.

(6.) William Wohlforth, “The Stability of a Unipolar World,” in Michael Brown et al., America's Strategic Choices, rev. ed. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 305, 309; also from a liberal perspective, G. John Ikenberry, “Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Persistence of American Postwar Order,” International Security, winter 1998–99, 43–78.

(7.) Charles Krauthammer, “The New Unilateralism,” Washington Post, June 8, 2001, 29.

(8.) Kenneth Waltz, “Globalization and Governance,” Political Science and Politics, December 1999, 700.

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(9.) Sunanda K. Datta‐Ray, “Will Dream Partnership Become Reality?” The Straits Times (Singapore), December 25, 1998, 46.

(10.) Hugo Chavez quoted in Larry Rohter, “A Man with Big Ideas, a Small Country . . . and Oil,” New York Times, September 24, 2000, “Week in Review” section, 3.

(11.) “When the Snarling's Over,” The Economist, March 13, 1999, 17.

(12.) Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500–2000 (New York: Random House, 1987); Lester Thurow, The Zero Sum Solution (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985).

(13.) Martilla and Kiley, Inc. (Boston, MA), Americans Talk Security, no. 6, May 1988, and no. 8, August 1988.

(14.) Quoted in Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam (New York: Knopf, 1984), 221.

(15.) Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post‐Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting (New York: Basic Books, 1999 [1973]), new introduction, passim.

(16.) William Pfaff, Barbarian Sentiments: America in the New Century, rev. ed. (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000), 280.

(17.) On the complexities of projections, see Joseph S. Nye Jr., “Peering into the Future,” Foreign Affairs, July‐August 1994; see also Robert Jervis, “The Future of World Politics: Will It Resemble the Past?” International Security, winter 1991– 92.

(18.) A. J. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848–1918 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954), xxix.

(19.) Whether this would change with the proliferation of nuclear weapons to more states is hotly debated among theorists. Deterrence should work with most states, but the prospects of accident and loss of control would increase. For my views, see Joseph S. Nye Jr., Nuclear Ethics (New York: Free Press, 1986).

(20.) Robert Cooper, The Postmodern State and the World Order (London: Demos, 2000), 22.

(21.) John Mueller, Retreat from Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major War (New York: Basic Books, 1989).

(22.) Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999), chapter 6.

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(23.) Richard N. Rosecrance, The Rise of the Trading State (New York: Basic Books, 1986), 16, 160.

(24.) Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, trans. Rex Warner (London: Penguin, 1972), book I, chapter 1.

(25.) And in turn, as industrialization progressed and railroads were built, Germany feared the rise of Russia.

(26.) Henry Kissinger portrays four international systems existing side by side: the West (and Western Hemisphere), marked by democratic peace; Asia, where strategic conflict is possible; the Middle East, marked by religious conflict; and Africa, where civil wars threaten weak postcolonial states. “America at the Apex,” The National Interest, summer 2001, 14.

(27.) Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr., Power and Interdependence, 3rd ed. (New York: Longman, 2000), chapter 1.

(28.) James Carville quoted in Bob Woodward, The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), 302.

(29.) For a more detailed discussion, see Joseph S. Nye Jr., Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990), chapter 2. This builds on what Peter Bachrach and Morton Baratz called the “second face of power” in “Decisions and Nondecisions: An Analytical Framework,” American Political Science Review, September 1963, 632–42.

(30.) Védrine, France in an Age of Globalization, 3

(31.) The distinction between hard and soft power is one of degree, both in the nature of the behavior and in the tangibility of the resources. Both are aspects of the ability to achieve one's purposes by affecting the behavior of others. Command power—the ability to change what others do—can rest on coercion or inducement. Co‐optive power—the ability to shape what others want—can rest on the attractiveness of one's culture and ideology or the ability to manipulate the agenda of political choices in a manner that makes actors fail to express some preferences because they seem to be too unrealistic. The forms of behavior between command and co‐optive power range along a continuum: command power, coercion, inducement, agenda setting, attraction, co‐optive power. Soft power resources tend to be associated with co‐optive power behavior, whereas hard power resources are usually associated with command behavior. But the relationship is imperfect. For example, countries may be attracted to others with command power by myths of invincibility, and command power may sometimes be used to establish institutions that later become regarded as legitimate. But the general association is strong enough to allow the useful shorthand reference to hard and soft power.

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(32.) Josef Joffe, “Who's Afraid of Mr. Big?” The National Interest, summer 2001, 43.

(33.) See Cooper, Postmodern State; Bell, The Coming of Post‐Industrial Society.

(34.) Nixon quoted in James Chace and Nicholas X. Rizopoulos, “Towards a New Concert of Nations: An American Perspective,” World Policy Journal, fall 1999, 9.

(35.) Jack S. Levy, War in the Modern Great Power System, 1495–1975 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1983), 97.

(36.) Margaret Thatcher, “Why America Must Remain Number One,” National Review, July 31, 1995, 25.

(37.) Josef Joffe, “Envy,” The New Republic, January 17, 2000, 6.

(38.) Kenneth Waltz, “Globalization and American Power,” The National Interest, spring 2000, 55–56.

(39.) Stephen Walt, “Alliance Formation and the Balance of Power,” International Security, spring 1985.

(40.) Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 144–45; Charles Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929–1939 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 305.

(41.) Joshua S. Goldstein, Long Cycles: Prosperity and War in the Modern Age (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), 281.

(42.) See Robert O. Keohane, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), 235.

(43.) Over the years, a number of scholars have tried to predict the rise and fall of nations by developing a general historical theory of hegemonic transition. Some have tried to generalize from the experience of Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, France, and Britain. Others have focused more closely on Britain's decline in the twentieth century as a predictor for the fate for the United States. None of these approaches has been successful. Most of the theories have predicted that America would decline long before now. Vague definitions and arbitrary schematizations alert us to the inadequacies of such grand theories. Most try to squeeze history into procrustean theoretical beds by focusing on particular power resources while ignoring others that are equally important. Hegemony can be used as a descriptive term (though it is sometimes fraught with emotional overtones), but grand hegemonic theories are weak in predicting future events. See Immanuel Wallerstein, The Politics of the World Economy: The States, the Movements, and the Civilizations: Essays (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 38, 41; George Modelski, “The Long Cycle of Global

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Politics and the Nation‐State,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, April 1978; George Modelski, Long Cycles in World Politics (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1987). For a detailed discussion, see Nye, Bound to Lead, chapter 2.

(44.) Wohlforth, “The Stability of a Unipolar World.”

(45.) Stephen Walt, “Keeping the World ‘Off‐Balance’: Self‐Restraint and US Foreign Policy,” Kennedy School Research Working Paper Series 00–013, October 2000.

(46.) William Safire, “Putin's China Card,” New York Times, June 18, 2001, A29.

(47.) Patrick Tyler, “Bush and Putin Look Each Other in the Eye,” New York Times, June 17, 2001, A10.

(48.) Ikenberry, “Institutions, Strategic Restraint,” 47; also Ikenberry, “Getting Hegemony Right,” The National Interest, spring 2001, 17–24.

(49.) Josef Joffe, “How America Does It,” Foreign Affairs, September‐October 1997.

(50.) Michael Brown et al., The Rise of China (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000).

(51.) Coral Bell, “TK,” The National Interest, fall 1999, 56.

(52.) “American Opinion,” Wall Street Journal, September 16, 1999, A9.

(53.) Arthur Waldron, “How Not to Deal with China,” Commentary, March 1997; Robert Kagan, “What China Knows That We Don't,” The Weekly Standard, January 20, 1997.

(54.) “China Lashes Out at U.S. ‘Gunboat Diplomacy,’ ” Financial Times (London), September 4, 1999, 4.

(55.) John Pomfret, “U.S. Now a ‘Threat’ in China's Eyes,” Washington Post, November 15, 2000, 1.

(56.) Richard K. Betts and Thomas J. Christensen, “China: Getting the Questions Right,” The National Interest, winter 2000–1, 17.

(57.) Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 62.

(58.) Asian Development Bank, Emerging Asia (Manila: ADB, 1997), 11.

(59.) Figures were calculated using data from CIA World Fact Book 2000 (http:// www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/) (for purchasing power parities) and the World Bank (http://www.worldbank.org/data/wdi2001/pdfs/ tab1_1.pdf) for official exchange rates. Size was measured by purchasing power parities that

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correct for the costs of goods in different currencies; equality in size would not occur until 2056 if measured by official exchange rates. If the United States grows at 3 percent per year, the convergence would occur between 2022 and 2075 (depending on the measure). My thanks to Kennedy School graduate students Ebrahim Afsah and Francisco Blanch for lending their computational skills.

(60.) Ibid.

(61.) Dwight Perkins, “Institutional Challenges for the Economic Transition in Asia,” paper presented at Australian National University, September 2000, 48.

(62.) See Merle Goldman, Raja Menon, Richard Ellings, “Letters from Readers,” Commentary, February 2001, 13, 19.

(63.) Charles Wolf Jr., Anil Bamezai, K. C. Yeh, and Benjamin Zycher, Asian Economic Trends and Their Security Implications (Santa Monica: RAND, 2000), 19–22.

(64.) David M. Lampton and Gregory C. May, A Big Power Agenda for East Asia: America, China and Japan (Washington, D.C.: The Nixon Center, 2000), 13. These calculations use constant dollars at market exchange rates and are higher than official Chinese figures.

(65.) David Shambaugh, “Containment or Engagement in China? Calculating Beijing's Responses,” International Security, fall 1996, 21.

(66.) Paul Dibb, D. D. Hale, and P. Prince, “Asia's Insecurity,” Survivor, autumn 1999, 5–20.

(67.) Robert Kagan, “What China Knows That We Don't,” The Weekly Standard, January 20, 1997.

(68.) Thomas J. Christensen, “Posing Problems Without Catching Up: China's Rise and Challenges for U.S. Security Policy,” International Security, spring 2001, 36.

(69.) “Hour of Power?” Newsweek, February 27, 1989, 15.

(70.) Jacques Attali, Lignes d'Horizon (Paris: Fayard, 1990); George Friedman and Meredith LeBard, The Coming War with Japan (New York: St. Martin's, 1992).

(71.) Herman Kahn and B. Bruce‐Biggs, Things to Come (New York: Macmillan, 1972), ix.

(72.) They were questioned by some—see, for example, Bill Emmott, The Sun Also Sets (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989).

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(73.) Paul Bairoch, “International Industrialization Levels from 1750 to 1980,” Journal of European Economic History, spring 1982, 14n.

(74.) Joseph S. Nye Jr., “Asia's First Globalizer,” The Washington Quarterly, autumn 2000.

(75.) Prime Minister's Commission, The Frontier Within (Tokyo: Cabinet Secretariat, 2000).

(76.) Hisashi Owada, “The Shaping of World Public Order and the Role of Japan,” Japan Review of International Affairs, spring 2000, 11.

(77.) Christopher Layne, “From Preponderance to Offshore Balancing,” International Security, summer 1997, 86–124.

(78.) Lampton and May, A Big Power Agenda for East Asia, 51.

(79.) Li Jingjie, “Pillars of the Sino‐Russian Partnership,” Orbis, fall 2000, 530.

(80.) Mikhail Nosov, Challenges to the Strategic Balance in East Asia on the Eve of the 21st Century: A View from Russia (Alexandria, VA: Center for Naval Analysis, 1997), 32.

(81.) Gilbert Rozman, “A New Sino‐Russian‐American Triangle?” Orbis, autumn 2000, 541–55.

(82.) Mikhail Gorbachev, speech to Soviet writers, quoted in “Gorbachev on the Future: ‘We Will Not Give In,’ ” New York Times, December 22, 1986, A20.

(83.) Quoted in Stephen Sestanovich, “Gorbachev's Foreign Policy: A Diplomacy of Decline,” Problems of Communism, January‐February 1988, 2–3.

(84.) World Bank data from http://www.worldbank.org/data/databytopic/ databytopic.html.

(85.) Peter Semler, “The Russian Economy: Progress and Challenge,” The Atlantic Council Bulletin, January 2001, 3.

(86.) Michael Wines, “For All of Russia, Biological Clock Is Running Out,” New York Times, December 28, 2000, A1.

(87.) National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future with Nongovernment Experts (Langley, VA: Central Intelligence Agency, 2000), 17, 69.

(88.) Neal M. Rosendorf, “Social and Cultural Globalization: Concepts, History, and America's Role,” in Joseph S. Nye Jr. and John D. Donahue, eds., Governance

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in a Globalizing World (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2000), 122.

(89.) National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2015, 66.

(90.) Again, my thanks to Kennedy School students Ebrahim Afsah and Francisco Balch for their number crunching.

(91.) Lampton and May, A Big Power Agenda for East Asia, using SIPRI data that correct for difficulties in calculating Chinese budgets in Western terms, 13, 31.

(92.) Wolf et al., Asian Economic Trends, 47.

(93.) Samuel Huntington, “The U.S.—Decline or Renewal?” Foreign Affairs, winter 1988–89, 93.

(94.) David Pryce‐Jones, “Bananas Are the Beginning: The Looming War Between America and Europe,” National Review, April 5, 1999.

(95.) Martin Feldstein, “EMU and International Conflict,” Foreign Affairs, November‐December 1997.

(96.) Cherise M. Valles, “Setting the Course on Data Privacy,” International Herald Tribune, May 28, 2001, 13.

(97.) Pippa Norris, “Global Governance and Cosmopolitan Citizens,” in Nye and Donahue, eds., Governance in a Globalizing World, 157.

(98.) John Vinocur, “Jospin Envisions an Alternative EU,” International Herald Tribune, May 29, 2001, 1.

(99.) Andrew Moravscik, “Despotism in Brussels?” Foreign Affairs, May‐June 2001, 121.

(100.) Roger Cohen, “A European Identity: Nation‐State Losing Ground,” New York Times, January 14, 2000, A3.

(101.) Roger Cohen, “Tiffs over Bananas and Child Custody,” New York Times, May 28, 2000, News of the Week section, 1.

(102.) Joseph S. Nye Jr., “The US and Europe: Continental Drift?” International Affairs, January 2000.

(103.) Stephen M. Walt, “The Ties That Fray,” The National Interest, winter 1998–99.

(104.) Gianna Riotta, “The Coming Identity War,” Foreign Policy, September‐ October 2000, 87.

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(105.) John J. Mearsheimer, “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War,” International Security, summer 1990.

(106.) “Weathering the Storm,” The Economist, September 9, 2000, 23.

(107.) National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2015, 75.

(108.) Ibid.

(109.) Roger Cohen, “Tiffs over Bananas.”

(110.) Robert D. Blackwill, The Future of Transatlantic Relations (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1999).

(111.) Pascal Boniface, “The Specter of Unilateralism,” The Washington Quarterly, summer 2001,158.

(112.) Samuel Huntington, “The Lonely Superpower,” Foreign Affairs, March‐ April 1999, 48.

(113.) International Institute for Strategic Studies (IIIS), Strategic Survey 2000– 2001 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), entries on noted states.

(114.) “The Global Giants,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2000, R24; Robert Preston, “Rising and Midnight Suns Shine Brightly,” “Financial Times Survey,”FT500 Annual Review 2000, May 4, 2000, 3.

(115.) James Cox, “US Success Draws Envy, Protests,” USA Today, August 3, 2000, 1B.

(116.) Rosendorf, “Social and Cultural Globalization.”

(117.) “Snapshot of Report on Study‐Abroad Programs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 17, 2000 (http://chronicle.com/weekly/v47/ i12/12a07402.htm).

(118.) Richard Adams, “U.S. the Dominant Economic Model,” Financial Times Annual Survey: Markets 2000, January 11, 2000, 24.

(119.) Figures drawn from CIA World Factbook 2000 (http://www.cia.gov/cia/ publications/factbook/) and the World Bank (http://www.worldbank.org/data/ wdi2001/pdfs/tab1_1.pdf); United Nations Human Development Report 2000 (http://www.undp.org/hdr2000/english/HDR2000.html); IISS Strategic Survey 2000–2001.

(120.) See Nye, Bound to Lead, chapter 1.

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(121.) Herbert Block, The Planetary Product in 1980: A Creative Pause? (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, 1981), 18; Simon Kuznets, Economic Growth and Structure (New York: W. W. Norton, 1965); Council on Competitiveness, Competitiveness Index (Washington, D.C.: Council on Competitiveness, 1988), appendix II.

(122.) Adams, “U.S. the Dominant Economic Model,” 24.

(123.) Harry Rowen, “The Prospects Before Us: A World Rich, Democratic, and (Perhaps) Peaceful,” unpublished manuscript, June 1993, 29.

(124.) Kim Nossal, “Lonely Superpower or Unapologetic Hyperpower? Analyzing American Power in the Post‐Cold War Era,” paper for the South African Political Studies Association, July 1999, 12.

(125.) My friend Stanley Hoffmann first introduced me to the metaphor of multiple (though not three‐dimensional) chess boards. See his Primacy or World Order (New York: McGraw‐Hill, 1978), 119.

(126.) Samuel Huntington, “The U.S.—Decline or Renewal?”

(127.) Josef Joffe, “America the Inescapable,” New York Times [Sunday] Magazine, June 8, 1997, 38.

(128.) Quoted in R. W. Apple Jr., “As the American Century Extends Its Run,” New York Times, January 1, 2000, 3.

(129.) Sebastian Mallaby, “A Mockery in the Eyes of the World,” Washington Post, January 31, 1999, B5.

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