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NSP IP #6 The Peace of Illusions - Christopher Layne Who are his enemies?

Realists, neocons, anyone in policy since 1890, Professional pessimist and contrarian. Extraregional hegemony - successfully bridged the Mearsheimer water barrier; open door (economic--market; and diplomatic--liberal) approach to ensure absolute security; To justify domestic programs, we have to exercise aggressions abroad; Defender of Jeffersonian ideal? Small farmer independent community as ideal for America; Extreme position but still within the main stream; Containment not really the grand strategy? Soviet Union was incidental? His view is US goal has been and actually is global dominance; Offshore balancing: withdraw forces but keep base rights and fund wars; Layne's methods seem hegemonic and patronizing for allies; Value of public goods: allowing countries to divert economic resources for pubic good vs security; View of Iraq 03 - display of US power and credibility; signaling dominance; Only fair way to judge a book is to judge it on what it's trying to do, not what it doesn't do; Layne's goal is to map out a different flavor of realism than Mearsheimer; Deducing America's interests: neoclassic realism--domestic factors matter; he argues our domestic politics centered on ideology push us to be hegemonic; security, resources access, Risk approaches: accept, mitigate, minimize, negate, avoid; Theoretical construct drives assumptions, not real world; Is your grand strategy credible for implementation within domestic constraints? Congressional and domestic support? Crusaders and exemplars... In theory, reality and theory are same; in reality, they are different, theoretically. Declining gradually into multipolar world versus struggling against it (overstretch) Is anarchical world transformable to heirarchical? If permanent anarchy, what is preferable system? Multipolar with hub spoke/web of alliances, everyone fights while you stand off to reap gain, or ________

Layne - heirarchical but very unstable...will revert to anarchy; fundamental change is not possible; Security dilemma vs security condition - Layne: it's not solvable (liberals want to solve it); Liberal believes the world can change; realist believes the world is not changeable. Benign hegemon isn't because of the hard power; it's because of everything else in the US behavior; Layne doesn't believe this Power vs Security - offensive vs defensive realism distinction is by how the international system rewards aggressiveness or moderation; answer depends on geography; stopping power of water; Continental vs insular - insular can afford to be defensive/be moderate - you can afford to do this; Layne future--counterbalancing, overstretch, garrison state status, Benign hegemony is a unicorn; underlying motives are not benign; we can act unilaterally whenever we want; Democratic peace theory--Layne reverses causal arrow: US hard power causes countries to become democracies; states that don't go to war are more likely to become democracies; Selective engagement is not possible for US--too many concerns and interests; will get pulled into overextension; Imperial overstretch (Paul Kennedy) or entitlement overstretch (Richard Haas)? Offshore Balancing: Western Hemisphere--maintain regional hegemony Europe--get out of NATO (they can take care of themselves); let nature take course;

Critique: It's not about economics, it's an issue of physical access: physical, ideological, Layne: we will only intervene to prevent regional hegemony; other states will beg US intervention in those cases; example of WWII; Is isolationism a possibility in a globalization world? Is a state today different than 1944 or even 426 BC? Terrorism: even if we don't engage them, they will engage us; Layne's argument is that it's what we do (not what we believe) that draws terrorism against US; Diaspora--we are committed because our domestic makeup is diverse; Layne's argument is to stop being America;

Israel is a free rider and a wreckless driver; Taiwan is a free rider but driving responsibly for now; If you take Layne's theory (or any) and question the assumptions and see where you get within that theoretical construct, it gives you a host of different considerations and questions; example--if globalization means there are no insular powers, then the US must choose offensive realism (per Layne);