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covnn cu
u 'E` n 'I` wos, onpiio and inpoiialisn, aio lack in
lashion. Thoii iotuin is not duo, pucc John Ikonloiiy, to tho
advont ol tho 'Anoiican unipolai ago` in which 'j l |oi tho hist
tino in tho nodoin oia, tho woild`s nost powoilul stato can
opoiato on tho glolal stago without tho constiaints ol othoi gioat pow-

That ago had logun with tho collapso ol tho Soviot lloc in 8,
yot thioughout tho os tho luzz-woid was 'glolalization`, not onpiio
oi inpoiialisn, and as Ikonloiiy hinsoll notos, tho unpaiallolod glolal
powoi ol tho Unitod Statos was gonoially discussod undoi tho iuliic ol
'hogonony`. Evon ciitical thinkoisincluding nany Maixistslound
tho concopts ol onpiio and inpoiialisn ol littlo analytical uso.
In tho
altoinath ol tho Gull Wai, Biuco Cunings clainod that it would
havo takon an oloction nicioscopo to dotoct tho uso ol tho woid 'inpo-
iialisn` to dosciilo tho Unitod Statos` iolo in tho woild.

Hypoilolo, ol
couiso, lut tho oxaggoiation containod an inpoitant olonont ol tiuth.
Noi did tho pullication ol Enpirc in zooo signihcantly altoi this situation,
loi Haidt and Nogii`s woik sinply iopackagod and gavo a iadical twist
to tho contial tonots ol glolalization-spoak, including tho pioposition
that undoi tho piosont conditions ol glolal ocononic and inloinational
intogiation no nation-stato, not ovon tho 0s, can loin tho contio ol an
inpoiialist piojoct. Indood, Haidt and Nogii piosontod Enpiio as a logic
and stiuctuio ol woild iulo that was in koy iospocts antithotical to tho
inpoiialisn that Maixists had thooiizod in tho twontioth contuiy.
Tho ioal lioak with tho os occuiiod only in zoo, whon tho Bush
Adninistiation iospondod to tho ovonts ol Soptonloi ly onliacing
a now inpoiial piogiannothat ol tho Piojoct loi a Now Anoiican
Contuiy. Thoio is a cuiious iosonllanco lotwoon this ioox and tho
actions that, sixty yoais oailioi, had ushoiod in tho hist Anoiican Contuiy.
zq iv z
Tho Gioat Dopiossion ol tho os and tho iiso ol lascisn in Euiopo and
Japan had convincod Roosovolt that a Pax Anoiicana was nocossaiy to
onsuio 0s donostic socuiity and piospoiity. But non-intoivontionist cui-
ionts in loioign policy woio haid to challongo as long as tho Anoiican
pooplo loliovod that continontal isolation onsuiod thoii saloty. Botwoon
tho outlioak ol tho Euiopoan wai and Poail Hailoi, Fianz Schuinann
has aiguod, 'Roosovolt undoultodly piayod loi sono dianatic donon-
stiation that this was not so`. Whon his piayois woio answoiod, 'Roosovolt
nado astuto uso ol tho idoological sontinonts ol nationalisn aiousod ly
Poail Hailoi to olaloiato an idoology ol inpoiialisn thiough which ho
pionisod Anoiicans oidoi, socuiity and justico.`

Onco tho Socond Woild Wai was ovoi, howovoi, isolationist dispositions
ioassoitod thonsolvos. Tiunan and Achoson know voiy woll that appoals
to ruiscn dctut and 0s ocononic intoiosts would not lo onough to ovoi-
cono thon. In dialting tho toxt that locano tho Tiunan doctiino, thoy
accoidingly lollowod Aithui Vandonloig`s notoiious advico to 'scaio holl
out ol tho Anoiican pooplo` ly inating tho notion ol glolal Connunist
Tho tiick woikod in winning Congioss suppoit loi tho Maishall
Plan. But sonothing noio was noodod to socuio lunding loi tho laigo-
scalo 0s and Euiopoan ioainanont onvisagod in National Socuiity
Council docunont o8, which Tiunan appiovod in piinciplo in Apiil
o. Tho nsc docunont gavo no piociso hguio, lut ostinatos suggostod

John Ikonloiiy, 'Illusions ol Enpiio: Dohning tho Now Anoiican Oidoi`, Fcrcign
Ajjuirs, MaichApiil zooq. I would liko to thank Andio Gundoi Fiank, Antonina
Gontilo, Giota Kiippnoi, Thonas Ehilich Roiloi, Maik Soldon, Stovo Shoinan,
Aithui Stinchconlo and Chailos Tilly loi thoii connonts on piovious papois,
paits ol which havo loon incoipoiatod in this aiticlo, Bonjanin Biowoi and Bovoily
Silvoi loi thoii connonts on tho aiticlo itsoll, and Ravi Palat loi incossantly lon-
laiding no with ovidonco loi and against ny thosos.
Loo Panitch and San Gindin, 'Glolal Capitalisn and Anoiican Enpiio`, in Loo
Panitch and Colin Loys, ods, Tnc Ncw !npcriu| Cnu||cngc, London zoo, pp. z.

Biuco Cunings, 'Glolal Roaln with no Linit, Glolal Roaln with no Nano`,
Rudicu| !istcry Rcvicw ;, , pp. q;8.
Michaol Haidt and Antonio Nogii, Enpirc, Canliidgo, & zooo, pp. xiv, z;z.
Foi a vaiioty ol ciitical assossnonts ol tho look, soo Gopal Balakiishnan, Dcbuting
Enpirc, London zoo.

Fianz Schuinann, Tnc Lcgic cj Wcr|d Pcwcr. An !nquiry intc tnc Origins, Currcnts,
und Ccntrudicticns cj Wcr|d Pc|itics, Now Yoik ;q, pp. qo.
Thonas McCoinick, Ancricus !u|j-Ccntury. Unitcd Stutcs Fcrcign Pc|icy in tnc
Cc|d Wur, Baltinoio 8, pp. ;;8.
annual oxpondituios oo poi cont alovo that oiiginally ioquostod ly tho
Pontagon loi o:
How to got that kind ol nonoy lion a hscally consoivativo Congioss,
ovon in tho nano ol anti-connunisn, piosontod no snall task loi tho
Adninistiation. What was ioquiiod was an intoinational onoigoncy,
and sinco Novonloi q, Sociotaiy Achoson had loon piodicting that
ono would occui sonotino in o in tho Asian iinlandsin Koioa,
Viotnan, Taiwan, oi all thioo. Two nonths altoi tho Piosidont oxaninod
nsc-o8, that ciisis happonod. Achoson was to say latoi, 'Koioa cano along
and savod us`.
It is haid to toll what Bush nay havo loon piaying loi in tho oight
nonths lotwoon his inauguiation and Soptonloi , lut wo know that
tho pionotois ol tho Piojoct loi a Now Anoiican Contuiy within his
Adninistiation woio waiting loi a chanco to inplonont tho now inpo-
iial stiatogy thoy had long loon woiking on.
Thoii hist nonths in
olhco woio not piopitious, lut lin Ladon, to paiaphiaso Achoson, 'savod
thon`. As Michaol Mann has olsoivod, ho piovidod loth 'tho populai
nolilizing powoi and tho taigots`.

Tho nonaco ol Muslin 'lundanon-

talists` and 'ioguo statos` locano tho now loai lactoi, scaiing holl out ol
tho Anoiican pooplo and winning alnost unaninous Congioss suppoit
loi tho invasion ol Iiaq that Chonoy, Runslold and Wollowitz had loon
unsuccosslully advocating loi tho lost pait ol a docado.
It is this dovolopnont that has iovivod tho loitunos ol tho 'E` and 'I`
woids to dosciilo tho onoigont inpoiial piojoct ol tho Unitod Statos.
Many ciitics havo pointod out that tho policios adoptod ly tho Bush
Adninistiation in iosponso to ] constitutod a paiticulaily unioalistic
and clunsy piojoct ol glolal supionacy, and il thoy lail in thoii oljoctivos
McCoinick, Ancricus !u|j-Ccntury, p. 8.
Foi dotails on tho Piojoct, soo www.nowanoiicancontuiy.oig. On tho iiso ol its
pionotois to powoi, soo Aithui Schlosingoi, 'Tho Making ol a Moss`, Ncw Ycrk
Rcvicw cj Bccks, zz Soptonloi zooq, pp. qo.

Michaol Mann, !nccncrcnt Enpirc, London zoo, p. .

On tho dotoinination ol tho noo-consoivativos to wago wai on Iiaq long loloio
Soptonloi , soo Ron Suskind, Tnc Pricc cj Lcyu|ty. Cccrgc W. Busn, tnc Wnitc
!cusc, und tnc Educuticn cj Puu| ONci||, Now Yoik zooq, and Richaid Claiko,
Aguinst A|| Encnics. !nsidc Ancricus Wur cn Tcrrcr, Now Yoik zooq. Claiko iopoits
on tho now (inlanous calinot-lovol nooting in which, loss than a day altoi tho
attacks, Runslold pointod out that thoio woio 'no docont taigots loi lonling in
Alghanistan` and thoioloio 'wo should considoi lonling Iiaq instoad` locauso it
had 'lottoi taigots`.
zo iv z
tho 'E` and 'I` woids nay loso cuiioncy as quickly as thoy gainod it.

Novoitholoss tho social, political and ocononic ciicunstancos that
pionptod tho onoigonco ol tho Piojoct loi a Now Anoiican Contuiy,
and its adoption as olhcial 0s policy, can lo oxpoctod to poisist in ono
loin oi anothoi.
Tho puiposo ol this aiticlo is to sook sono undoistanding ol what thoso
ciicunstancos night lo and how thoy nay chango undoi tho inpact ol
tho Wai on Toiioiisn. Ol paiticulai intoiost is whothoi and how tho Now
Anoiican Contuiy piojoct and its adoption ly tho Bush Adninistiation
iolato to tho tuilulonco ol tho glolal political oconony sinco ;o. A pio-
vious aiticlo on that topic concludod ly undoiscoiing tho contiadictoiy
natuio ol tho iovival oxpoiioncod ly tho ocononic and political loitunos
ol tho Unitod Statos and 0s capitalisn in tho os.
But it lolt opon
tho quostion ol what night onsuo lion thoso contiadictionshist and
loionost, lion an oscalation ol Anoiican loioign dolt that is without
piocodont in woild histoiy. Noi did it doal with tho quostion ol tho con-
noctions, il any, lotwoon thoso contiadictions and tho onoigonco ol a
now 0s inpoiial piojoct.
In doaling with thoso quostions, I login ly oxanining David Haivoy`s
intoipiotation ol tho iolationship lotwoon inpoiialisn and tho spatial
and tonpoial unovonnoss ol capitalist dovolopnont, locusing spocih-
cally on tho concopts ol 'spatial hx` and 'accunulation ly dispossossion`.

Soo, anong othois, Ennanuol Todd, Ajtcr tnc Enpirc. Tnc Brcukdcwn cj tnc
Ancricun Ordcr, Now Yoik zoo, Gooigo Soios, Tnc Bubb|c cj Ancricun Suprcnucy.
Ccrrccting tnc Misusc cj Ancricun Pcwcr, Now Yoik zooq, and Mann, !nccncrcnt
Soo Aiiighi, 'Tho Social and Political Econony ol Glolal Tuilulonco`, n zo,
MaichApiil zoo, pp. ;. Roloit Bionnoi`s two looks ciitically oxaninod in tho
aiticlo aio 'Tho Econonics ol Glolal Tuilulonco: A Spocial Ropoit on tho Woild
Econony, o8`, n [zz, MayJuno 8, and Tnc Bccn und tnc Bubb|c. tnc
ki in tnc Wcr|d Eccncny, London zooz.

David Haivoy, Tnc Ncw !npcriu|isn, Oxloid zoo, honcoloiwaid, n. In this aiti-
clo I dovolop an analysis ol tho iiso and appaiont doniso ol tho noo-consoivativo
inpoiial piojoct that luilds upon lut also dopaits lion Haivoy`s. Whon Haivoy
sont no tho Claiondon Loctuios that latoi locano Tnc Ncw !npcriu|isn, ho pio-
sontod thon as 'a kind ol post-lactun dovolopnont` out ol a soninai wo had jointly
taught at Johns Hopkins: 'what I should havo said lut couldn`t and in any caso tho
contonpoiaiy disastoi was not upon us to claiily tho nind.` In this aiticlo I tako
ny tuin in saying what I should havo said lut couldn`t, with tho doullo advantago
ol having Haivoy`s analysis to luild upon and two noio yoais ol tho 'contonpoiaiy
disastoi` to claiily tho nind.
I thon show how tho noo-consoivativo inpoiial piojoct has uniavollod in
tho two yoais sinco Haivoy`s look wont to pioss, undoinining instoad ol
ioviving 0s hogonony. In Pait Two ol this ossay, to lollow, I will doploy
Haivoy`s concopts ol spatial hx and accunulation ly dispossossion to
piovido ny own intoipiotation ol tho iolationship lotwoon capitalisn
and inpoiialisn, ovoi a considoially longoi tino hoiizon. I will con-
cludo ly showing that this intoipiotation onallos us to solvo tho puzzlo
ol why 'scaiing holl out ol tho Anoiican pooplo` was highly succosslul in
holping to ostallish 0s hogonony in tho wako ol tho Socond Woild Wai
lut is now, in all likolihood, holping to liing that hogonony to an ond.
. ocns o no-consvrv &vs&
'Inpoiialisn is a woid that tiips oasily oll tho tonguo.` Liko John Holson
a contuiy oailioi, Haivoy notos that tho toin has assunod so nany dil-
loiont noanings that its analytic, as opposod to polonical, uso ioquiios
sono claiihcation.
Its nost gonoial noaning is an oxtonsion oi inposi-
tion ol tho powoi, authoiity oi inuonco ol a stato ovoi othoi statos, oi
statoloss connunitios. Thus undoistood, inpoiialisn has loon aiound
loi a voiy long tino undoi a gioat vaiioty ol loins. But tho spocial liand
ol inpoiialisn that Haivoy calls 'capitalist inpoiialisn` oi 'inpoiialisn
ol tho capitalist soit` is what wo nood to invostigato in oidoi to undoi-
stand why tho gioatost capitalist powoi in woild histoiy, tho Unitod
Statos, has dovolopod a nilitaiy appaiatus ol unpaiallolod and unpioc-
odontod dostiuctivonoss and has shown a stiong disposition to doploy
that appaiatus in tho puisuit ol tho nost anlitious piojoct ol woild iulo
ovoi concoivod.
A. Lcgic cj tcrritcry und |cgic cj cupitu|
Haivoy dohnos inpoiialisn ol tho capitalist soit as a 'contiadictoiy
lusion` ol two conpononts: 'tho politics ol stato and onpiio` and 'tho
noloculai piocossos ol capital accunulation in spaco and tino`. Tho
hist conponont iolois to 'tho political, diplonatic and nilitaiy stiato-
gios invokod and usod ly a stato (oi sono colloction ol statos opoiating
n, p. zo. On Holson`s classic dohnition ol inpoiialisn and its usolulnoss in nap-
ping analytically tho dilloiont (olton opposito noanings that tho toin has assunod
histoiically, soo Aiiighi, Tnc Cccnctry cj !npcriu|isn j;8|, London 8.
z8 iv z
as a political powoi lloc as it stiugglos to assoit its intoiosts and achiovo
its goals in tho woild at laigo.` This stiugglo is diivon ly a 'toiiitoiial
logic ol powoi`a logic, that is, in which connand ovoi a toiiitoiy and
its hunan and natuial iosouicos constitutos tho lasis ol tho puisuit ol
powoi. Tho socond conponont, in contiast, iolois to tho ow ol ocononic
powoi 'acioss and thiough continuous spaco, towaids and away lion
toiiitoiial ontitios . . . thiough tho daily piacticos ol pioduction, tiado,
connoico, capital ows, nonoy tianslois, laloui nigiation, tochnology
tiansloi, cuiioncy spoculation, ows ol inloination, cultuial inpulsos
and tho liko.` Tho diiving loico ol thoso piocossos is a 'capitalist logic ol
powoi`a logic, that is, in which connand ovoi ocononic capital con-
stitutos tho lasis ol tho puisuit ol powoi.

Tho lusion ol thoso conpononts is always piollonatic and olton contia-

dictoiy (that is, dialoctical. Noithoi logic can lo ioducod to tho othoi.
Thus, 'it would lo haid to nako sonso ol tho Viotnan Wai oi tho invasion
ol Iiaq . . . sololy in toins ol tho innodiato ioquiiononts ol capital accu-
nulation`, locauso it can lo plausilly aiguod that 'such vontuios inhilit
iathoi than onhanco tho loitunos ol capital`. By tho sano tokon, howovoi,
'it is haid to nako sonso ol tho gonoial toiiitoiial stiatogy ol containnont
ol Soviot powoi ly tho Unitod Statos altoi tho Socond Woild Waitho
stiatogy that sot tho stago loi 0s intoivontion in Viotnanwithout iocog-
nizing tho conpolling nood lolt on tho pait ol lusinoss intoiosts in tho
Unitod Statos to koop as nuch ol tho woild as possillo opon to capital
accunulation thiough tho oxpansion ol tiado . . . and oppoitunitios loi
loioign invostnont.`
Whilo tho toiiitoiial and tho capitalist logics ol powoi aio not ioducillo
to ono anothoi, and at tinos tho toiiitoiial logic conos to tho loio, 'what

n, pp. zo;. Haivoy iolois to ny own distinction lotwoon a capitalist and a toiii-
toiialist logic ol powoi (Aiiighi, Tnc Lcng Twcntictn Ccntury. Mcncy, Pcwcr und tnc
Origin cj Our Tincs, London q, pp. q. His uso ol tho distinction, howovoi,
dillois lion nino in two inpoitant ways. In his, tho toiiitoiialist logic iolois to
stato policios, whilo tho capitalist logic iolois to tho politics ol pioduction, oxchango
and accunulation. In nino, in contiast, loth logics ioloi piinaiily to stato policios.
Moioovoi, Haivoy soons to assuno that all naikot piocossos (including tiado, con-
noico, laloui nigiation, tochnology tiansloi, inloination ows and tho liko aio
diivon ly a capitalist logic. I nako no such assunption. As wo shall soo in Pait ,
thoso dilloioncos iosult in a histoiical account ol tho iolationship lotwoon capital-
isn and inpoiialistic piacticos that dopaits in koy iospocts lion Haivoy`s account.
n, pp. zo.
sots inpoiialisn ol tho capitalist soit apait lion othoi concoptions ol
onpiio is that it is tho capitalistic logic that doninatos.` But il this is tho
caso, 'how can tho toiiitoiial logics ol powoi, which tond to lo awkwaidly
hxod in spaco, iospond to tho opon dynanics ol ondloss capital accunu-
lation?` And il hogonony within tho glolal syston is tho piopoity ol a
stato, oi colloction ol statos, 'how can tho capitalist logic lo so nanagod
as to sustain tho hogonon?`
Haivoy hnds thoso quostions ospocially
conpolling in viow ol Hannah Aiondt`s insightlul il sonowhat lunction-
alist olsoivations concoining tho iolationship lotwoon tho accunulation
ol capital and tho accunulation ol powoi. As sho wiitos in Tnc Origins cj
Hollos`s insistonco on powoi as tho notoi ol all things hunan . . . spiang
lion tho thooiotically indisputallo pioposition that a novoi-onding accu-
nulation ol piopoity nust lo lasod on a novoi-onding accunulation ol
powoi . . . Tho linitloss piocoss ol capital accunulation nccds tho political
stiuctuio ol so 'unlinitod a Powoi` that it can piotoct giowing piopoity ly
constantly giowing noio powoilul . . . This piocoss ol novoi-onding accunu-
lation ol powoi ncccssury loi tho piotoction ol a novoi-onding accunulation
ol capital dotoininod tho 'piogiossivo` idoology ol tho lato ninotoonth con-
tuiy and loioshadowod tho iiso ol inpoiialisn.
Haivoy goos on to noto that Aiondt`s thooiotical olsoivation coiiosponds
'oxactly` to ny own onpiiical account ol tho succossion ol loading
oiganizations that has pionotod and sustainod tho loination ol a woild
capitalist syston, lion tho Italian city-statos thiough tho Dutch, tho
Biitish and now tho 0s phasos ol hogonony:
Just as in tho lato sovontoonth and oaily oightoonth contuiios tho hogon-
onic iolo had locono too laigo loi a stato ol tho sizo and iosouicos ol tho
Unitod Piovincos, so in tho oaily twontioth contuiy that iolo had locono
too laigo loi a stato ol tho sizo and iosouicos ol tho Unitod Kingdon. In
loth instancos, tho hogononic iolo loll on a statotho Unitod Kingdon
in tho oightoonth contuiy, tho Unitod Statos in tho twontioth contuiythat
had cono to onjoy a sulstantial 'piotoction iont`, that is, oxclusivo cost
advantagos associatod with alsoluto oi iolativo goostiatogic insulaiity . . .
But that stato in loth instancos was also tho loaioi ol sulhciont woight in
tho capitalist woild-oconony to lo allo to shilt tho lalanco ol powoi anong
n, pp. q.
Hannah Aiondt, Tnc Origins cj Tctu|ituriunisn, Now Yoik oo, p. q. I havo
italicizod 'noods` and 'nocossaiy` to highlight loi lutuio ioloionco tho lunctionalist
natuio ol Aiondt`s contontion.
o iv z
tho conpoting statos in whatovoi diioction it saw ht. And sinco tho capitalist
woild-oconony had oxpandod considoially in tho ninotoonth contuiy, tho
toiiitoiy and iosouicos ioquiiod to locono hogononic in tho oaily twonti-
oth contuiy woio nuch gioatoi than in tho oightoonth contuiy.

Frcn ncgcncny tc dcninuncc?

In light ol thoso thooiotical and onpiiical olsoivations, Haivoy ioloinu-
latos his quostions concoining tho iolationship lotwoon tho toiiitoiial
and tho capitalist logics with spocihc ioloionco to tho piosont condition
ol 0s hogonony. Fiist, doos tho attonpt ol hogononic statos to nain-
tain thoii position in iolation to ondloss capital accunulation inovitally
induco thon to oxtond, oxpand and intonsily thoii powois nilitaiily and
politically to a point whoio thoy ondangoi tho voiy position thoy aio tiy-
ing to naintain? Socond, is not tho Unitod Statos now lalling into this
tiap, dospito Paul Konnody`s 8; waining that ovoioxtonsion and ovoi-
ioach havo again and again piovon tho Achillos hool ol hogononic statos
and onpiios?
And hnally:
il tho 0s is no longoi in itsoll sulhciontly laigo and iosouicolul to nanago
tho considoially oxpandod woild oconony ol tho twonty-hist contuiy, thon
what kind ol accunulation ol political powoi undoi what kind ol political
aiiangonont will lo capallo ol taking its placo, givon that tho woild is hoav-
ily connittod still to capital accunulation without linit?
Haivoy`s answoi to tho hist quostion is that tho Bush Adninistiation`s
adoption ol tho Now Anoiican Contuiy piojoct doos indood constituto
an attonpt to naintain tho hogononic position ol tho 0s undoi tho con-
ditions ol unpiocodontod glolal ocononic intogiation cioatod ly ondloss
capital accunulation at tho ond ol tho twontioth contuiy. Following Noil
Snith, Haivoy undoiscoios tho sonantic continuity lotwoon Honiy
Luco`s inuontial q covoi oditoiial in Lijc nagazino, 'Tho Anoiican
Contuiy`, and tho onoigont piojoct ol tho 'Now` ono. In loth instancos,
tho 0s is attiilutod with a powoi that is glolal and univoisal, iathoi than

Lcng .ctn Ccntury, p. oz. Soo n, pp. q. My onpiiical olsoivations woio nado
indopondontly ol Aiondt`s thooiotical contontions. I an giatolul to Haivoy loi
pointing out thoii coiiospondonco.
Paul Konnody, Tnc Risc und Fu|| cj tnc Crcut Pcwcrs. Eccncnic Cnungc und Mi|itury
Ccnjict jrcn rcc tc .ccc, Now Yoik 8;.
n, p. .
toiiitoiially spocihc. Honco tho pioloionco loi tho woid 'contuiy` iathoi
than 'onpiio`. As Snith put it:
Whoioas tho googiaphical languago ol onpiios suggosts a nalloallo
politicsonpiios iiso and lall and aio opon to challongotho 'Anoiican
Contuiy` suggosts an inovitallo dostiny. In Luco`s languago, any political
quilllo alout Anoiican doninanco was piocludod. How doos ono chal-
longo a contuiy? 0s glolal doninanco was piosontod as tho natuial iosult
ol histoiical piogioss . . . It lollowod as suioly as ono contuiy altoi anothoi.
Insolai as it was loyond googiaphy, tho Anoiican Contuiy was loyond
onpiio and loyond iopiool.
And yot, tho Anoiican Contuiy was cloaily not loyond googiaphy, and
tho chancos that a socond such contuiy will lollow tho hist aio slin,
to say tho loast. Tho nain ioasons loi this, as wo shall soo, nust lo
sought in tho capitalist logic ol powoi. But ovon within tho toiiitoiial
logic ol powoi, tho Piojoct loi a Now Anoiican Contuiy and its pionot-
ois` hxation on Iiaq and Wost Asia constitutod a high-iisk appioach to
sustaining 0s donination. As Haivoy outlinos, il tho 0s could install a
liiondly iogino in Iiaq, novo on to do tho sano in Iian, consolidato its
stiatogic piosonco in Contial Asia and so doninato Caspian Basin oil
iosoivos'thon it night, thiough contiol ol tho glolal oil spigot, hopo
to koop olloctivo contiol ovoi tho glolal oconony loi tho noxt hlty yoais.`
Sinco all tho ocononic conpotitois ol tho Unitod Statos, loth in Euiopo
and in East Asia, aio hoavily dopondont on Wost Asian oil,
What lottoi way loi tho Unitod Statos to waid oll that conpotition and
socuio its own hogononic position than to contiol tho piico, conditions and
distiilution ol tho koy ocononic iosouico upon which thoso conpotitois
ioly? And what lottoi way to do that than to uso tho ono lino ol loico whoio
tho 0s still ionains all-powoilulnilitaiy night?
Novoitholoss, ovon il such a stiatogy could succood nilitaiilya lig
ilit would not lo sulhciont to naintain tho ncgcncnic position ol tho
0s. Thus, on tho ovo ol tho invasion ol Iiaq, liloial-inpoiialist idoologuo
Thonas Fiiodnan had aiguod in tho Ncw Ycrk Tincs that thoio was
'nothing illogitinato oi innoial alout tho 0s loing concoinod that an
ovil, nogalonaniac dictatoi night acquiio oxcossivo inuonco ovoi tho
Noil Snith, Ancricun Enpirc. Rccscvc|ts Cccgrupncr und tnc Prc|udc tc C|cbu|izuticn,
Boikoloy zoo, p. zo.
n, pp. zq, ;8.
z iv z
natuial iosouico that powois tho woild`s industiial laso.` But tho 0s has
to lo caiolul to convoy to tho pullic and ioassuio tho woild that tho
intontion was 'to piotoct tho woild`s iight to ocononic suivival` iathoi
than 'oui own iight to indulgo ouisolvos`, that tho Unitod Statos was 'act-
ing loi tho lonoht ol tho planot, not sinply to luol Anoiican oxcossos . . .
Il wo occupy Iiaq and sinply install a noio pio-0s autociat to iun tho
Iiaqi gas station (as wo havo in othoi Aial oil statos, thon this wai would
lo innoial`.
Haivoy usos Fiiodnan`s aigunont to illustiato tho dilloionco lotwoon
hogonony, in a Gianscian sonso, and shooi donination. As aiguod olso-
whoio, loi Giansci hogonony is tho udditicnu| powoi that acciuos to a
doninant gioup ly viituo ol its capacity to load socioty in a diioction that
not only soivos tho doninant gioup`s intoiosts lut is also poicoivod ly
suloidinato gioups as soiving a noio gonoial intoiost. It is tho invoiso ol
tho notion ol 'powoi doation` usod ly Talcott Paisons to dosignato situa-
tions in which govoinnontal contiol cannot lo oxoicisod oxcopt thiough
tho widospioad uso oi thioat ol loico. Il suloidinato gioups havo conh-
donco in thoii iulois, systons ol donination can lo iun without iosoit
to cooicion. But whon that conhdonco wanos, thoy no longoi can. By tho
sano tokon, Giansci`s notion ol hogonony nay lo said to consist ol tho
'powoi ination` that onsuos lion tho capacity ol doninant gioups to
piosont thoii iulo as ciodilly soiving not just thoii intoiosts lut thoso ol
suloidinato gioups as woll. Whon such ciodilility is lacking oi wanos,
hogonony doatos into shooi donination, oi what Ranajit Guha has
callod 'doninanco without hogonony`.
Zcrc-sun |cudcrsnip
As long as wo spoak ol loadoiship in a national contoxt, as Giansci doos,
an incioaso in tho powoi ol tho stato vis--vis othoi statos is an inpoi-
tant conponontand in itsoll a noasuiool tho succosslul puisuit ol
a gonoial (that is, 'national` intoiost. But whon wo uso loadoiship in an
intoinational contoxt, to dosignato tho lact that a doninant stato loads
Thonas Fiiodnan, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Januaiy zoo, quotod in n, p. zq.
Aiiighi and Bovoily Silvoi, 'Capitalisn and Woild (DisOidoi`, Rcvicw cj
!ntcrnuticnu| Studics z; (zoo, pp. zo;, Talcott Paisons, 'Sono Rooctions on
tho Placo ol Foico in Social Piocoss`, in Haiiy Eckstoin, od., !ntcrnu| Wur, Now
Yoik oq, pp. ;o, Ranajit Guha, 'Doninanco Without Hogonony and its
Histoiiogiaphy`, in Guha, od., Subu|tcrn Studics l_, Now Dolhi z, pp. zz.
tho systcn ol statos in a dosiiod diioction, tho 'gonoial intoiost` can no
longoi lo dohnod in toins ol an incioaso in tho powoi ol an individual
stato ovoi othois, locauso ly dohnition this powoi cannot incioaso loi
tho syston as a wholo. A gonoial intoiost acioss tho syston can nonotho-
loss lo idontihod ly distinguishing lotwoon 'distiilutivo` and 'colloctivo`
aspocts ol powoi. Distiilutivo aspocts ol powoi ioloi to a zoio-sun-gano
iolationship, whoioly an agoncy can gain powoi only il othois loso sono.
Colloctivo aspocts ol powoi, in contiast, ioloi to a positivo-sun-gano
iolationship, whoioly coopoiation anong distinct agoncios incioasos
thoii powoi ovoi thiid paitios, oi ovoi natuio. Thus whilo tho gonoial
intoiost ol a syston ol statos cannot lo dohnod in toins ol changos in
tho distiilution ol powoi anong thon, it can lo dohnod in toins ol an
incioaso in tho colloctivo powoi ol tho ontiio syston`s doninant gioups
ovoi thiid paitios oi natuio.
In concuiiing with this adaptation ol Giansci`s concopt ol hogonony
to intoistato iolations, Haivoy notos that ovoi tho last hall-contuiy tho
0s has lioquontly ioliod on cooicivo noans to suljugato oi liquidato
antagonistic gioups at hono andospociallyalioad. Novoitholoss,
cooicion was 'only a paitial, and sonotinos countoipioductivo, lasis loi
0s powoi`. An oqually indisponsallo loundation was tho 0s capacity to
nolilizo consont and coopoiation intoinationally, ly acting in such a
way as to nako at loast plausillo to othois tho clain that Washington was
acting in tho gonoial intoiost, ovon whon it was ioally putting naiiow
Anoiican intoiosts hist. In this iogaid, as Haivoy wiitos:
Tho Cold Wai piovidod tho 0s with a gloiious oppoitunity. Tho Unitod
Statos, itsoll dodicatod to tho ondloss accunulation ol capital, was piopaiod
to accunulato tho political and nilitaiy powoi to dolond and pionoto that
piocoss acioss tho glolo against tho connunist thioat . . . Whilo wo know
onough alout docision-naking in tho loioign policy ostallishnont ol tho
RoosovoltTiunan yoais and sinco to concludo that tho 0s always put its
own intoiosts hist, sulhciont lonohts owod to tho piopoitiod classos in
onough countiios to nako 0s clains to lo acting in tho univoisal (ioad
'piopoitiod` intoiost ciodillo and to koop sulaltoin gioups (and cliont
statos giatolully in lino.
'Capitalisn and Woild (DisOidoi`, pp. z;8. On tho distinction lotwoon dis-
tiilutivo and colloctivo aspocts ol powoi, soo Talcott Paisons, 'Tho Distiilution ol
Powoi in Anoiican Socioty`, in Structurc und Prcccss in Mcdcrn Sccictics, Now Yoik
oo, pp. zz.
n, pp. qo.
q iv z
Tho Bush Adninistiation and tho pionotois ol a socond Anoiican
Contuiy havo ol couiso dono all thoy could to poisuado tho woild that
ly invading Iiaq tho 0s was 'acting loi tho lonoht ol tho planot, not
sinply to luol Anoiican oxcossos`, as Fiiodnan had suggostod. Yot tho
lailuio to gainoi signihcant intoinational suppoit loi tho invasion sug-
gosts that nuch ol tho woild loliovod othoiwiso. Fion tho stait, tho
nain piollon was not that tho 'woapons ol nass dostiuction` and tho
'Iiaqal Qaoda connoction` lackod ciodilility, lut iathoi that tho inva-
sion was insciilod in a lioadoi political piojoct ol 0s glolal donination
that oxplicitly onphasizod distiilutivo iathoi than colloctivo aspocts ol
woild powoi. Tho attonptod inplonontation ol tho plan thiough tho
unilatoial docision to invado Iiaq, Haivoy aiguos, 'cioatod a lond ol
iosistanco . . . lotwoon Fianco, Goinany and Russia, ovon lackod ly
China`. This suddon goopolitical ioalignnont nado it 'possillo to dis-
coin tho laint outlinos ol a Euiasian powoi lloc that Halloid Mackindoi
long ago piodictod could oasily doninato tho woild goopolitically`.

In light ol Washington`s longstanding loais that such a lloc night actually
natoiializo, tho occupation ol Iiaq takos on an ovon lioadoi noaning:
Not only doos it constituto an attonpt to contiol tho glolal oil spigotand
honco tho glolal ocononythiough donination ovoi tho Middlo East. It
also constitutos a powoilul 0s nilitaiy liidgohoad on tho Euiasian land
nass which, whon takon togothoi with its gathoiing alliancos lion Poland
down thiough tho Balkans, yiolds it a highly signihcant goostiatogic posi-
tion with tho potontial to disiupt any consolidation ol a Euiasian powoi,
and which could indood lo tho noxt stop in that 'ondloss accunulation ol
political powoi` that nust always acconpany tho oqually ondloss accunula-
tion ol capital.
It is thoso lai-ioaching plans that havo nado tho Unitod Statos tho locus
ol cuiiont discussions ol onpiio and tho now inpoiialisn. Yot, as Haivoy
notos, 'tho lalanco ol loicos at woik within tho capitalistic logic point in
iathoi dilloiont diioctions`.
It is to thoso loicos that wo now tuin.
B. Ovcruccunu|uticn criscs und prcducticn cj spucc
Ono ol tho nost ossontial (and thooiotically nogloctod loatuios ol histoii-
cal capitalisn is tho 'pioduction ol spaco`. This piocoss has not only loon
n, pp. 8q. On Mackindoi`s cuiiont signihcanco loi goostiatogic thought, soo
Paul Konnody, 'Mission Inpossillo?`, Ncw Ycrk Rcvicw cj Bccks, o Juno zooq.
n, p. 8.
n, p. 8o.
ciucial to tho suivival ol capitalisn at ospocially ciitical conjunctuios,
as Honii Lololvio contondod.

It has also loon tho nost lundanontal

condition loi tho loination and incioasing glolal ioach ol capitalisn
as a histoiical social syston. Foi noio than twonty yoais, Haivoy has
piopoundod tho thooiy ol a 'spatio-tonpoial hx` oi, loi liovity, 'spatial
hx` appliod to tho ciisis-piono tondoncios ol tho ondloss accunulation
ol capital, which piovidos a nost plausillo oxplanation ol why tho pio-
duction ol spaco has loon such an ossontial ingiodiont ol tho onlaigod
iopioduction ol capitalisn.
In Tnc Ncw !npcriu|isn this thooiy is
doployod to highlight tho connoction lotwoon tho onoigonco ol tho
Piojoct loi a Now Anoiican Contuiy and tho ovoiaccunulation ciisis ol
tho ;os and 8os, as woll as tho contiadictions lotwoon tho toiiitoiial
logic that undoilios this piojoct and tho capitalist logic. Tho toin 'hx` has
a doullo noaning:
A coitain poition ol tho total capital is litoially hxod in and on tho land in
sono physical loin loi a iolativoly long poiiod ol tino (doponding on its
ocononic and physical lilotino. Sono social oxpondituios (such as pullic
oducation oi a hoalthcaio syston also locono toiiitoiializod and iondoiod
googiaphically innolilo thiough stato connitnonts. Tho spatio-tonpoial
'hx`, on tho othoi hand, is a notaphoi loi a paiticulai kind ol solution to
capitalist ciisos thiough tonpoial doloiial and googiaphical oxpansion.

Tho litoial noaning ol tho toin 'hx` diaws attontion to tho iolianco ol
capital accunulation on tho oxistonco ol a paiticulai luilt onviionnont
ol lacilitios (such as poits, iailways, ioads, aiipoits, callo notwoiks, hlio-
optic systons, pipolinos, oloctiicity giids, watoi and sowago systons, as
woll as lactoiios, olhcos, housing, hospitals and schools that constituto
hxod capital cnbcddcd in tho land, as opposod to loins ol hxod capital
(such as ships, tiucks, aiicialt oi nachinoiy that can lo novod aiound.
It is only ly hxing coitain physical inliastiuctuios in spaco that capital,
in all its physically nolilo loins, can actually novo cvcr spaco in soaich
ol naxinun pioht.
Tho notaphoiical noaning ol tho toin 'hx`, in contiast, undoiscoios tho
tondoncy ol succosslul capital accunulation to diivo incossantly towaids

Lololvio, Tnc Survivu| cj Cupitu|isn. Rcprcducticn cj tnc Rc|uticns cj Prcducticn,

Now Yoik ;o.
Haivoy, Linits tc Cupitu|, Oxloid 8z, and tho ossays colloctod in Haivoy, Spuccs
cj Cupitu|. Tcwurds u Criticu| Cccgrupny, Now Yoik zoo.

n, p. .
n, pp. oo.
o iv z
tho ioduction, il not tho olinination, ol spatial laiiioiswhat Kail Maix
callod 'tho annihilation ol spaco thiough tino`, thus unwittingly undoi-
nining tho nonopolistic piivilogos attachod to spocihc locations thiough
tho intonsihcation ol conpotition acioss googiaphical spaco. As a iosult
ol this tondoncy, capital iocuiiontly accunulatos ovoi and alovo what can
lo piohtally ioinvostod in tho pioduction and oxchango ol connoditios
within oxisting toiiitoiial systons. This suiplus ol capital natoiializos in
invontoiios ol unsold connoditios that can only lo disposod ol at a loss,
in idlo pioductivo capacity and liquidity that lacks outlots loi piohtallo
invostnont. Tho incoipoiation ol now spaco into tho syston ol accunu-
lation 'hxos` tho onsuing ciisis ol ovoiaccunulation ly alsoiling thoso
suiplusos, hist thiough 'tonpoial doloiial` and thon thiough a spatial
onlaigonont ol tho accunulation syston. Alsoiption thiough tonpoial
doloiial iolois spocihcally to tho pioduction ol spaco, that is, to tho util-
ization ol suiplus capital in oponing up and ondowing tho now spaco
with tho nocossaiy inliastiuctuio, loth physical and social. Alsoiption
thiough scalo onlaigonont, loi its pait, iolois to tho utilization ol sui-
plus capital in tho now pioductivo conlinations that aio nado piohtallo
ly tho googiaphical oxpansion ol tho syston ol accunulation altoi tho
now spaco has loon adoquatoly pioducod.

Tho conlinod olloct ol tho tondoncios to which tho two noanings

ol spatial hx diaw oui attontion is a googiaphical vaiiant ol Josoph
Schunpotoi`s piocoss ol 'cioativo dostiuction`. As Haivoy puts it:
Tho aggiogato olloct is . . . that capitalisn poipotually sooks to cioato a goo-
giaphical landscapo to lacilitato its activitios at ono point in tino only to
havo to dostioy it and luild a wholly dilloiont landscapo at a latoi point in
tino to acconnodato its poipotual thiist loi ondloss capital accunulation.
Thus is tho histoiy ol cioativo dostiuction wiitton into tho landscapo ol tho
actual histoiical googiaphy ol capital accunulation.
This googiaphical vaiiant ol tho Schunpotoiian dynanic is ol tho gioatost
thooiotical signihcanco. Schunpotoi`s own list ol tho kind ol innovations
that diivo tho piocoss ol cioativo dostiuction did includo changos in tho
spatial conhguiation ol tiado and pioduction.
But Schunpotoi novoi

n, pp. 8, oz.
n, p. o.
Josoph Schunpotoi, Cupitu|isn, Scciu|isn und Dcnccrucy jqz|, London o, p. 8.
Soo also Schunpotoi, Tnc Tnccry cj Eccncnic Dcvc|cpncnt jq|, Now Yoik o.
spollod out tho iolationship lotwoon innovations that altoiod tho spatial
conhguiation ol tiado and pioduction and othoi kinds ol innovations.
This is what Haivoy doos ly undoiscoiing tho intoiiolatod iolos that toch-
nological and locational advantagos play in gonoiating tho oxcoss piohts
that diivo tho Schunpotoiian dynanic. In this piocoss, oxcoss piohts
Schunpotoi`s 'spoctaculai piizos`, iowaids lai loyond thoso nocossaiy
to call loith tho olloits ol tho snall ninoiity who iocoivo thonplay
a doullo iolo. Thoy piovido a constant incontivo to innovation lut also,
Schunpotoi aiguod, thoy piopol
nuch noio olhcaciously than a noio oqual and noio 'just` distiilution
would, tho activity ol that laigo najoiity ol lusinossnon who iocoivo in
iotuin voiy nodost conponsation oi nothing oi loss than nothing, and yot
do thoii utnost locauso thoy havo tho lig piizos loloio thoii oyos and ovoi-
iato thoii chancos ol doing oqually woll.
Instoad ol ioaping spoctaculai piizos, howovoi, tho 'laigo najoiity`
piopollod into tho hold activato tho conpotition, which doos not just
olininato oxcoss piohts, lut inicts widospioad lossos ly dostioying pio-
oxisting pioductivo conlinations.
Haivoy thooiizos a sinilai piocoss lut locusos on tho lact that individual
capitalists can acquiio oxcoss piohts not just ly adopting supoiioi toch-
nologios, lut also ly sooking out supoiioi locations:
A diioct tiado-oll oxists, thoioloio, lotwoon changing tochnology oi loca-
tion in tho conpotitivo soaich loi oxcoss piohts . . . jIn| loth casos tho
oxcoss pioht that acciuos to individual capitalists . . . disappoais as soon as
othoi capitalists adopt tho sano tochnology oi shilt to oqually advantagoous
locations . . . To tho dogioo that oppoitunitios loi oxcoss piohts lion loca-
tion aio olininatod . . . tho gioatoi tho conpotitivo incontivo loi individual
capitalists to disiupt tho lasis ol jtho iosulting| oquililiiun thiough toch-
nological chango . . . Conpotition jthus| sinultanoously pionotos shilts in
spatial conhguiations ol pioduction, changos in tochnological nixos, tho
iostiuctuiing ol valuo iolations and tonpoial shilts in tho ovoiall dynanic
ol accunulation. Tho spatial aspoct to conpotition is a volatilo ingiodiont in
this volatilo nix ol loicos.

Schunpotoi, Cupitu|isn, Scciu|isn und Dcnccrucy, pp. ;q.

Linits tc Cupitu|, pp. o, also n, pp. o8. Mututis nutundis, Haivoy`s con-
sidoiations concoining tho iolationship lotwoon tochnological innovations and tho
stiugglo loi locational advantago apply also to pioduct innovations.
8 iv z
As Haivoy notos, tho spatial-tonpoial shilts in tho ovoiall dynanic ol
accunulation that alsoil suiplus capital gonoially 'thioaton . . . tho val-
uos alioady hxod in placo (onloddod in tho land lut not yot ioalizod`.
Tho vast quantitios ol capital hxod in placo act as a diag upon tho capacity
to ioalizo a spatial hx olsowhoio . . . Il capital doos novo out, thon it loavos
lohind a tiail ol dovastation and dovaluation, tho doindustiializations oxpo-
iioncod in tho hoaitlands ol capitalisn . . . in tho ;os and 8os aio
casos in point. Il capital doos not oi cannot novo . . . thon ovoiaccunulatod
capital stands to lo dovaluod diioctly thiough tho onsot ol a doationaiy
iocossion oi dopiossion.
!ncrtiu und rcsistuncc
Eithoi way, spatial hxos involvo intoiiogional volatility and tho iodiioc-
tion ol capital ows lion ono spaco to anothoi. Tho iodiioction nay
occui snoothly, oi it nay involvo what Haivoy calls 'switching ciisos`.

Haivoy doos not spoll out what, oxactly, thoso ciisos aio. Tho diilt ol his
aigunont nonotholoss soons to lo that switching ciisos aio nononts
ol inpasso that ston lion iosistanco to tho iolocations involvod in tho
spatio-tonpoial hxos that iocuiiontly iovolutionizo tho histoiical googia-
phy ol capitalisn. In pait, iosistanco oiiginatos lion tho contiadictoiy
logic ol capital accunulation itsoll. Indood, 'tho noio capitalisn dovol-
ops,` aiguos Haivoy, 'tho noio it tonds to succunl to tho loicos naking
loi googiaphical inoitia`:
Tho ciiculation ol capital is incioasingly inpiisonod within innolilo phys-
ical and social inliastiuctuios which aio cialtod to suppoit coitain kinds ol
pioduction . . . laloui piocossos, distiilutional aiiangononts, consunption
pattoins, and so on. Incioasing quantitios ol hxod capital . . . chock uninhilitod
nolility . . . Toiiitoiial alliancos, which olton locono incioasingly powoilul
and noio dooply ontionchod, aiiso . . . to consoivo piivilogos alioady won,
to sustain invostnonts alioady nado, to koop a local conpioniso intact,
and to piotoct itsoll lion tho chill winds ol spatial conpotition . . . Now
spatial conhguiations cannot lo achiovod locauso iogional dovaluations aio
not allowod to iun thoii couiso. Tho unovon googiaphical dovolopnont ol
capitalisn thon assunos a loin that is totally inconsistont with sustainod
accunulation oithoi within tho iogion oi on a glolal scalo.
n, p. o.
n, pp. z, Linits tc Cupitu|, pp. qz8.
Linits tc Cupitu|, pp. qz8z.
In pait, howovoi, tho loicos ol googiaphical inoitia nay oiiginato in
iosistanco, not to ocononic chango as such, lut to tho ioal oi inag-
inod political and social consoquoncos ol spatial hxos. Discussing such
political iosistanco, Haivoy locusos on China as tho nost pionising sito
loi an olloctivo spatial hx to tho ongoing ovoiaccunulation ciisis. Not
only has China locono tho lastost giowing attiactoi ol loioign diioct
invostnont, with not inows iising lion S lillion in to aiound
So lillion in zooz, lut its intoinal naikot has loon giowing noio
iapidly than any othoi, with uilan inconos iising at an annual iato ol
poi cont and iuial inconos at a iato ol o poi cont. Evon noio dia-
natic in Haivoy`s viow aio tho piospocts loi long-toin inliastiuctuial
Sinco 8, tho Chinoso havo sought to alsoil thoii vast laloui sui-
plusos . . . ly dolt-hnancod invostnont in hugo noga-piojocts that dwail
tho alioady hugo Thioo Goigos dan. Thoy aio pioposing a lai noio anli-
tious piojoct (costing at loast Soo lillion to divoit watoi lion tho Yangtzo
to tho Yollow Rivoi. Now sulway systons and highways aio loing luilt in
najoi citios, and 8,oo nilos ol now iailioad aio pioposod to intogiato tho
intoiioi to tho ocononically dynanic coastal zono . . . Uilan inliastiuctuios
aio ovoiywhoio loing upgiadod . . . This olloit is lai laigoi in tctc than that
which tho Unitod Statos undoitook duiing tho os and oos, and has
tho potontial to alsoil suiplusos ol capital loi sovoial yoais to cono.
Boing laigoly dohcit-hnancod, this nassivo pioduction ol now spaco
ontails tho iisk ol a najoi hscal ciisis ol tho Chinoso stato. Novoitholoss,
assuning that such a ciisis can lo avoidod oi succosslully woathoiod,
this 'ionaikallo voision` ol spatio-tonpoial hx 'has glolal inplications
not only loi alsoiling ovoiaccunulatod capital, lut also loi shilting
tho lalanco ol ocononic and political powoi to China as tho iogional
hogonon and poihaps placing tho Asian iogion, undoi Chinoso loadoi-
ship, in a nuch noio conpotitivo position vis--vis tho Unitod Statos.` It
is this possilility that nakos 0s iosistanco to a snooth spatial hx all tho
noio likoly, dospito tho lact that this piocoss holds out tho lost piospoct
loi a solution to tho undoilying ovoiaccunulation ciisis.
Tho association lotwoon spatial hxos and hogononic shilts thus stiongth-
ons tho Catch zz that always conlionts incunlont loading contios ol
n, p. z.
n, pp. zq.
qo iv z
capitalist dovolopnont. Tho unconstiainod dovolopnont ol now iogions
liings dovaluation to thoso contios thiough intonsihod intoinational
conpotition. Constiainod dovolopnont alioad linits intoinational con-
potition, lut llocks oll oppoitunitios loi tho piohtallo invostnont ol
suiplus capital and so spaiks intoinally gonoiatod dovaluations.
Il tho
conpotitivoly challongod contio is also a hogononic contio, oithoi out-
cono thioatons to doato not just tho valuo ol its assots lut its powoi as
woll. Woiso still, it nay thioaton tho social stalility ol tho challongod con-
tio, locauso spatial hxos to ovoiaccunulation ciisos always havo a social
dinonsion which allocts thoii inpotus, loth positivoly and nogativoly.
Fin-dc-sicc|c discrdcrs?
This social dinonsion has loon intogial to Haivoy`s thooiy ol tho spatial
hx lion its oailiost loinulations. It was oiiginally doiivod lion Hogol`s
olsoivation in Tnc Pni|cscpny cj Rignt that louigoois socioty appoais to lo
incapallo ol solving thiough intcrnu| nochanisns tho piollons ol social
inoquality and instalility that aiiso lion its tondoncy to ovoiaccunulato
woalth at ono polo and dopiivation at tho othoi. A 'natuio` civil socioty is
thus diivon to sook ctcrnu| solutions thiough loioign tiado and colonial
oi inpoiial piacticos.
In Tnc Ncw !npcriu|isn, Haivoy supplononts this
olsoivation with Aiondt`s contontion that 'Hollos`s Connonwoalth is
a vacillating stiuctuio and nust always piovido itsoll with now piops
lion outsido, othoiwiso it would collapso ovoinight into tho ainloss,
sonsoloss chaos ol tho piivato intoiosts lion which it spiang.`
Haivoy hnds Aiondt`s pioposition ospocially applicallo to tho Unitod
Statos. In this 'quito oxtiaoidinaiy nulticultuial innigiant socioty . . .
a hoico conpotitivo individualisn . . . poipotually iovolutionizos social,
ocononic, and political lilo . . . jiondoiing| donociacy chionically unsta-
llo.` Tho dilhculty ol achioving intoinal cohosion in such an othnically
nixod and intonsoly individualistic socioty pioducod tho tiadition that
Richaid Holstadtoi dosciilod in tho oaily oos as 'tho paianoid stylo`
ol Anoiican politicstho tiadition, that is, whoioly loai ol sono 'othoi`
(connunisn, socialisn, anaichisn, 'outsido agitatois` oi, loi tho lolt,
capitalist oi stato conspiiacios is ossontial to tho cioation ol political
Linits tc Cupitu|, p. q.
Hogol, Tnc Pni|cscpny cj Rignt j8z|, Now Yoik o;, pp. qz, Spuccs cj Cupitu|,
ch. q, Linits tc Cupitu|, pp. qq.
Origins cj Tctu|ituriunisn, p. qz.
solidaiitios. At tinos, 'tho wholo countiy appoais so uniuly as to lo
Dospito (oi locauso ol a looning oconony and tho
disappoaianco ol tho Connunist thioat with tho ond ol tho Cold Wai, in
Haivoy`s assossnont tho os woio such a tino:
Conpotition was vicious, tho avatais ol tho 'now oconony` locano nillion-
aiios ovoinight and auntod thoii woalth, scans and liaudulont schonos
pioliloiatod, scandals (loth ioal and inaginod woio ovoiywhoio onliacod
with gusto, vicious iunouis ciiculatod alout assassinations plottod in tho
Whito Houso, an attonpt was nado to inpoach tho piosidont, talk-show
hosts Howaid Stoin and Rush Linlaugh typihod a nodia totally out ol
contiol, Los Angolos oiuptod in iiots, Waco and Oklahona synlolizod
a ponchant loi intoinal opposition and violonco that had long ionainod
latont, toonagois shot and killod thoii classnatos in Colunlino, iiiational
oxuloianco piovailod ovoi connon sonso and coipoiato coiiuption ol tho
political piocoss was llatant. Civil socioty was, in shoit, lai lion civil . . . It
soonod, as Aiondt would put it, in tho piocoss ol collapsing lack into tho
ainloss, sonsoloss chaos ol piivato intoiosts.
Haivoy suspocts that pait ol Gooigo W. Bush`s oloctoial appoal in zooo
'was his pioniso ol pioviding a stiong-nindod and tough noial conpass
to a civil socioty spiialling out ol contiol`. Bo that as it nay, Soptonloi
'piovidod tho inpotus to lioak with tho dissoluto ways ol tho os`.
In this iospoct, tho wai on Iiaq was no noio divoision lion donostic
dilhcultios: 'it was a giand oppoitunity to inposo a now sonso ol social
oidoi at hono and liing tho connonwoalth to hool`. Onco again, tho
'ovil onony without locano tho piino loico thiough which to oxoicizo
oi tano tho dovils luiking within`.
Thoso olsoivations suggost that spatial hxos aio constiainod, not just
ly iosistanco to ocononic iolocation and associatod goopolitical ioalign-
nonts, lut ly iosistanco to social chango as woll. Foi loth noanings ol
spatial hx havo an inoscapallo social aspoct. Tho litoial hxing ol capital
in tho loin ol poits, ioads, aiipoits, lactoiios, schools otc., in and on tho
land, cioatos sonothing noio than a googiaphical landscapo lacilitat-
ing tho accunulation ol capital. It also liings into loing a paiticulai
hunan halitat ol social intoiaction and iopioduction. And convoisoly,
tho notaphoiical spatial hx loi ovoiaccunulation ciisos involvos nuch
n, pp. o, q, Richaid Holstadtoi, Tnc Puruncid Sty|c in Ancricun Pc|itics und
Otncr Essuys jo|, Canliidgo, & o.
n, pp. o;.
n, p. ;.
qz iv z
noio than a dovaluation ol tho capital hxod in land that is nado olsoloto
ly tho cioation ol a now googiaphical landscapo. It also involvos a dovas-
tation ol tho hunan halitat onloddod in tho olsoloscont landscapo ol
capital accunulation.
As Kail Polanyi pointod out long ago, with spocial ioloionco to tho ovoi-
accunulation ciisis ol tho lato ninotoonth and oaily twontioth contuiios,
dovastations ol this kind inovitally call loith tho 'soll-piotoction ol soci-
oty` in loth piogiossivo and ioactionaiy political loin, nolilizod ly
loicos sooking to slow down oi iovoiso tho iolocation ol ocononic activi-
tios and political powoi involvod in tho spatial hx.

Altoinativoly, such
nolilizations can poso a soiious thioat to tho social logitinacy ol tho
loicos that onliaco tho capitalist logic ol unconstiainod iolocation as
a condition ol tho ondloss accunulation ol capital. Eithoi way, tho soll-
piotoctivo instincts ol social layois stiongthon tho loicos ol googiaphical
inoitia, naking tho iosolution ol tho ovoiaccunulation ciisis still noio
piollonatic. Thoio is nonotholoss a possillo way out ol this inpasso,
nanoly, tho uso ol hnancial noans 'to iid tho syston ol ovoiaccunula-
tion ly tho visitation ol ciisos ol dovaluation upon vulnoiallo toiiitoiios`.
Haivoy calls tho doploynont ol thoso noans tho 'sinistoi and dostiuctivo
sido ol spatio-tonpoial hxos to tho ovoiaccunulation piollon`.
Lot us
liioy oxanino what this involvos.
C. Accunu|uticn by dispcsscssicn
In discussing tho alsoiption ol suiplus capital in tho pioduction ol now
spaco, Haivoy points out that tho convoision ol unsold invontoiios and
idlo pioductivo capacity into inliastiuctuial invostnont doponds ciu-
cially on tho nodiating iolo ol hnancial and stato institutions. 'Suiplus
capital in shiits and shoos cannot lo convoitod diioctly into an aiipoit
oi iosoaich instituto.` But stato and hnancial institutions havo tho capac-
ity to gonoiato ciodit, connonsuiato to tho suiplus capital lockod into
tho pioduction ol shiits and shoos, and to olloi it to agoncios willing

Polanyi doos not spoak ol spatial hxos oi ovoiaccunulation ciisos. Novoitholoss,

his onphasis on tho opposition 'halitation voisus inpiovonont` convoys tho sano
idoa ol a lundanontal contiadiction lotwoon tho tondoncy ol capital to iolontlossly
tiansloin googiaphical landscapos on tho ono sido, and tho tondoncy ol tho con-
nunitios onloddod in thoso landscapos to iosist such tiansloinations on tho
othoi. Kail Polanyi, Tnc Crcut Trunsjcrnuticn: Tnc Pc|iticu| und Eccncnic Origins cj
Our Tinc jqq|, Boston ;, ch. .
n, pp. q.
to invost it in aiipoits, iosoaich institutos oi whatovoi othoi loins ol
inliastiuctuial invostnont aio involvod in tho pioduction ol now spaco.
Statos also, ol couiso, havo tho powoi ol convoiting suiplus capital into
tho pioduction ol now spaco thiough dohcit hnancing, oi thiough tho
allocation ol tax iovonuos to inliastiuctuial invostnonts.

In tho ioal woild ol capitalisn, this constiuctivo lunction ol piivato

and pullic hnanco is invaiially intoitwinod with spoculativo loons
and lusts in loth land and piopoity naikots and in govoinnont dolt.
Spoculativo oxcossos divoit capital lion tiado and pioduction and ovon-
tually noot thoii lato as dovaluations. Novoitholoss, tho cuitailnont ol
spoculation would havo 'oqually invidious iosults lion tho standpoint
ol capitalisn`:
Tho tiansloination ol spatial conhguiations in tho luilt onviionnont
would lo hold in chock and tho physical landscapo nocossaiy loi lutuio
accunulation could not hopo to natoiializo . . . Ranpant spoculation and
unchockod appiopiiation, costly as thoy aio loi capital and lilo-sapping as
thoy nay lo loi laloui, gonoiato tho chaotic loinont out ol which now spa-
tial conhguiations can giow.
As long as spoculativo oxcossos lavouiiathoi than hanpoitho onoi-
gonco ol now spatial conhguiations which onallo tiado and pioduction
to oxpand luithoi than thoy could undoi tho pio-oxisting onos, thoy
aio 'nocossaiy ovils` ol an othoiwiso positivo-sun gano. This is how
olhcial ihotoiic justihod tho spoculativo oxcossos and 'iiiational oxuloi-
anco` ol tho os: unlottoiod spatial nolility ol capital, it was clainod,
was ultinatoly loi tho good ol tho oxpandod iopioduction ol tho glolal
oconony, including its nost vulnoiallo conpononts. Undoinoath tho
olhcial ihotoiic, howovoi, lay tho noio dostiuctivo ioality ol a nogativo-
sun gano that hanpoiod iathoi than lacilitatod tho onoigonco ol now
spatial conhguiations:
Liko wai in iolation to diplonacy, hnanco capital intoivontion lackod
ly stato powoi lioquontly anounts to accunulation ly othoi noans. An
unholy allianco lotwoon stato powois and tho piodatoiy aspocts ol hnanco
capital loins tho cutting odgo ol a 'vultuio capitalisn` that is as nuch alout
cannilalistic piacticos and loicod dovaluations as it is alout achioving hai-
nonious glolal dovolopnont.

n, p. , Linits tc Cupitu|, p. qoq.

Linits tc Cupitu|, p. 8, soo also n, pp. z.

n, p. o.
qq iv z
Haivoy goos on to noto that thoso 'othoi noans` aio what Maix, lollow-
ing Adan Snith, ioloiiod to as tho noans ol 'piinitivo` oi 'oiiginal`
accunulation. Ho quotos appiovingly Aiondt`s olsoivation that 'tho
onoigonco ol supoiuous" nonoy . . . which could no longoi hnd pio-
ductivo invostnont within tho national loidois` cioatod a situation in tho
lato ninotoonth and oaily twontioth contuiios whoioly Maix`s 'oiiginal
sin ol sinplo iolloiy . . . had ovontually to lo iopoatod lost tho notoi ol
accunulation suddonly dio down`. Sinco a sinilai situation appoais to
havo onoigod again in tho lato twontioth and oaily twonty-hist contuiios,
Haivoy advocatos a 'gonoial io-ovaluation ol tho continuous iolo and
poisistonco ol tho piodatoiy piacticos ol piinitivo" oi oiiginal" accu-
nulation within tho long histoiical googiaphy ol capital accunulation`.
And sinco ho hnds it poculiai to call an ongoing piocoss 'piinitivo` oi
'oiiginal`, ho pioposos to ioplaco thoso toins with tho concopt ol 'accu-
nulation ly dispossossion`.
Ncc|ibcru| dispcsscssicns
Histoiically, accunulation ly dispossossion has takon nany dilloiont
loins, including tho convoision ol vaiious loins ol piopoity iights
(connon, colloctivo, stato, otc. into oxclusivo piopoity iights, colonial,
soni-colonial, noo-colonial and inpoiial appiopiiations ol assots and
natuial iosouicos, and tho suppiossion ol altoinativos to tho capitalistic
uso ol hunan and natuial iosouicos. Although nuch has loon contin-
gont and haphazaid in tho ncdus cpcrundi ol thoso piocossos, hnanco
capital and tho ciodit syston havo loon najoi lovois ol dispossossion,
whilo tho statos, with thoii nonopolios ol violonco and dohnitions ol
logality, havo loon ciucial piotagonists. But whatovoi its nanilostations,
agoncios and instiunonts:
What accunulation ly dispossossion doos is to ioloaso a sot ol assots
(including laloui powoi at voiy low (and in sono instancos zoio cost.
Ovoiaccunulatod capital can soizo hold ol such assots and innodiatoly
tuin thon to piohtallo uso.
In Haivoy`s viow, tho iiso ol nooliloial idoology and its associatod poli-
tics ol piivatization sinco tho lato ;os constituto tho cutting odgo ol
n, pp. qzq, Maix, Cupitu|, vol. , Moscow , p. ;, Aiondt, Origins cj
Tctu|ituriunisn, p. q8.
n, pp. q.
tho piosont phaso ol accunulation ly dispossossion. Tho collapso ol
tho Soviot Union and tho savago piivatization caiiiod out undoi tho
hoading ol 'shock thoiapy`, as advisod ly tho capitalist powois and tho
intoinational hnancial institutions, was a najoi opisodo in tho ioloaso
at hio-salo piicos ol hithoito unavailallo assots. And so was tho 'intoi-
nally diivon` oponing up ol China and tho najoi wavos ol piivatization
it ontailod. Equally inpoitant, howovoi, has loon tho ioloaso ol dovaluod
assots in othoi lowoi-incono countiios in tho wako ol tho hnancial ciisos
that havo punctuatod tho liloialization ol capital ows in tho 8os and
Exonplaiy in this iospoct was tho oxpoiionco ol tho Asian ciisis
ol ;8:
Financial ciisos havo always causod tianslois ol ownoiship and powoi to
thoso who koop thoii own assots intact and who aio in a position to cioato
ciodit, and tho Asian ciisis is no oxcoption . . . thoio is no doult that Wostoin
and Japanoso coipoiations aio tho lig winnois . . . Tho conlination ol nas-
sivo dovaluations, &-pushod hnancial liloialization, and &-lacilitatod
iocovoiy nay ovon piocipitato tho liggost poacotino tiansloi ol assots lion
donostic to loioign ownois in tho past hlty yoais anywhoio in tho woild,
dwaihng tho tianslois lion donostic to 0s ownois in Latin Anoiica in
tho 8os oi in Moxico altoi q. Ono iocalls tho statonont attiilutod to
Andiow Mollon: 'In a dopiossion, assots iotuin to thoii iightlul ownois`.

Thoio is always a dangoi, ol couiso, that iogional ciisos and placo-lasod

dovaluations spin out ol contiol, spaiking a glolal collapso, oi that thoy
piovoko a iovolt against tho syston that is poicoivod to gonoiato thon.
Evon as it oichostiatos tho piocoss to its own advantago, thoioloio, tho
hogononic powoi nust oiganizo 'lail-outs` to koop glolal capital accu-
nulation on tiack. Tho nixtuio ol cooicion and consont involvod in such
lail-outs vaiios considoially. It nonotholoss iovoals, concludos Haivoy,
how hogonony gots constiuctod thiough hnancial nochanisns in such a
way as to lonoht tho hogonon whilo loading tho sulaltoin statos on tho
supposodly goldon path ol capitalist dovolopnont. Tho unlilical coid that
tios togothoi accunulation ly dispossossion and oxpandod iopioduction is
that givon ly hnanco capital and tho institution ol ciodit, lackod, as ovoi,
ly stato powois.
n, pp. qo, oo.

Roloit Wado and Fiank Vonoioso, 'Tho Asian Ciisis: Tho High Dolt Modol voi-
sus tho Wall StiootTioasuiy& Conplox`, n ]zz8, MaichApiil 8, quotod
in n, pp. o.
n, pp. z.
qo iv z
Liko Haivoy, Maix also onphasizod tho ciucial iolo that hnanco and stato
institutions havo playod in linking accunulation ly dispossossion (his
piinitivo accunulation in dilloiont localos to tho oxpandod iopioduction
ol histoiical capitalisn. Unliko Haivoy, howovoi, ho locusod oxclusivoly
on tho iolo ol national dolts and tho intoinational ciodit syston as tho
noans ol an invisillo intoi-capitalist coopoiation, which 'staitod` capital
accunulation ovoi and ovoi again acioss tho spaco-tino ol tho woild
capitalist syston, lion its incoption thiough to his own day:
With tho national dolt aioso an intoinational ciodit syston, which olton
concoals ono ol tho souicos ol piinitivo accunulation in this oi that poo-
plo. Thus tho villainios ol tho Vonotian thioving syston loinod ono ol tho
sociot lasos ol tho capital-woalth ol Holland to whon Vonico in hoi doca-
donco lont laigo suns ol nonoy. So was it with Holland and England. By
tho loginning ol tho oightoonth contuiy . . . Holland had coasod to lo tho
nation piopondoiant in connoico and industiy. Ono ol its nain linos ol
lusinoss, thoioloio, jlocano| tho londing out ol onoinous anounts ol cap-
ital, ospocially to its gioat iival England. jAnd tho| sano thing is going on
today lotwoon England and tho Unitod Statos.
Maix novoi dovolopod tho thooiotical inplications ol this histoiical
olsoivation. In spito ol tho considoiallo spaco dodicatod to 'nonoy-
doaling capital` in tho thiid voluno ol Cupitu|, ho novoi ioscuod national
dolts lion thoii conhnonont to tho nochanisns ol an accunulation
that is 'not tho iosult ol tho capitalist nodo ol pioduction lut its stait-
ing point`. And yot, in tho alovo soquonco what appoais as a 'staiting
point` in an onoiging contio (Holland, England, tho Unitod Statos is at
tho sano tino tho 'iosult` ol long poiiods ol capital accunulation (and
ovontual ovoiaccunulation in pioviously ostallishod contios (Vonico,
Holland, England. Moioovoi, although Maix doos not say so oxplicitly,
oach onoigont loading contio in his soquonco consists ol an agoncy ol
gioatoi toiiitoiial scalo and scopo than its piodocossois.
Ancnu|ics cj tnc currcnt crisis
It lollows that, in toins ol Haivoy`s concoptualization, Maix`s soquonco
dosciilos a soiios ol spatial hxos ol incioasing scalo and scopo which
piovido piohtallo outlots loi tho suiplus capital that ovoiaccunulatos in
Cupitu|, vol. , pp. ;o.
Lcng .ctn Ccntury, p. q, 'Capitalisn and Woild (DisOidoi`, pp. zoq;. Wo shall
iotuin to this point in Pait .
pioviously ostallishod capitalist contios and, sinultanoously, ioduco tho
nood loi accunulation ly dispossossion in tho nowly onoiging contios.
Woio this tondoncy still in loico today, tho 0s and othoi natuio contios
ol capital accunulation would lo londing out 'onoinous anounts ol
capital` to cuiiontly onoiging contios, hist and loionost China, and tho
nood loi a now iound ol accunulation ly dispossossion would lo coi-
iospondingly ioducod. Haivoy doos noto tho iapid incioaso ol loioign
diioct invostnont into China. Novoitholoss, in iosoiting to tho notion ol
accunulation ly dispossossion, his onphasis is on two iolatod anona-
lios ol piosont tondoncios.
Tho hist anonaly is that tho 0s is loiiowing iathoi than londing onoi-
nous anounts ol capital. Il wo tako tho dohcit in tho cuiiont account ol
tho 0s lalanco ol paynonts as a iough indicatoi, it is piosontly alsoil-
ing capital lion tho iost ol tho woild to tho tuno ol ovoi Sz lillion a
day. Much ol this capital conos lion othoi natuio contios ol capital
accunulation, ospocially Japan. But a not insignihcant shaio conos
lion onoiging contios, ospocially China. This hist anonaly signals a
llockago in tho nochanisns that, in tho past, lacilitatod tho alsoiption
ol suiplus capital in spatial hxos ol incioasing scalo and scopo. As wo
havo soon, Haivoy tiacos this to a stiongthoning ol tho ocononic, politi-
cal and social loicos ol googiaphical inoitia. But whatovoi its oiigins,
ly aggiavating instoad ol oasing tho ovoiaccunulation ol capital in tho
natuio contios, tho llockago gonoiatos a socond anonaly: an incioaso,
iathoi than docioaso, in tho iolianco ol capital on accunulation ly dis-
possossion. Honco tho nood, to paiaphiaso Aiondt, to iopoat onco again
'tho oiiginal sin ol sinplo iolloiy` lost tho notoi ol capital accunula-
tion suddonly dio down.
Haivoy is not voiy oxplicit on tho connoction lotwoon this iovival ol
accunulation ly dispossossion and Washington`s adoption ol tho Now
Anoiican Contuiy piogianno. Ho doos nonotholoss suggost that tho
now inpoiial piojoct constitutos loth a dopaituio lion and a continua-
tion ly othoi noans ol accunulation ly dispossossion as piactisod in tho
8os and os. Tho noo-consoivatisn that lios lohind this piojoct,
wo aio told, 'ovoilaps nooliloialisn . . . in tho loliol that lioo naikots
in loth connoditios and capital contain all that is nocossaiy to dolivoi
lioodon and woll-loing to all and sundiy`. But 'its piinaiy oljoctivo is
n, p. 8z.
q8 iv z
tho ostallishnont ol and iospoct loi oidoi, loth intoinally and upon tho
woild stago.` This involvos 'tho constiuction ol a hioiaichy ol powoi that
is loth socuio and cloai`. Should tho opoiation ol lioo naikots thioaton
to undoinino oidoi and hioiaichy, noo-consoivativos woio piopaiod
to tiansloin tho low-intonsity wailaio wagod aiound tho glolo undoi
nooliloialisn into a dianatic conliontation, supposodly capallo ol olin-
inating tho thioat onco and loi all.
Tho noo-consoivativo dopaituio lion tho nooliloialisn ol tho piovious
Adninistiation was lanously signallod ly a chango ol powoi iolations
anong lianchos ol tho 0s govoinnont. As Haivoy notos, 'whoioas
tho koy positions in tho Clinton adninistiation woio in tho Tioasuiy
(whoio Rulin and Sunnois iulod supiono, tho now Bush adninistia-
tion jlookod| to its dolonco oxpoitsChonoy, Runslold, Wollowitz and
Powollto shapo intoinational policy`.
But it was only altoi tho noo-
consoivativos had thoii 'Poail Hailoi` ol Soptonloi that tho dopaituio
locano lully ovidont. As wo havo soon, Haivoy attiilutos nultiplo poton-
tial lunctions to tho Wai on Toiioi and tho invasion ol Iiaq: to onsuio 0s
contiol ovoi tho supply ol oil to ocononic and stiatogic conpotitois, to
piovont tho loination ol a Euiasian powoi lloc, to inposo a now sonso
ol social oidoi at hono ly lioaking with tho dissoluto ways ol tho os.
In tho concluding chaptoi ol Tnc Ncw !npcriu|isn ho also suggosts that
'tho dispossossion ol Iiaqi oil` could naik tho loginning ol a continua-
tion ly nilitaiy noans ol accunulation ly dispossossion.
But ho doos
not olaloiato on this point, tuining instoad to tho 'lig and opon quos-
tion` ol whothoi tho now inpoiial piojoct had any chancos ol succoss.
Outccncs cj ncc-inpcriu|isn
Haivoy`s answoi to this quostion is that thoio was 'noio than a littlo
utopianisn` to tho noo-consoivativo piojoct, loi sovoial ioasons. Fiist,
instoad ol cioating political solidaiity on tho hono liont, tho piojoct was
highly divisivo lion tho stait. Tho clinato ol nationalisn, patiiotisn and
suppiossion ol dissont at all lovols, paiticulaily in tho nodia, that onsuod
lion tho doclaiation ol tho Wai on Toiioi and tho invasion ol Iiaq, did
succood in cioating widospioad populai suppoit loi tho wai olloit and
loi Bush hinsoll. Novoitholoss, opposition to tho wai and to tho sovoio
cuitailnont ol civil liloitios that wont with it was siloncod iathoi than
n, pp. o, zo.
n, p. z.
n, pp. zoz.
olininatod. Moioovoi, ovon within tho Bush Adninistiation and tho
nilitaiy thoio woio soiious nisgivings concoining tho loasilility, costs
and iisks ol tho couiso ol action advocatod ly tho noo-consoivativos.
Should anything go wiong, ospocially on tho lattloholds, divisions would
ioappoai, loth within tho govoinnont and anong tho oloctoiato, shilting
tho lalanco ol loicos against tho noo-consoivativo lloc.
Socond, tho noo-consoivativo piojoct anountod to a iojoction ol hogonony
thiough consont and noial loadoiship in lavoui ol donination thiough
cooicion. As such it was lound to alionato ovon 0s allios. Instoad ol pio-
vonting tho loination ol a Euiasian powoi lloc, it could lo oxpoctod to
liing alout an allianco lotwoon Goinany, Fianco, Russia and China.
Il it piossod on loyond Iiaq into Iian and Syiia, tho 0s inpoiial piojoct
would loso tho suppoit ovon ol tho staunchost allios, including Biitain.
In any ovont, would-lo allios had to contond with tho kind ol populai
opposition that suilacod in tho ionaikallo woildwido tuinout at tho
anti-wai dononstiations ol Foliuaiy , zoo.
Thiid, sinco tho now inpoiial piojoct was a continuation ly old and
now noans ol accunulation ly dispossossion, it could lo oxpoctod
to incioaso iathoi than docioaso tho loinont that has luollod iosist-
anco against dispossossion, ospocially in tho glolal South. Moioovoi,
tho iovival ol tho paianoid stylo ol 0s politics along iacist linos would
nako it haidoi to hold in chock tho slido ol this iosistanco into 'national-
isn and oxclusionaiy politics as a noans to dolond against nooliloial
piodation`. Woiso still, tho likoly lailuio ol tho noo-consoivativo piojoct
to conjuio an accoptallo solution to tho AialIsiaoli conict, oi to tuin
Iiaq into a nodol ol donociacy and piospoiity, noant that opposition
to tho piojoct would lo stiongost in tho Aial woildtho iogion whoio
succoss nattoiod nost.
Finally, tho spocihc toiiitoiial logic that tho noo-consoivativo inpoiial
piojoct sought to inposo was dooply inconsistont with tho capitalis-
tic logic ol powoi. Although nilitaiy oxpondituios could loost tho 0s
oconony in tho shoit iun, thoii noio lasting ollocts would lo gioatoi 0s
loioign indoltodnoss and thoioloio gioatoi vulnoialility to capital ight.
Tho iisks loi hnanco capital in continuing to undoiwiito tho 0s national
dolt would incioaso coiiospondingly, all tho noio so il invostnont in
n, pp. zoo, zz.
n, pp. zoo.
n, pp. zozq.
o iv z
China and othoi onoiging contios ol capital accunulation olloiod noio
piohtallo outlots loi suiplus capital than oxpansion ol 0s 'unpioductivo
consunption` in tho nilitaiy and piivato soctoi. This could load capital to
sook 'iogino chango in Washington as nocossaiy to its own suivival . . .
liinging tho noo-consoivativo voision ol inpoiialisn to a ciushing halt`.
Il this did not happon, soonoi oi latoi a ight ol capital would loico tho
0s oconony into a 'stiuctuial adjustnont` that would ontail 'an unhoaid-
ol dogioo ol austoiity tho likos ol which havo not loon soon sinco tho
Gioat Dopiossion ol tho os`.
Haivoy goos on to spoculato that, undoi thoso ciicunstancos, tho Unitod
Statos 'would lo soioly tonptod to uso its powoi ovoi oil to hold lack
China, spaiking a goopolitical conict at tho voiy nininun in contial
Asia and poihaps spioading into a noio glolal conict.` Tho only ioal-
istic altoinativo to such a disastious outcono, in Haivoy`s viow, is sono
soit ol 'now Now Doal"` lod ly tho Unitod Statos and Euiopo, loth
donostically and intoinationally:
This noans liloiating tho logic ol capital . . . lion its nooliloial chains,
ioloinulating stato powois along nuch noio intoivontionist and iodis-
tiilutivo linos, cuiling tho spoculativo powois ol hnanco capital, and
docontializing oi donociatically contiolling tho ovoiwholning powoi ol
oligopolios and nonopolios (in paiticulai . . . tho nilitaiyindustiial con-
plox to dictato ovoiything lion toins ol intoinational tiado to what wo soo,
ioad, and hoai in tho nodia.
This altoinativo piojoct iosonllos tho 'ultia-inpoiialisn` ol coopoiating
capitalist powois onvisagod long ago ly Kail Kautsky and, as such, has
its own nogativo connotations and consoquoncos. It doos nonotholoss
'soon to pioposo a lai loss violont and lai noio lonovolont inpoiial tia-
joctoiy than tho iaw nilitaiistic inpoiialisn cuiiontly olloiod up ly tho
noo-consoivativo novonont in tho Unitod Statos`.
. o0nnc o ru no-consvrv vo,cr
In tho two yoais sinco Tnc Ncw !npcriu|isn wont to pioss, tho uniavolling
ol tho noo-consoivativo inpoiial piojoct has tiansloinod 0s hogonony
into what, lollowing Guha, wo oailioi callod donination without hogon-
ony. As Haivoy anticipatod, tho invasion ol Iiaq alionatod ovon 0s allios,
n, pp. zoq.
n, pp. zo.
to a lai gioatoi oxtont than ho oi anylody olso had oxpoctod, tho llitz-
kiiog on Baghdad was lollowod ly a long diawn-out and lloody stiugglo
that has nado tho installation ol a 0s-liiondly iogino in Iiaq an incioas-
ingly liaught and costly piojoct. And yot, such lailuios alioad did not
iosult in a dolaclo ol tho noo-consoivativo piojoct at hono. Divisions
within tho govoinnont and anong tho oloctoiato did iosuilaco, lut tho
lalanco ol loicos did not shilt against tho noo-consoivativo lloc. On tho
contiaiy, to tho chagiin ol nuch ol tho iost ol tho woild, tho oloctions ol
Novonloi zooq iotuinod Bush to tho Whito Houso and havo loi now
consolidatod tho hold ol tho noo-consoivativo lloc on all tho lianchos ol
tho 0s govoinnont.
In what lollows, I will skotch tho lasic lacts ol 0s 'donination without
hogonony` as it has onoigod in tho wako ol tho invasion ol Iiaq. I locus
hist on tho doullo lailuio ol tho invasion to ond tho so-callod Viotnan
syndiono and to lay tho loundations ol a now Anoiican Contuiy. I thon
tuin to tho laltoiing 0s conpotitivo position in tho glolal oconony and
aiguo that tho noo-consoivativo inpoiial piojoct constitutos a lai noio
lundanontal dopaituio lion tho nooliloialisn ol tho 8os and os
than Haivoy concodos. I concludo ly suggosting that tho nost inpoi-
tant unintondod consoquonco ol tho Iiaqi advontuio nay woll tuin out
to lo an accoloiation and consolidation ol tho tondoncy towaids tho io-
contiing ol tho glolal political oconony on East Asia and, within East
Asia, on China.
A. Pcrsistcncc cj tnc Victnun syndrcnc
Within six nonths ol tho olhcial doclaiation ol tho ond ol hostilitios,
nany connontatois woio olsoiving that, although Iiaq is not Viotnan,
tho ovoi noio lioquont uso ol inagos liko 'quagniio`, 'attiition`, 'ciod-
ilility gap`, 'Iiaqihcation` nado tho cuiiont dolato soon to lo 'alnost
as nuch alout Viotnan as alout Iiaq`.
In Iiaq, as in Viotnan, incioas-
ing 0s dilhcultios in ovoiconing tho iosistanco ol a conpaiativoly
insignihcant guoiiilla advoisaiy woio iunning tho iisk ol ondangoiing
tho ciodilility ol 0s nilitaiy night in tho woild at laigo. But piocisoly
locauso Iiaq is not Viotnan, and zoo is not o8, I shall contond that
lailuio in Iiaq posos an ovon noio soiious challongo to 0s powoi than
did lailuio in Viotnan.
Ciaig Whitnoy, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Novonloi zoo.
z iv z
As aiguod olsowhoio, tho Viotnan Wai was tho contial ovont ol what wo
nay call tho 'signal ciisis` ol 0s hogonony.
In tho 8os and ospocially
tho os, howovoi, tho signal ciisis ol o8; gavo way to a ionaik-
allo iosuigonco ol Anoiican woalth, powoi and piostigoa bc||c cpcquc
wholly conpaiallo to that onjoyod ly Biitain a contuiy loloio. Tho
iosuigonco ioachod its apogoo altoi tho collapso ol tho 0ss, whon tho 0s
logan to piosont itsolland to lo widoly poicoivodas tho gioatost nili-
taiy powoi tho woild had ovoi soon. Bohind this laado, howovoi, thoio
luikod tho piollon that tho voidict ol Viotnan had novoi ioally loon
iovoisod, noi tho actual ciodilility ol 0s nilitaiy night lully iostoiod.
Tho long soiios ol nilitaiy conliontations tho Unitod Statos ongagod in
altoi its doloat in Viotnan woio ionaikallo loi thoii caiolul avoidanco ol
tho conditions that had lod to that dolaclo. Exonplaiy in this iospoct was
tho 0s ight lion Lolanon, altoi tho 8 lonling ol tho Maiino con-
pound in Boiiut killod zq Anoiicans. Fion thon on, until tho collapso
ol tho 0ss, tho Unitod Statos oithoi lought wais ly pioxy (Nicaiagua,
Canlodia, Angola, Alghanistan, suppoiting Iiaq in tho wai against
oi against nilitaiily insignihcant ononios (Gionada, Panana,
oi lion tho aii, whoio 0s high-toch had an alsoluto advantago (Lilya.
At tho sano tino, tho 0s oscalatod tho ainanont iaco with tho 0ss
piinaiily, though not oxclusivoly, thiough tho Stiatogic Dolonso
Initiativowoll loyond what Moscow could alloid ocononically. Tho
oscalation tiappod tho 0ss into a doullo conliontation: in Alghanistan,
whoio its high-toch nilitaiy appaiatus oncountoiod tho sano dilhcultios
Lcng .ctn Ccntury, pp. z;, oo, zoz, 'Social and Political Econony`, pp. oz.
In Maich 8q, undotoiiod ly Saddan Hussoin`s atiocitios, Runslold ow to
Baghdad as Roagan`s onvoy on tho voiy day that Iiaq launchod a chonical woapons
attack on Iian. Foui yoais latoi, whilo Hussoin was iazing hundiods ol villagos in
noithoin Iiaq and killing thousands ol Kuids, Washington olloiod hin Soo nil-
lion in sulsidios to luy 0s lain pioducts. Tho lollowing yoai, tho 0s govoinnont
doullod tho sulsidy to S lillion and piovidod hin with high-quality goin sood loi
anthiax and dual-uso natoiial that could lo usod to nanulactuio chonical and lio-
logical woapons. Soo Sounas Milno, Cuurdiun, z; Soptonloi zooz, and Aiundhati
Roy, Cuurdiun, z; Soptonloi zooz.
Tho lact that 'Thiid Woild Rolllack`, as tho Roagan Doctiino that inspiiod thoso
conliontations was sonotinos callod, ovontually lackhiod doos not noan that it
did not inict unspoakallo sulloiing on tho countiios singlod out. To givo just ono
oxanplo, accoiding to 0n ostinatos, oo,ooo childion diod diioctly oi indiioctly
as a iosult ol tho piolongation ol tho Angolan civil wai ly tho nuidoious Unita
oiganization with 0s suppoit.
that had lod to tho doloat ol tho 0s in Viotnan, and in tho ainanonts
iaco, whoio tho Unitod Statos could nolilizo hnancial iosouicos wholly
loyond tho Soviot ioach. Tho Soviot Union`s ovontual doloat, howovoi,
did nothing to disposo ol tho Viotnan syndiono. To tho oxtont that this
was causod ly 0s powoi, it was duo not to Anoiican nilitaiy night lut
to supoiioi hnancial capalilitios. And to tho oxtont that it had nilitaiy
oiigins, it conhinod iathoi than iovoisod tho Viotnan voidict. It showod
that, in Alghanistan no loss than in Viotnan, tho high-toch nilitaiy
appaiatusos contiollod ly tho Cold Wai supoipowois woio inolloctual
in policing tho Thiid Woild on tho giound, howovoi woll thoy had suc-
coodod in iopioducing tho 'lalanco ol toiioi`.
Tho collapso ol tho 0ss nonotholoss cioatod tho oppoitunity to tost tho
widoly hold assunption that, without Soviot assistanco, tho Viotnanoso
could not havo doloatod tho Unitod Statos, just as tho Alghani wailoids
and tho Mujahidoon could not havo doloatod tho 0ss without 0s aid.
Moioovoi, tho suljugation ol Moscow cloaiod tho giound loi tho noli-
lization ol tho 0n Socuiity Council to logitinato 0s polico actions to an
oxtont that had not loon possillo sinco tho Koioan Wai. Saddan Hussoin`s
invasion ol Kuwait in o innodiatoly cioatod tho idoal oppoitunity loi
such a nolilization, which tho Unitod Statos pionptly soizod, putting
on a tolovisod show ol its high-toch hiopowoi.
Novoitholoss, as John
McCain has pointod out, victoiy in tho hist Gull Wai 'did not ond tho hold
ol tho Viotnan syndiono ovoi jtho Anoiican| national consciousnoss`
in his viow, locauso Saddan Hussoin was not ionovod lion powoi.

Tho hist Gull Wai, othoi connontatois notod, 'was intondod to lo ovoiy-
thing that Viotnan was not. Instoad ol a long, giadual uso ol loico tho
goal was to ovoipowoi tho onony and quickly withdiaw.`
Known as tho
Powoll Doctiino, this stiatogy was tho culnination ol 0s ondoavouis not
to iovoiso so nuch as to avoid anothoi Viotnan voidict.
Accoiding to Gonoial Anthony Zinni, Dosoit Stoin in 'lolt tho inpiossion
that tho toiiillo noss that awaits us alioad can sonohow lo ovoicono ly good,
cloan soldioiing, just liko in Woild Wai Two. In ioality, tho only ioason Dosoit
Stoin woikod was locauso wo nanagod to go up against tho only joik on tho planot
who was stupid onough to challongo us to iohght Woild Wai Two.` Ton Clancy,
with Gonoial Zinni and Tony Koltz, Butt|c Rcudy, Now Yoik zooq.
Quotod in Whitnoy, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Novonloi zoo. A sinilai viow undoult-
odly piovailod anong tho pionotois ol tho Now Anoiican Contuiy. Wollowitz, loi
oxanplo, had ciiticizod tho Bush Sonioi Adninistiation, in which ho soivod as an
undoisociotaiy ol dolonco, loi lailing to 'doal with Saddan` altoi tho Gull Wai: Ncw
Ycrk Tincs, 8 May zooq.
Michaol Goidon, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, 8 Maich zoo.
q iv z
An attonpt to tost tho 0s nilitaiy`s alility to polico tho Thiid Woild on tho
giound cano soon altoi tho hist Gull Wai, undoi tho covoi ol a 'hunan-
itaiian` nission in Sonalia. It lailod alysnally: tolovisod lootago ol a
doad Anoiican loing pullod thiough tho stioots ol Mogadishu iovivod
tho Viotnan syndiono at hono and lod to tho innodiato withdiawal ol
0s tioops. But undoi Clinton tho Powoll Doctiino locano an incioas-
ing onlaiiassnont, loading Sociotaiy ol Stato Madoloino Alliight to ask
hoi lanous quostion: 'What`s tho point ol having this gioat ainy you`io
always talking alout il wo can`t uso it?`
Tho ovoiiiding oljoctivo ol tho 'hunanitaiian` nissions in Bosnia and
against what ionainod ol Yugoslavia was piocisoly to show that thoio
was a point in 'having this gioat ainy`. Tho Kosovo wai was also noant
to dononstiato that piioi 0n ondoisonont ol tho polico actions tho 0s
choso to undoitako was wolcono lut disponsallo. Tho noio ioliallo
nro ondoisonont was onough. Militaiily, howovoi, all tho Kosovo wai
could piovo was what ovoiylody alioady know: that Washington has tho
tochnological capalilitios to oxtoininato any countiy it choosos. It lailod
to dononstiato that tho 0s govoinnont was willing to iisk tho livos ol
Anoiican citizons in ovoisoas polico actions that nado littlo sonso to
tho 0s pullic.
Mcscpctuniun tcsting grcund
On tho ovo ol ], tho unwillingnoss to tako such iisks still constitutod
tho clay loot ol tho 0s nilitaiy colossus. Tho shock ol tho attacks on
tho Woild Tiado Contio and Pontagon changod tho situation, piovid-
ing a cusus bc||i that nado sonso to tho Anoiican pullic. But ovon in
tho Alghanistan wai, which onjoyod widospioad donostic and intoi-
national suppoit, tho Bush Adninistiation showod littlo inclination to
iisk Anoiican casualtios, ovon il this ioluctanco noant conpionising
tho avowod 0s wai ains ol gotting lin Ladon 'doad oi alivo`. Instoad,
Alghans did nost ol tho hghting on tho giound, loaving a Wusningtcn
Pcst connontatoi to jooi that:
Anoiica has lought this wai on tho choap. Tho iosponso to tho woist attack
on Anoiican soil anountod to tho hiiing ol Hossians. Tho Unitod Statos
would not ovon connit tioops to soaling tho loidoi with Pakistan. Who
knows how nany ol lin Ladon`s hghtois got thiough? Who knows il lin
Ladon hinsoll was anong thon?
Richaid Cohon, !ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, Januaiy zooz.
Inconpotonco and idoology-diivon iiiationality aio connon and
sonotinos plausillo oxplanations ol tho nany instancos ol puzzling
lohavioui on tho pait ol tho Bush Adninistiation. Fighting tho wai
in Alghanistan 'on tho choap` and iisking no casualtios in tho hunt loi
lin Ladon was nonotholoss a poiloctly iational choico, il tho oljoctivo
ol tho Wai on Toiioi was not noioly captuiing toiioiists lut ionaking
tho political googiaphy ol Wost Asia in tho puisuit ol a now Anoiican
Contuiy. Fion tho standpoint ol this lioadoi oljoctivo, Alghanistan was
a nost unpiopitious placo to tost tho gioatoi disposition ol Anoiicans
to sulloi casualtios in loioign wais, altoi ]. It was quito ioasonallo to
supposo that 'hnishing tho jol` in Alghanistan would cost noio 0s livos,
and would liing lowoi political and ocononic iotuins poi casualty, than
noving on and conquoiing Iiaq.
Tho succosslul llitzkiiog on Baghdad initially soonod to loai out thoso
oxpoctations, with Iiaqi ainod loicos olloiing viitually no iosistanco. By
Juno zoo, howovoi, 0s casualtios logan to incioaso, slowly lut iolont-
lossly. Woiso still, political and ocononic iotuins poi casualty doclinod
piocipitously, as 0s plans to ionako Iiaq to suit Anoiican intoiosts
clashod with ioalitios on tho giound and had to lo iovisod, downsizod
oi alandonod. Novoitholoss, on this occasion Washington soonod
dotoininod to 'hnish tho jol`, ovon though it kopt iodohning tho natuio
ol what tho 'jol` was. A yoai altoi tho invasion, in tho nidst ol giow-
ing dilhcultios, Bush launchod tho slogan 'Wo nust stay tho couiso in
Iiaq`, dospito tho opon ciiticisn ol his gonoials.
Eight nonths latoi,
in Doconloi zooq, Bush loi tho hist tino acknowlodgod that tho Iiaqi
tiainoos his Adninistiation had loon counting on to tako ovoi lasic
socuiity tasks woio not up to tho jol. Tho inplication was that tho 0s
govoinnont had no oxit stiatogy loi its own tioops. Tho lollowing day
an oxplosion iippod thiough tho dining tont on a 0s nilitaiy laso noai
Mosul, killing ovoi twonty and injuiing thioo tinos as nany. As an odito-
iial in tho !ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc lanontod: 'Sono z nonths altoi
tho Anoiican invasion, 0s nilitaiy loicos ionain ossontially alono in
lattling what soons to lo a giowing insuigoncy, with no cloai piospoct
ol docisivo succoss any tino in tho loiosooallo lutuio.`
'Tho couiso`, iotoitod loinoi cnrco& connandoi Gon. Zinni, 'is hoadod ovoi
Niagaia Falls`, whilo tho activo-duty connandoi ol tho 8znd Aiiloino, Gon. Chailos
Swannack allowod that 'stiatogically` tho 0s was losing tho wai. Chalnois Johnson,
!istcry Ncws Nctwcrk, q Juno zooq, http:]]hnn.us].
!ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, z Doconloi zooq.
o iv z
Tho piollon, in tho woids ol ono consoivativo dolonco oxpoit, was that
whilo tho Unitod Statos was oxpocting convontional loinations, 'tho
onony was planning loi olusivo and unconvontional opoiations`. As a
iosult: 'What lookod initially liko a lig convontional victoiy looks liko a
nilitaiy challongo loi which wo havo no good iosponso. This is ioally a
soiious piollon locauso tho wholo woild can soo tho pattoin ol Viotnan
and Sonalia in Iiaq now.`
In ioality tho piollon tho 0s lacos in Iiaq could lo lai noio soiious
than tho ono it lacod in Viotnan. Tho situation ol political llockago is
sinilai. Thon, Washington had lolt unallo to liing tho wai to an ond
long altoi its lutility had locono ovidont locauso withdiawal, in Nixon`s
woids, would show tho Unitod Statos to lo 'a pitilul holploss giant`, and
so inspiio 'totalitaiianisn and anaichy thioughout tho woild`.
Tho loss
ol powoi that tho 0s would laco lion an inalility to caiiy out its will
against Iiaqi iosistanco, howovoi, would lo lai gioatoi and loss ionodi-
allo than that which it oxpoiioncod lion doloat in Viotnan.
Tho nain ioason is not 0s dopondonco on Wost Asian oil.
Rathoi, as
pioviously notod, it is that Iiaq is not Viotnan, and zoo is not o8. In
puioly nilitaiy toins, tho Iiaqi insuigonts, unliko tho Viotnanoso, do
not hold hoavily-ainouiod vohiclos, noi do thoy havo long oxpoiionco ol
Loo Thonpson, Loxington Instituto, quotod in Bcstcn C|cbc, Octoloi zooq.
As Soynoui Hoish has docunontod, Hussoin had plannod an unconvontional
insuigoncy as oaily as zoo, whon Gooigo W. Bush`s oloction had liought into
olhco nany ol tho olhcials who duiing and altoi tho hist Gull Wai had advocatod
iogino chango in Baghdad. Hoish, 'Tho Stovopipo`, Ncw Ycrkcr, z; Octoloi zoo,
and Cnuin cj Ccnnund. Tnc Rcud jrcn ,rr tc Abu Cnruib, Now Yoik zooq.
Citod in Willian Plall, !ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, zqz July zooq. In a noio
colouilul loinulation, Saudi Aialia`s Aial Nows dosciilod 0s nilitaiy powoi in
tho wako ol tho Alu Ghiail disclosuios as 'a lohonoth with tho iosponso spood ol
a nusclo-lound ox and tho linitod undoistanding ol a nouso` (Wusningtcn Pcst,
May zooq. Tho inago is ioniniscont ol tho 'ghastly notaphoi` with which Mann
illustiatod his piosciont assossnont that tho 'Anoiican Enpiio will tuin out to lo
a nilitaiy giant, a lack-soat ocononic diivoi, a political schizophionic and an idoo-
logical phanton. Tho iosult is a distuilod, nisshapon nonstoi stunlling clunsily
acioss tho woild`: !nccncrcnt Enpirc, p. .
Pucc Gooigo Soios: 'Having invadod Iiaq, wo cannot oxtiicato ouisolvos. Donostic
piossuio to withdiaw is likoly to luild, as in tho Viotnan wai, lut withdiawing
would inict iiiopaiallo danago on oui standing in tho woild. In this iospoct, Iiaq
is woiso than Viotnan locauso ol oui dopondonco on Middlo Eastoin oil`. Cuurdiun,
zo Januaiy zooq.
guoiiilla wailaio in a lavouiallo natuial onviionnont, oi onjoy tho sup-
poit ol a supoipowoi liko tho 0ss. In thoso and othoi iospocts thoy aio a
lai loss loinidallo advoisaiy than tho Viotnanoso. Fuithoinoio, duiing
tho thioo docados that sopaiato tho Anoiican withdiawal lion Viotnan
and tho invasion ol Iiaq tho 0s nilitaiy undoiwont a lundanontal
iostiuctuiing, ainod spocihcally at iovoising tho Viotnan voidict. This
'piolossionalization` ol tho ainod loicos was intondod loth to inpiovo
thoii conlat-ioadinoss and sinultanoously to lioo thon lion tho con-
stiaints that a constant tuinovoi ol civilian-soldiois and tonpoiaiy
olhcois inposod on nilitaiy action and disciplino. Conlinod with tho
oxtiaoidinaiy tochnological inpiovononts in 0s woaponiy that occuiiod
in tho sano thiity-yoai poiiod, tho iostiuctuiing tuinod tho 0s nilitaiy
appaiatus into a lai noio lothal loico ly zoo than it had loon at tho
tino ol tho Viotnan Wai.
In shoit, tho dispaiity ol loicos lotwoon tho 0s invadois and tho local
iosistanco in Iiaq in zoo has loon inconpaially gioatoi than in
Viotnan. This is why tho Bush Adninistiation hopod tho invasion ol
Iiaq would iovoiso tho Viotnan voidict, lut it is also tho ioason why
lailuio to do so would constituto a lai gioatoi llow to tho ciodilility ol
0s nilitaiy night than doloat in Indo-China. Il tho Powoll Doctiino had
iaisod tho issuo ol what tho point was ol having a gioat ainy il it could
not lo usod, tho Iiaqi quagniio, as Andiow Bacovich has notod, iaisod a
lai noio tioulling quostion: 'What`s tho point ol using this gioat ainy
il tho iosult is Fallujah, Najal and Kailala?`
Dcc|ining injucncc
To lo suio, whatovoi tho outcono ol tho Iiaqi wai, tho Unitod Statos will
ionain tho woild`s doninant nilitaiy powoi loi sono tino to cono.
But tho chancos aio that, whilo its dilhcultios in Viotnan piocipitatod
tho 'signal ciisis` ol 0s hogonony, in iotiospoct 0s dilhcultios in Iiaq
will lo soon as having piocipitatod its 'toininal ciisis`. This ciisis has
long loon in tho naking, and was lound to cono, soonoi oi latoi, in
ono loin oi anothoi, iogaidloss ol tho actions ol tho Bush oi any othoi
adninistiation. But tho paiticulai loin in which it is now occuiiing has
loon dotoininod ly tho docision to invado Iiaq in tho hopo that an oasy
Andiow Bacovich, 'A Modoin Majoi Gonoial`, n z, SoptonloiOctoloi zooq,
p. z.
8 iv z
victoiy would iovoiso tho Viotnan voidict and lay tho loundations ol a
now Anoiican Contuiy.
As pioviously notod, Clinton`s Kosovo Wai was noant to dononstiato,
anong othoi things, that 0n suppoit loi 0s polico actions lackod ly
nro was disponsallo. Bush`s Iiaq Wai was now noant to dononstiato
that ovon nro was disponsallo. Tho assunption, in tho woids ol ono
noo-consoivativo loioign policy oxpoit was that:
In tho past oo yoais oi noio, no gioatoi gap had ovoi oxistod lotwoon
tho no. and tho no. z powoi in tho woild. Givon this Anoiican doni-
nation, jtho Bush Adninistiation| loliovod that it was onough to oxpioss
tho Anoiican national intoiost hinly and ovoiyono would acconnodato
As it tuinod out, alnost no ono that nattoiod did. Excopt loi Biitain,
incioasingly lohaving liko tho Union`s hlty-hist stato, and a pitilul 'coali-
tion ol tho willing`,
tho iost ol tho woild iojoctod Anoiican loadoiship
to an oxtont that had no piocodont in tho annals ol 0s hogonony. To lo
suio, nany loioign ciitics ol tho invasion ol Iiaq lound littlo to iojoico
ovoi in tho 0s piodicanont thoio. A sonioi advisoi at tho Fionch Instituto
loi Intoinational Rolations oxplainod:
Whon tho 0s hnds itsoll loggod down alioad, it posos a lig challongo to tho
iost ol tho woild. Il Anoiica sinply pullod out now, othoi countiios would
hnd thonsolvos in tho stiango position ol having to put piossuio on tho
Anoiicans to stay, having pioviously loggod thon not to iisk invasion with-
out a Unitod Nations iosolution. In tho altoinath ol a iapid withdiawal, tho
locus ol intoinational concoin would quickly switch lion tho poiils ol 0s
glolal donination, to tho dangois ol a woild dopiivod ol 0s intoinational
ongagonont. Tho piollon is that il tho piosont stiatogy in Iiaq doos not
ioally woik, thoio is no convincing altoinativo. It is unlikoly that sonding
noio 0s tioops oi handing ovoi powoi to tho Iiaqis would nako a soiious
dilloionco. Anoiica is in a noss, lut so aio wo.
Noinan Oinstoin, Anoiican Entoipiiso Instituto, quotod in Rogoi Cohon, Ncw
Ycrk Tincs, z Octoloi zooq.
Ol tho z8 alliod countiios that still had tioops in Iiaq in Doconloi zooq, ono
connontatoi iopoitod 'only oight havo noio than oo. Most aio thoio as window
diossing. And locauso ol languago and oquipnont dilhcultios, sono contingonts
liko Macodonia`s z8 oi Kazakhstan`s znay lo noio tioullo than thoy aio woith`:
Nicholas Kiistol, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Doconloi zooq. Sinco thon, ono ol tho coun-
tiios with noio than oo tioops, Ukiaino, has announcod its withdiawal.
Doniniquo Moisi, Finunciu| Tincs, q Novonloi zoo.
Roasoning along thoso linos piolally notivatod tho unaninous 0n
Socuiity Council iosolution ol Octoloi o, zoo that piovidod tho 0s-
lod occupation with sono juiidical logitinacy and callod on tho woild`s
govoinnonts to lond it thoii suppoit. Juiidical logitinacy as such,
howovoi, nattoiod to tho 0s piinaiily, il not oxclusivoly, as a noans ol
oxtiacting iosouicos lion othoi statos to covoi tho oscalating hunan and
hnancial costs ol tho Iiaqi occupation. Indood, tho nain puiposo ol iush-
ing tho iosolution thiough tho 0n Socuiity Council was to onsuio tho
succoss ol tho 'donois conloionco` that tho Unitod Statos had convonod
in Madiid loi tho lollowing wooktho pooi iosults ol which (loss than
Sln plodgod, conpaiod to tho Sqln oxtiactod loi tho Fiist Gull Wai
piovidod a good noasuio ol tho doation 0s powoi had oxpoiioncod as a
iosult ol its tiansloination lion hogonony into shooi donination.
An ovon lottoi noasuio was tho doclino ol 0s inuonco in tho Wost
Asian iogion, whoso political googiaphy tho invasion ol Iiaq was sup-
posod to ionako to suit Anoiican intoiosts and valuos. By tho spiing
ol zooq, tho piollons in Iiaq had dopiivod ol all piactical signihcanco
tho issuo ol how tho Unitod Statos would uso tho occupation, loaving
Fiiodnan to lanont that:
Wo aio in dangoi ol losing sonothing nuch noio inpoitant than just tho
wai in Iiaq. Wo aio in dangoi ol losing Anoiica as an instiunont ol noial
authoiity and inspiiation in tho woild. I havo novoi known a tino in ny lilo
whon Anoiica and its piosidont woio noio hatod aiound tho woild than
today . . . Tho wai on toiioiisn is a wai ol idoas, and to havo any chanco ol
winning wo nust naintain tho ciodilility ol oui idoas . . . Wo cannot win
a wai ol idoas against jAl-Qaoda| ly ouisolvos. Only Aials and Muslins
can . . . But it is haid to paitnoi sonoono whon you locono so iadioactivo
no ono wants to stand noxt to you.
Indood, tho 0s had locono so 'iadioactivo` that plans to pionoto a ialt
ol cosnotic political ioloins in tho so-callod Gioatoi Middlo East had to
lo sciappod. Whon in Foliuaiy zooq an Aialic nowspapoi pullishod a
dialt ol tho Bush Adninistiation`s call loi tho woild`s woalthiost nations
to pioss loi chango in tho iogion, sovoial Aial loadois oiuptod in angoi,
with ovon Mulaiak calling tho plan 'dolusional`, tho Adninistiation
quickly withdiow it. A low nonths latoi, Washington tiiod to uso tho tools
ol 'solt powoi` ly sponsoiing a nultilatoial agonda lasod on a 0n iopoit
on hunan dovolopnont in tho Aial woild at tho c8 sunnit nooting on
Ncw Ycrk Tincs, o May zooq.
oo iv z
Soa Island, Gooigia. Tho dialtois ol tho iopoit, howovoi, woio haishly
ciitical ol tho initiativo, pointing out that tho 0s had littlo ciodilility in
tho Aial woild and that, tho noio it associatod itsoll with tho 0n dovol-
opnont iopoit, tho noio it undoininod tho authoiity ol thoii woik. By
Doconloi zooq, whon Sociotaiy ol Stato Colin Powoll aiiivod at a sun-
nit nooting in Moiocco intondod to pionoto donociacy acioss tho Aial
woild, tho 0s appoaiod to havo givon up tiying to tako tho load. Aial
loadois, notod an Anoiican olhcial, aio 'willing to tako tho aid, lut thoy
aio not willing to caiiy out tho ioloins`.
Tho piollon loi tho 0s was not just tho widospioad poicoption anong
Aials and Muslins that tho invasion ol Iiaq was ainod at stiongthon-
ing Isiaol`s hand vis--vis Palostinian iosistanco and tho Aial woild in
gonoial, noi thoii iosontnont at tho laigoi-scalo iopioduction in Iiaq
ol tho kind ol cooicivo donination that Isiaol had pionooiod in tho
Palostinian toiiitoiios: tho 'stiiking synnotiy in nilitaiy tactics`, tho
'sinilai inattontion to tho plight ol tho victins`, and tho 'oxcossivo solici-
tudo towaids tho nisloitunos ol tho aggiossois`.

Tho piollon was

alsoand ospociallytho poicoption anong tho iuling gioups ol tho
Aial and Muslin woild that sulsoivionco to tho 0s had highoi costs
and iisks than dohanco. Whilo dilhcultios in Iiaq nado 0s thioats to uso
nilitaiy loico against othoi Muslin countiios nostly onpty, tho stato
that had gainod nost lovoiago lion tho wai in Iiaq was Iian, itsoll noxt
on tho list ol 0s taigots loi iogino chango in tho Wost Asian iogion:
Tho Unitod Statos has dostioyod Iian`s aich onony, whilo itsoll doing gioat
danago to its own ciodilility in tho iogion, Iian`s own political allios in
Iiaq, anong Kuids and Shi`a, aio intogiatod into tho now govoinnont stiuc-
tuio and havo novoi loon stiongoi, and tho countiy is now poisod to play a
najoi, il not docisivo, iolo in tho loination ol any now Iiaqi political and
social syston. Iian . . . is not unhappy to soo tho Anoiicans loggod down
jin Iiaq| loi a longthy poiiod, at considoiallo cost. It is dolightod that, loi tho
hist tino in tho politics ol any Aial countiy, tho Shi`a connunity . . . has
now acquiiod pullic, logitinato, intoinationally iocognizod status.
Jool Biinkloy, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Doconloi zooq, Fianois Hoislouig, !ntcrnuticnu|
!cru|d Tribunc, z Maich zooq.

In tho nonths loloio tho wai, 0s and Isiaoli olhcials oxpiossod quito oponly tho
hopo that a swilt 0s victoiy ovoi Iiaq would lolstoi tho saloty and socuiity ol Isiaol
ly dononstiating to Aial loadois that dohanco did not pay. Foi a good soloction ol
statononts to this olloct, soo Sukunai Muialidhaian, 'Isiaol: An Equal Paitnoi in
Occupation ol Iiaq`, Eccncnic und Pc|iticu| Wcck|y, Octoloi zooq.
Fiod Halliday, 'Anoiica and Aialia altoi Saddan`, cpcnDcnccrucy, May zooq.
As 0s and Iiaqi olhcials acknowlodgo, Shi`ito doninanco in Iiaq, couplod
with Shi`ito iulo in Iian, would lo paiticulaily thioatoning to Sunni-iulod
statos that loidoi Iiaq and down tho Poisian Gull, caiiying tho thioat ol
incioasing uniost anong long suppiossod Shi`ito populations. 'Il Iiaq
goos Islanic Ropullic,` wainod King Aldullah ol Joidan, 'wo`vo oponod
ouisolvos to a wholo sot ol now piollons that will not lo linitod to tho
loidois ol Iiaq.`

It is haid to toll what tho ovontual outcono ol tho 0s invasion ol Iiaq will
lo in tho widoi iogion. Evon tho Iianian 'victoiy` nay piovo tonpoiaiy,
givon tho giowing atiophy and unpopulaiity ol tho Ayatollah iogino and
tho possilility ol a 'last huiiah` ol tho noo-consoivativo piojoct.
only salo lot is that, whatovoi tho outcono, it will loai no iosonllanco
to tho lluopiint that diovo tho 0s into Iiaq. Fai lion loing tho oponing
act ol a now Anoiican Contuiy, it will piolally lo tho closing act ol tho
hist and only ono, tho 'long` twontioth contuiy.
B. Strungc dcutn cj tnc g|cbu|izuticn prcjcct
Tho idoa that wo nay lo witnossing tho toininal ciisis ol 0s hogonony
loconos noio conpolling whon wo tuin to tho inpact ol tho Iiaq Wai
on tho 0s`s contial iolo in tho glolal political oconony. As Haivoy undoi-
scoiod, tho oljoctivos ol tho noo-consoivativo inpoiial piojoct, loth at
hono and on tho woild stago, woio only in pait consistont with noolil-
oial pioclanations ol loliol in allogodly soll-iogulating naikots. Should
tho opoiation ol lioo naikots thioaton to undoinino 0s contiality, noo-
consoivativos woio piopaiod to tiansloin tho low-intonsity wailaio wagod
aiound tho glolo undoi nooliloialisn into a dianatic conliontation,

Quotod in Roula Khalal, Finunciu| Tincs, 8 Doconloi zooq.

Accoiding to Soynoui Hoish, tho dotoiioiating socuiity situation in Iiaq has not
lod tho Bush Adninistiation to ioconsidoi its lasic long-iango policy goal in Wost
Asia. On tho contiaiy, 'Bush`s iooloction is iogaidod within tho Adninistiation as
ovidonco ol Anoiica`s suppoit loi tho docision to go to wai. It has ioalhinod tho
position ol tho noo-consoivativos in tho Pontagon`s civilian loadoiship who advo-
catod tho invasion.` Moio woiiyingly loi Iian, a loinoi high-lovol intolligonco
olhcial told Hoish, 'Iiaq is just ono canpaign. Tho Bush Adninistiation is looking
at this as a hugo wai zono. Noxt, wo`io going to havo tho Iianian canpaign. Wo`vo
doclaiod wai and tho lad guys, whoiovoi thoy aio, aio tho onony. This is tho last
huiiahwo`vo got loui yoais, and want to cono out ol this saying wo won tho
wai on toiioiisn.` Hoish, 'Tho Coning Wais: What tho Pontagon Can Now Do in
Sociot`, Ncw Ycrkcr, zq and Januaiy zoo.
oz iv z
capallo ol olininating tho thioat onco and loi all. Tho invasion ol Iiaq
was noant to lo such a conliontation: a hist tactical novo in a longoi-
toin stiatogy ainod at using nilitaiy night to ostallish 0s contiol ovoi
tho glolal oil spigot, and thus ovoi tho glolal oconony, loi anothoi hlty
yoais oi noio.
Tho unoxpoctodly disastious iosults ol tho Iiaqi invasion iaiso tho
quostion ol what was so thioatoning to 0s powoi in tho outcono
ol tho 'glolalization piojoct` ol tho 8os and os as to diivo tho
noo-consoivativos into such a iisky advontuio. Had not tho Washington-
sponsoiod liloialization ol woild tiado and capital novononts iosultod
in a najoi ioation ol Anoiican powoi altoi tho nultiplo ciisos ol tho
;os? Was not iolianco on tho voidict ol a 0s-contiod and 0s-iogulatod
glolal naikot, supplonontod ly a piudont uso ol low-intonsity wailaio,
tho lost guaiantoo ol tho iopioduction ol Anoiican contiality in tho
glolal political oconony?
Foi all its lioo-naikot ihotoiic, tho Bush Adninistiation was novoi as
onthusiastic as tho Clinton Adninistiation alout tho piocoss ol nulti-
latoial liloialization ol tiado and capital novononts that constitutod
tho contial institutional aspoct ol so-callod glolalization. Indood, tho
woid 'glolalization` has iaioly, il ovoi, cioppod up in Piosidont Bush`s
spoochos. Accoiding to a sonioi piosidontial aido, tho woid 'nakos hin
unconloitallo`. Spoaking in Doconloi zoo, as tho Bush Adninistiation
was loing hnod ly tho wro loi its zooz taiills on inpoitod stool, undoi
thioat ol Sz. lillion in iotaliatoiy sanctions, tho aido oxplainod that tho
Whito Houso 'thinks what wont wiong in tho os is that wo loigot to put
Anoiican intoiosts hist. So glolalization sounds liko tho cioation ol a lot
ol iulos that nay iostiict tho piosidont`s choicos, that diluto Anoiican

Tho Adninistiation`s attonpt to sot itsoll lioo lion tho constiaints

that glolalization inposod on 0s powoi has loon nost ovidont in tho
hnancial sphoio. Niall Foiguson, contiasting tho hnancial position ol

Ncw Ycrk Tincs, ; Doconloi zoo. Soo also Chalnois Johnson, Tnc Scrrcws cj
Enpirc. Mi|iturisn, Sccrccy, und tnc End cj tnc Rcpub|ic, Now Yoik zooq. Tho Bush
Adninistiation has laigoly switchod lion nultilatoial to lilatoial lioo-tiado agioo-
nonts. Tho only nultilatoial nogotiation it suppoitodtho now glolal tiado iound
initiatod at Doha, shoitly altoi tho attacks ol ]lioko up spoctaculaily two yoais
latoi at Cancn, in laigo pait ovoi 0s and Euiopoan lain sulsidios.
tho Unitod Statos with that ol Biitain a contuiy oailioi, has pointod out
that, in Biitain`s caso, hogonony 'also noant hogoncncy`. As tho woild`s
lankoi, Biitain in its inpoiial hoyday 'novoi had to woiiy alout a iun on
tho pound`, whoioas tho 0s, as it 'ovoithiows ioguo ioginos", hist in
Alghanistan and now in Iiaq, is tho woild`s liggost doltoi`. This condi-
tion is tho iosult ol ovoi-laigoi dohcits in tho cuiiont account ol tho 0s
lalanco ol paynonts, totalling noaily S tiillion sinco 8z and suipass-
ing S. lillion a day at tho tino ol tho invasion ol Iiaq.
Thus Piosidont Bush`s vision ol a woild iocast ly nilitaiy loico to suit
Anoiican tastos has a piquant coiollaiy: tho nilitaiy olloit involvod will
lo (unwillingly hnancod ly tho Euiopoansincluding tho nuch iovilod
Fionchand tho Japanoso. Doos that not givo thon just a littlo lovoiago
ovoi Anoiican policy, on tho piinciplo that ho who pays tho pipoi calls tho
tuno? Balzac onco said that il a doltoi was lig onough thon ho had powoi
ovoi his cioditois, tho latal thing was to lo a snall doltoi. It soons that Mi.
Bush and his non havo takon this losson to hoait.
In lact, it was not Euiopoans who woio tho nain hnanciois ol tho hugo
0s cuiiont-account dohcit, although Euiopoan piivato invostnont did
play a najoi iolo in hnancing tho 0s dohcit in tho closing yoais ol tho
now-oconony hnancial lulllo. By lai tho nost inpoitant hnanciois
ol tho 0s cuiiont-account dohcits havo loon East Asian govoinnonts,
who havo ongagod in nassivo puichasos ol 0s govoinnont socuiitios
and in luilding up dollai-dononinatod loioign oxchango iosoivoshist
and loionost tho Japanoso lut, to an incioasingly signihcant oxtont, tho
Chinoso as woll.
Niall Foiguson, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, zo Apiil zoo. Tho aigunont is dovolopod luithoi
in Foiguson, Cc|cssus. Tnc Pricc cj Ancricus Enpirc, Now Yoik zooq, pp. zo.
Whoioas 'loioign invostois in tho os pouiod tiillions ol dollais into Anoiican
stocks and coipoiato acquisitions . . . nost ol tho nonoy is jnow| coning not lion
piivato invostois lut lion loioign govoinnonts, lod ly Japan and China. Rathoi
than piohts, thoii goal has loon to stalilizo oxchango iatos . . . Many ocononists
contond that tho Asian contial lanks havo cioatod an inloinal voision ol tho
Biotton Woods syston ol hxod oxchango iatos that lastod lion shoitly altoi Woild
Wai until tho oaily ;os`: Ednund Andiows, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, o Novonloi
zooq. Accoiding to tho latost ostinatos, towaids tho ond ol zooq loioignois ownod
alout poi cont ol 0s stocks, zq poi cont ol coipoiato londs, and q poi cont ol
0s Tioasuiy socuiitios (Roloit Sanuolson, Wusningtcn Pcst, ; Novonloi zooq.
Tho laigost holding ol 0s tioasuiios was Japan`s (S;qo lillion, lollowod ly China`s
(S;q lillion and Taiwan`s (S; lillion. Adding tho lossoi holdings ol Hong Kong,
Singapoio, South Koioa and Thailand, East Asian holdings ol 0s tioasuiios totallod
S. tiillion (Willian Posok, !ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, ; Doconloi zooq.
oq iv z
Tho nain notivations ol tho govoinnontal institutions that havo
hnancod tho oscalating 0s cuiiont-account dohcit aio not stiictly oco-
nonic lut political. Foiguson quotos thon & chiol ocononist Konnoth
Rogoll`s statonont to tho olloct that ho would lo 'piotty concoinod alout
a dovoloping countiy that had gaping cuiiont-account dohcits yoai altoi
yoai, as lai as tho oyo can soo, ol poi cont oi noio, with ludgot ink spin-
ning lion llack into iod.` Ol couiso, as Rogoll hastonod to add, tho 0s
is not a dovoloping countiy, lutthough noithoi Rogoll noi Foiguson
say thisit is no oidinaiy 'dovolopod` countiy oithoi. Tho 0s oxpocts
and oltains lion othoi govoinnonts and intoinational institutions
hist and loionost tho &a pioloiontial tioatnont in tho handling ol
its hnancos that no othoi stato, no nattoi how 'dovolopod`, could hopo
to got. This is not duo piinaiily to tho Balzac olloct, lut iathoi to tho
unpaiallolod woight and contiality ol tho Unitod Statos within tho glolal
oconony, and to tho gonoializod poicoption (at loast loloio tho piosont
Iiaq ciisis that Anoiican nilitaiy night is ossontial to woild politi-
cal stalility. In this iospoct, powoi and contiality in tho glolal political
oconony nattois lai noio loi tho 0s than it ovoi did loi Biitain. Foi
Biitain could count on sonothing that tho Unitod Statos cannot: a toiii-
toiial onpiio in India lion which it could oxtiact hnancial and nilitaiy
iosouicos alnost at will.
Wo nay thoioloio sunnaiizo tho 0s condition ol donination without
'hogoncncy` as lollows. As in Biitain`s caso at a conpaiallo stago ol
iolativo doclino, oscalating 0s cuiiont-account dohcits iooct a dotoiio-
iation in tho conpotitivo position ol Anoiican lusinoss at hono and
alioad. And as in Biitain`s caso, though loss succosslully, 0s capital has
paitially countoiod this dotoiioiation ly spocializing in glolal hnancial
intoinodiation. Unliko Biitain, howovoi, tho 0s has no toiiitoiial onpiio
lion which to oxtiact tho iosouicos noodod to iotain its politico-nilitaiy
pio-oninonco in an incioasingly conpotitivo woild.
Frugi|itics cj tnc bc||c cpcquc
Biitain, ol couiso, ovontually lost its pio-oninonco. As conpotition lion
old and now onpiio-luilding iivals intonsihod, cioating a lavouiallo
onviionnont loi tho iolollion ol colonial suljocts, tho costs ol onpiio
oscalatod ovoi and alovo its lonohts. As Biitain lound it incioasingly
On this dilloionco, soo 'Social and Political Econony`, pp. qqo. Wo shall iotuin
to tho contiality loi Biitish hogonony ol tiiluto oxtiaction lion India in Pait .
dilhcult to nako onpiio pay loi itsoll, lot alono piovido a suiplus, tho
countiy locano incioasingly indoltod to tho Unitod Statos, which con-
linod lowoi piotoction costs and gioatoi piohcioncy in industiializod
wailaio than Biitain oi any ol its iivals. Ovoi tino, this situation loicod
London to liquidato its ovoisoas onpiio and to sottlo loi tho position
ol junioi paitnoi to tho now hogononic powoi. It nonotholoss took two
woild wais, loth ol which Biitain won nilitaiily lut lost hnancially, loi
Biitain to loso its piioi position as tho woild`s loading cioditoi nation.

Tho 0s, in contiast, has locono a doltoi nation nuch oailioi and noio
nassivoly than did tho 0k, not just locauso ol its consunoiist oiiontation
lut also locauso it has had no India lion which to diaw, giatis, all tho
tioops it noodod to wago as ondloss a soiios ol wais in tho glolal South as
Biitain did duiing its own hogonony. Not only did Washington havo to
pay loi Anoiican tioops and thoii highly capital-intonsivo woaponiy, in
addition, instoad ol oxtiacting tiiluto lion an ovoisoas onpiio, it had to
conpoto aggiossivoly in woild hnancial naikots loi tho capital noodod to
lalanco tho oxplosivo giowth ol its cuiiont-account dohcit. Although tho
Unitod Statos was highly succosslul in this duiing tho 8os and os,
tho capital it attiactodunliko Indian contiilutions to tho Biitish lal-
anco ol paynontsdid not cono loi lioo. On tho contiaiy, it gonoiatod
a soll-oxpanding ow ol inconos to loioign iosidonts that has nado tho
cuiiont-account dohcit incioasingly haid to lalanco.
It lollows that tho Anoiican bc||c cpcquc ol tho os was lasod on a
viituous ciiclo that could at any tino tuin vicious. This viituous-lut-
potontially-vicious ciiclo iostod on tho synoigy ol two conditions: tho 0s`s
capacity to piosont itsoll as poiloining tho glolal lunctions ol naikot ol
last iosoit and indisponsallo political-nilitaiy powoi, and tho capacity
and willingnoss ol tho iost ol tho woild to piovido tho 0s with tho capital
it noodod to continuo to poiloin thoso lunctions on an ovoi-oxpanding
scalo. Tho collapso ol tho Soviot lloc, tho spoctaculai 'victoiios` in tho
Gull and Yugoslav wais and tho onoigonco ol tho now-oconony lulllo
all gavo a tionondous inpulso to tho synoigy lotwoon 0s woalth and
powoi on tho ono sido, and tho inux ol loioign capital on tho othoi. But
il any ol thoso conditions changod, tho synoigy night go into iovoiso
and tuin tho viituous ciiclo into a vicious ono.

Aiiighi and Bovoily Silvoi, Cnucs und Ccvcrnuncc in tnc Mcdcrn Wcr|d Systcn,
Minnoapolis , pp. ;z8;.
oo iv z
Coning to powoi just altoi tho luisting ol tho now-oconony lulllo,
Bush had plonty ol ioasons to lo 'unconloitallo` alout tho policios ol tho
Clinton oia.
Duiing tho lulllo`s oxpansion, nost ol tho loioign capi-
tal that owod into tho Unitod Statos had loon piivato capital in soaich
ol piohts, and tho piivato invostois thonsolvos had loinod an anoi-
phous nass that gainod littlo oi no lovoiago ovoi 0s policios. As notod,
howovoi, altoi tho lulllo luist tho inow ol capital locano noio politi-
cal, and tho govoinnonts that hnancod tho oscalating 0s cuiiont-account
dohcit nocossaiily gainod noio than a littlo lovoiago ovoi 0s policios.
This gioatoi lovoiago posod no innodiato piollon loi Washington,
locauso nost ol tho East Asian cioditoi statos, hist and loionost Japan,
lolt dooply dopondont on tho 0s loi thoii socuiity and piospoiity. As wo
shall soo, this situation changod iadically with tho onoigonco ol China
as an altoinativo dostination loi East Asian oxpoits and invostnont, and
as a signihcant cioditoi ol tho Unitod Statos. But ovon alstiacting lion
tho China lactoi, giowing hnancial dopondonco on loioign govoinnonts
nocossaiily constiainod 0s alility to puisuo its national intoiost in tho
nultilatoial and lilatoial nogotiations that pionotod and iogulatod glo-
lal ocononic intogiation. In Juno ;, loi oxanplo, on his way lack
lion a c8 nooting in Donvoi that loatuiod considoiallo chost-thunping
ly tho Clinton Adninistiation alout tho looning 0s oconony, tho
Japanoso Piino Ministoi told a Now Yoik audionco that Japan had loon
tonptod to soll laigo lots ol 0s Tioasuiios duiing Japan`s nogotiations
with tho Unitod Statos ovoi auto salos, and again whon oxchango iatos
woio uctuating wildly whilo tho Unitod Statos appoaiod piooccupiod
with donostic issuos. As ono connontatoi notod, Hashinoto 'was
sinply ioninding Washington that whilo it had cioatod a iolust . . .
oconony, Asian contial lanks hold tho dood`.
Finuncing Ancricus scccnd ccntury
Tho Bush Adninistiation`s docision to iospond to ] ly launching
a piotiactod wai on nultiplo lionts addod now uigoncy to tho nood
Piioi to tho invasion ol Iiaq, loioloding conpaiisons lotwoon post-lulllo Unitod
Statos and Japan gainod cuiioncy. Tho lact that in zooz 0s stocks doclinod loi tho
thiid consocutivo yoai, tho longost losing stioak sinco q, did not holp. Tho
unpiocodontod conlination ol hscal and hnancial stinuli put in placo ly tho Bush
Adninistiation (soo lolow allayod lut novoi conplotoly disposod ol loais that tho
Unitod Statos in tho zooos night iopoat tho Japanoso oxpoiionco ol tho os.
Willian Posok, !ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, ; Doconloi zooq.
to switch lion tho policios ol tho os, loi how could such a wai lo
hnancod lion a staiting-point ol hoavy indoltodnoss to othoi countiios?
Thoio woio loui possillo answois to this quostion: iaiso taxos, loiiow
noio hoavily lion loioignois, nako wai pay loi itsoll, oi oxploit tho
soignioiago piivilogos that tho Unitod Statos onjoyod ly viituo ol tho
gonoial accoptanco ol tho 0s dollai as intoinational cuiioncy.
Raising taxos was out ol tho quostion. Having won tho oloctions on a
platloin ol oxtonsivo tax ioductions, tho Bush Adninistiation could not
iaiso thon without alionating its coio oloctoial laso, thus connitting
political suicido. Moioovoi, tho populaiity ol tho wai olloit iostod in good
pait on tho loliol, lostoiod ly tho Adninistiation, that tho 0s did not
havo to chooso lotwoon guns and luttoi lut could havo noio ol loth.
Indood, tho ] ciisis was usod to launch two wais whilo taking advan-
tago ol tho suiplusos luilt ly tho piovious Adninistiation to spond whilo
cutting taxos. In iotiospoct, lanonts Fiiodnan, tho Unitod Statos 'lol-
lowod tho dot-con lulllo with tho ] lulllo . . . Tho hist was hnancod
ly iockloss invostois, and tho socond ly a iockloss Adninistiation
and Congioss.`
Boiiowing noio hoavily lion alioad was possillo lut within ocononic
and political linits. Econonically, tho linits woio sot ly tho nood to
koop intoiost iatos low in oidoi to iovivo tho donostic oconony altoi
tho zoooo ciash on Wall Stioot, which ] had luithoi aggiavatod.
Politically, tho linits woio sot ly tho Bush Adninistiation`s ioluctanco
to givo loioign govoinnonts noio lovoiago ovoi 0s policios. Boiiowing
lion loioign govoinnonts did howovoi incioaso altoi ]as did thoii
lovoiago. Sinco Bush took olhco, East Asian contial lanks havo addod
to thoii Tioasuiy holdings at a iato ol noaily hall a lillion dollais a day,
that is, alout a thiid ol tho avoiago 0s cuiiont-account dohcit. Tho lund-
ing ol tho dohcit was thus lolt incioasingly to tho noicy ol thoso lanks.
But this situation was not so nuch tho iosult ol a conscious 0s policy
to incioaso loiiowing, as ol loioign govoinnonts` docisions, loi ioa-
sons ol thoii own, to koop hnancing cuiiont-account dohcits spiialling
out ol 0s contiol.
Making tho wai pay loi itsoll was noio oasily said than dono. Tho piovi-
ously notod switch lion tho unhnishod wai in Alghanistan to Iiaq was
Thonas Fiiodnan, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, z Doconloi zooq.
o8 iv z
duo not just to tho oxpoctation that Iiaq piovidod a noio lavouiallo toi-
iain loi an oasy 0s victoiy, as lanously opitonizod in Runslold`s ionaik
that Iiaq had 'lottoi taigots` than Alghanistan. It was duo also to tho
oxpoctation that Iiaqi oil would piovido tho whoiowithal loi tho consoli-
dation ol 0s powoi in Iiaq and tho Wost Asian iogion at laigo. As wo now
know, loth oxpoctations havo gono unlulhllod. Onco tho 'lottoi Iiaqi tai-
gots` had loon takon out, Iiaqi oil could not login to covoi tho oscalating
costs ol a wai that diaggod on without ond in sight. Tho Adninistiation
had iolusod to discuss costs in tho iun-up to tho wai, loyond insisting
that thoy would lo nininal. It was only whon tho hghting had logun,
with lull Congioss suppoit, that thoy donandod S; lillion loi tho Iiaq
Fioodon Fund. Having doclaiod hostilitios ovoi and pushod thiough a
lig tax ioduction, Bush told Congioss that ho noodod an additional S8;
lillion. In May zooq ho donandod anothoi Sz lillion.
In Doconloi
zooq, tho Pontagon was piopaiing a ioquost loi anothoi supplonontal
appiopiiation ol alout S8o lillion. By thon, howovoi, tho govoinnont
ludgot dohcit was so out ol contiol that tho Pontagon was loicod also
to pioposo cuts in oxpondituio loi woapons dosignod loi tho Cold Wai,
which woio pioving littlo uso in tho Wai on Toiioi.
Sinco taxos could not lo iaisod, luithoi loiiowing lion alioad had
linits, and tho wai was not paying loi itsoll, tho oxploitation ol 0s
soignioiago piivilogos locano tho nain souico ol hnanco loi Bush`s
wais. As ono connontatoi wioto, shoitly altoi tho invasion ol Iiaq, a
cynic night viow tho way that loioign countiios woio pioviding tho 0s
with goods, soivicos and assots, in iotuin loi ovoipiicod piocos ol papoi,
as 'a liilliant 0s conspiiacy`:
In tho 8os and os, j0s| policynakois poisuadod a host ol ocononios to
liloializo thoii hnancial naikots. Such liloializations gonoially ondod with
hnancial ciisos, cuiioncy ciisos, oi a conlination ol tho two. Thoso disas-
tois lowoiod donostic invostnont in tho alictod countiios, instillod doop
loai ol cuiiont-account dohcits and ongondoiod a stiong dosiio to accunu-
lato loioign-oxchango iosoivos. Tho salost way was to invost suiplus lunds
in tho countiy with tho woild`s liggost oconony and nost liquid capital
Paul Kiugnan, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, 8 May zooq.
!ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, Doconloi zooq. In Foliuaiy zoo, Piosidont
Bush actually ondod up asking Congioss loi S8z lillion. Accoiding to hguios con-
pilod ly tho Congiossional Rosoaich Soivico, il appiovod, tho now ioquost would
push tho totals piovidod loi tho Wai on Toiioi past Soo lillion: Ncw Ycrk Tincs,
q Foliuaiy zoo.
naikots. Whon gullillo loioignois can no longoi lo poisuadod to hnanco
tho 0s, tho dollai will doclino. Sinco 0s lialilitios aio dollai-dononinatod,
tho liggoi tho doclino, tho snalloi not 0s lialilitios to tho iost ol tho woild
will thon tuin out to lo. In this way, tho last stago ol tho 'conspiiacy` will lo
paitial dolault thiough dollai dopiociation.
At tho ond ol zooq tho Eccncnist put tho doclino ol tho dollai ovoi tho
piovious thioo yoais at poi cont against tho ouio and zq poi cont
against tho yon, and ostinatod tho stock ol dollai assots hold ly loioign-
ois at noaily S tiillion. 'Il tho dollai lalls ly anothoi o poi cont, as
sono piodict, it would anount to tho liggost dolault in histoiy: not a
convontional dolault on dolt soivico, lut dolault ly stoalth, wiping tiil-
lions oll tho valuo ol loioignois` dollai assots.`
Loaving asido tho lact that tho nain victin ol tho 'conspiiacy` has loon
Japan (a nonloi ol tho 'coalition ol tho willing`, 0s oxploitation ol
soignioiago piivilogos in oidoi to consuno guns and luttoi lai loyond
its noans can postpono lut not indohnitoly avoid tho lundanontal
stiuctuial adjustnont ol tho Unitod Statos noodod to iooct its sulstan-
tially dininishod conpotitivonoss in tho glolal oconony. An incioasing
nunloi ol 0s olsoivois havo iocontly lanontod this loss ol conpotitivo-
noss, not just in low-tochnology, laloui-intonsivo soctois, lut also in tho
high-toch, knowlodgo-intonsivo activitios that constituto tho lacklono ol
0s conpaiativo advantago.
0s nultinationals havo soon thoii iovonuos
and piohts giow, lut tho giowth occuiiod piinaiily alioad, and thoso
hins could only hold on to thoii glolal naikot shaio ly ioinvosting tho
piohts alioad too. Tho iovaluation ol tho cuiioncios ol othoi countiios
(nost notally China night holp tho 0s to iocoup conpotitivonoss in
woild naikots, lut past oxpoiionco is not oncouiaging:
Maitin Woll, Finunciu| Tincs, o Soptonloi zoo. Foi noio conplox accounts
ol tho 0s 'conspiiacy`, soo Roloit Wado, 'Tho Invisillo Hand ol tho Anoiican
Enpiio`, cpcnDcnccrucy, Maich zoo, and Andio Gundoi Fiank, 'Moot Unclo
SanWithout ClothosPaiading Aiound China and tho Woild`, availallo at
www.iiojasdatalank.inlo]agliank], o Januaiy zoo.
Eccncnist, z Doconloi zooq.
Soo, anong othois, Joan Kunagai and Willian Swoot, 'East Asia Rising`, _[[[
Spcctrun On|inc, accossod Octoloi zooq, Willian Bioad, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, May
zooq, Eduaido Poitoi, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, o Doconloi zooq, David Baltinoio, Lcs
Angc|cs Tincs, z Novonloi zooq, Adan Sogal, 'Is Anoiica Losing Its Edgo?`,
Fcrcign Ajjuirs, vol. 8, no. o, NovonloiDoconloi zooq.
;o iv z
Thoio is an alundanco ol ovidonco that tho 0s olsossion with cuiioncios is
nisplacod. Sinco ;o tho yon has ioughly tiollod in valuo against tho dollai.
But thoio has loon no signihcant inpiovonont in tho 0s lilatoial position
against Japantho long-standing bctc ncirc ol 0s nanulactuiois.
0s adjustnont to tho now ioalitios ol tho glolal oconony will involvo
sono conlination ol luithoi dopiociation ol tho dollai, appiociation ol
tho cuiioncios ol countiios with tho laigost cuiiont-account suiplusos,
and a ioiouting ol thoso suiplusos lion tho hnancing ol 0s dohcits to
tho cioation ol donand olsowhoio, ospocially in East Asia. This ovontual
adjustnont nay lo 'liutal`, thiough a dollai iout, oi 'snooth`.
way, tho adjustnont will inovitally iosult in a luithoi docioaso ol 0s
connand ovoi woild ocononic iosouicos, a ioduction ol tho woight and
contiality ol tho 0s naikot in tho glolal oconony, and a dininishod iolo
loi tho dollai as intoinational noans ol paynont and iosoivo cuiioncy.
Tho Adninistiation has shown sono awaionoss ol tho iisks involvod in
iolying too hoavily on a dopiociating dollai to luttioss 0s conpotitivonoss
and dolault on 0s lialilitios to loioignois. Thus, at tho Doha nooting in
Juno zoo, Tioasuiy Sociotaiy John Snow poisuadod tho hnanco nin-
istois ol tho othoi c; countiios to sign a joint statonont aiguing that
tho dotoinination ol oxchango iatos should lo lolt to tho naikot. Tho
statonont was takon as a signal that Washington was olhcially alandon-
ing tho stiong dollai policy ol tho Clinton oia, and tho dollai pionptly
divod against all najoi cuiioncios. But whonovoi tho divo has thioatonod
to locono a iout, tho Tioasuiy Sociotaiy iopoats tho nantia alout tho
inpoitanco ol a stiong cuiioncy: 'Nolody in tho naikots quito knows
what jthat| noans anynoio, lut just in caso it could signal a luist ol
intoivontion, thoy tako covoi and stop solling gioonlacks`.
Janos Kyngo and Chiistophoi Swann, Finunciu| Tincs, zo Soptonloi zoo. Tho
iocont dollai dopiociation has in lact dono littlo to naiiow tho 0s tiado gap. At tho
ond ol zooq, incioasing oxpoits loi hvo consocutivo quaitois woio natchod ly ovon
lastoi incioasos in inpoits (Daniol Altnan, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Doconloi zooq.
Tho iosult was a luithoi incioaso ol tho 0s tiado dohcit in zooq to a now iocoid ol
So;.; lillion.
Maitin Woll, Finunciu| Tincs, o Soptonloi zoo.
Cuurdiun, Novonloi zoo. Although Snow and Bush havo continuod to alhin
thoii suppoit loi a stiong dollai, ly Doconloi zooq 'nany in tho naikots con-
sidoi this only laco-saving ihotoiic`. Soo David Nassai, 'Dollai at a Discount`, YXi
Murkctwutcn wolsito, ; Doconloi zooq.
Tho naikots` conlusion has loon poiloctly undoistandallo, givon tho
contiadiction lotwoon tho Adninistiation`s ihotoiical adhoionco to a
stiong cuiioncy and tho oxtiono nonotaiy and hscal laxity with which it
has loon tiying loth to sustain tho anaonic 0s iocovoiy and to hnanco
tho oscalating costs ol tho Wai on Toiioi. This laxity is ioniniscont
ol 0s policios in tho closing yoais ol tho Viotnan wai, whon Nixon`s
Tioasuiy Sociotaiy, John B. Connally, lanously told a woiiiod woild:
'Tho dollai is oui cuiioncy, lut youi piollon.`

Evontually, howovoi, tho

sinking dollai did locono an Anoiican piollon. Foi a liiol nonont
in Januaiy 8o, tho iiso ol tho piico ol gold to an all-tino high ol S8;
an ounco soonod to signal an inninont ond to tho dc juctc dollai stand-
aid inauguiatod in ;tho yoai in which tho 0s hnally alandonod its
connitnont to luy gold at tho hxod piico ol S an ounco. As it tuinod
out, tho dollai quickly iocovoiod lion tho iout and tho dc juctc dollai
standaid has ionainod in placo ovoi sinco. In light ol this oxpoiionco,
tho Bush Adninistiation`s willingnoss to push to its linits tho aluso ol
soignioiago piivilogos nay lo duo to tho loliol that, il tho woist conos to
tho woist, Washington can pull lack lion tho liink and onjoy anothoi
twonty yoais ol uncontostod soignioiago.

Ccnscqucnccs cj tnc dc||urs p|ungc
In tho ovont ol a now dollai iout conpaiallo to that ol tho lato ;os,
howovoi, it would lo lai noio dilhcult, il not inpossillo, loi tho 0s to
iogain tho uppoi hand in tho woild nonotaiy syston. In tho 8os, tho
dollai iocoupod its position as tho woild`s nonoy ly viituo ol a sud-
don and iadical iovoisal ol 0s nonotaiy policios, lion oxtiono laxity to
oxtiono austoiity, acconpaniod ly a stopping up ol 0s conpotition loi
capital woildwidothiough iocoid-high intoiost iatos, tax lioaks and

Citod in Maik Landloi, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, z Doconloi zooq.

This loliol soons to lo inplicit in Chonoy`s contontion, as iopoitod ly Paul
O`Noill, that 'Roagan piovod that dohcits don`t nattoi`. Quotod in John Cassidy,
'Taxing`, Ncw Ycrkcr, zo Januaiy zooq, pp. zq. It is also possillo, howovoi, that
tho aluso ol 0s soignioiago piivilogos is sinply tho unintondod consoquonco ol
a situation out ol contiol. 'Bush is soon, iightly oi wiongly, as lai loss conloit-
allo doaling with glolal ocononic nanagonont than ho is sitting in tho Situation
Roon, luiiod in tho dotails ol tho Iiaqi insuigoncy oi Iian`s nucloai thioat. As a
iosult tho woakoning dollai, to tho ninds ol nany lion Hong Kong to Boilin, is a
notaphoi loi a piosidoncy so distiactod ly national socuiity issuos that Anoiican
ocononic inuonco has ollod.` David Sangoi, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, z Januaiy zoo.
;z iv z
incioasing lioodon ol action loi capitalist pioducois and spoculatois.

But tho voiy succoss ol this policy iovoisal in attiacting nassivo anounts
ol capital has tuinod tho 0s lion a cioditoi nation into tho woild`s load-
ing doltoi. 0s cioditois nay pausoas thoy coitainly doat tho idoa ol
pulling tho iug lion undoi tho loot ol such a lig doltoi. Pucc Balzac, it
would nonotholoss nako no sonso at all loi thon to iodoullo thoii lond-
ing to a countiy that has paitially dolaultod on its dolt thiough nassivo
cuiioncy dopiociation.
Moioovoi, having alioady giantod oxtiaoidinaiy
incontivos to capital, tho Adninistiation has littlo lolt to olloi in tho situ-
ation ol a now dollai iout. Undoi thoso ciicunstancosunpiocodontod
indoltodnoss and oxhaustion ol incontivosa hiko in intoiost iatos liko
tho ono onginooiod undoi Roagan would piovoko a lai noio sovoio
donostic contiaction, without any guaiantoo that it would lo lollowod
ly a iolust iocovoiy. An intoiost-iato iiso would thoioly aggiavato iathoi
than alloviato tho iolativo downsizing ol tho 0s oconony that would
onsuo lion tho dollai iout.
To this wo should add that in tho lato ;os thoio woio low, il any, viallo
altoinativos to tho 0s dollai as intoinational cuiioncy. Tho ouio was still a
piojoct iathoi than a ioality. Tho iapidly appiociating Goinan Maik and
Japanoso yon had noithoi tho glolal ocononic woight noi tho national
institutional suppoit noodod to locono signihcant noans ol intoi-
national paynont and iosoivo cuiioncios. Having nowhoio olso to go,
capital taking ight lion tho dollai thus wont piinaiily into gold. But no
capitalist powoi had any intoiost in a io-nonotization ol gold at a tino ol
woild ocononic stagnation, ospocially in viow ol tho lovoiago that such
a io-nonotization would havo put in tho hands ol tho 0ss. Undoi thoso
ciicunstancos, 0s attonpts to piosoivo tho dollai standaid could count
on tho activo coopoiation ol all tho govoinnonts that nattoiod in woild
nonotaiy iogulation.
In this iospoct tho situation today is quito dilloiont. Tho govoinnonts
that nattoi nay still lo willing, to a laigo oxtont, to coopoiato with tho
0s Adninistiation in piosoiving tho dollai standaid. But this willingnoss
iosts on loundations that aio dilloiontand loss lavouiallo to tho 0s
than thoy woio in tho 8os. As loinoi Tioasuiy Sociotaiy Lawionco

Tho policy iovoisal logan undoi Caitoi lut natoiializod lully only undoi Roagan.
Soo 'Social and Political Econony`, pp. qz, o;.
Maitin Woll, Finunciu| Tincs, 8 Doconloi zooq.
Sunnois has iocontly put it, 0s dopondonco on loioign cash is 'ovon
noio distiossing` than 0s dopondonco on loioign onoigy:
In a ioal sonso, tho countiios that hold 0s cuiioncy and socuiitios in thoii
lanks also hold 0s piospoiity in thoii hands. That piospoct should nako
Anoiicans unconloitallo. Thoio is sonothing odd alout tho woild`s gioat-
ost powoi loing tho woild`s gioatost doltoi. It is tiuo, ol couiso, that tho
loioign govoinnonts and invostois hnancing tho supoipowoi sponding
spioo havo no incontivo to lankiupt tho 0s oconony ly suddonly dunping
thoii dollai iosoivos. Tho onsuing hnancial ciisis would soiiously danago
thoii own ocononios as woll. But having hnally onoigod lion tho Cold
Wai`s nilitaiy lalanco ol toiioi, tho Unitod Statos should not lightly accopt
a now voision ol nutually assuiod dostiuction il it can lo avoidod.

Indood, it is lai noio dilhcult loi tho 0s to iosolvo tho now 'lalanco ol
toiioi` in its lavoui than was tho caso with tho 0ss. As pioviously notod,
tho docisivo advantago ol tho 0s duiing tho Cold Wai was hnancial. But
in tho now conliontation, hnancial powoi is stackod not in lavoui lut
against tho Unitod Statos. Should 0s alusos ol soignioiago piivilogos
onco again iosult in a dollai iout, Euiopoan and East Asian govoinnonts
aio in a lai lottoi position than thoy woio z yoais ago to cioato viallo
altoinativos to tho dollai standaid. Tho ouio`s shaio ol olhcial iosoivo
holdings has clickod stoadily upwaids, lion . poi cont ol all loioign
holdings in to .; poi cont in zoo, tho ouio aioa`s oconony
is alout tho sano as that ol tho Unitod Statos and, in dollai toins, is
giowing lastoi, unliko tho 0s, tho Euiozono is a not cioditoi. Wo should
nonotholoss loai in nind that in thoso nattois inoitia is tho iulo and tho
dothioning ol tho dollai doos not ioquiio that any othoi singlo cuiioncy
tako its placo. As tho Eccncnist points out:
Dislodging an incunlont cuiioncy can tako yoais. Stoiling naintainod a
contial intoinational iolo loi at loast hall a contuiy altoi Anoiica`s cv ovoi-
took Biitain`s at tho ond ol tho ninotoonth contuiy. But it did ovontually loso
that status. Il Anoiica continuos on its cuiiont pioigato path, tho dollai
is likoly to sulloi a sinilai lato. But in lutuio no ono cuiioncy, such as tho
ouio, is likoly to tako ovoi. Instoad tho woild night diilt towaids a nultiplo
iosoivo-cuiioncy syston shaiod anong tho dollai, tho ouio and tho yon (oi
indood tho yuan at sono tino in tho lutuio . . . A slow, stoady shilt out ol
dollais could poihaps lo handlod. But il Anoiica continuos to show such

Lawionco Sunnois, 'Anoiica Ovoidiawn`, Fcrcign Pc|icy, no. q, JulyAugust

zooq, pp. qo.
;q iv z
nogloct ol its own cuiioncy, thon a last-lalling dollai and iising Anoiican
intoiost iatos would iosult.
In sun, liko nany ol its ciitics, tho Bush Adninistiation nay woll think
that a sinking dollai is not an Anoiican piollon lut iathoi a voiy olloc-
tivo noans ol loicing liionds and loos to hnanco tho 0s wai olloit and
0s ocononic giowth. In ioality, tho sinking dollai ol tho zooos is tho
oxpiossion ol a lai noio soiious ciisis ol Anoiican hogonony than tho
sinking dollai ol tho ;os. Whothoi giadual oi liutal, it is tho oxpios-
sion (and a lactoi ol a iolativo and alsoluto loss ol tho 0s`s capacity to
iotain its contiality within tho glolal political oconony. In oidoi to lully
appiociato tho oxtont and natuio ol this loss, wo nust switch oui locus to
what, in iotiospoct, nay woll appoai to havo loon tho gioatost lailuio ol
tho noo-consoivativo inpoiial piojoct: tho lailuio to piovont China lion
loconing a potontial now contio ol tho glolal political oconony.
C. Tnc Cninu syndrcnc
On tho ovo ol ], John Moaishoinoi concludod Tnc Trugcdy cj Crcut
Pcwcr Pc|iticstho nost anlitious pioduct ol iocont Anoiican intoi-
national iolations thooiizingwith a piognosis and a piosciiption
concoining tho inplications loi 0s powoi ol tho Chinoso ocononic
China is still lai away lion tho point whoio it has onough jocononic| powoi
to nako a iun at iogional hogonony. So it is not too lato loi tho Unitod
Statos to . . . do what it can to slow tho iiso ol China. In lact, tho stiuctuial
inpoiativos ol tho intoinational syston, which aio powoilul, will piolally
loico tho Unitod Statos to alandon its policy ol constiuctivo ongagonont in
tho noai lutuio. Indood, thoio aio signs that tho now Bush Adninistiation
has takon tho hist stops in this diioction.
'Disappoaiing Dollai`, Eccncnist, z Doconloi zooq, soo also Rachol Koning, YXi
MurkctWutcn, ; Soptonloi zooq.
Moaishoinoi, Tnc Trugcdy cj Crcut Pcwcr Pc|itics, Now Yoik zoo, p. qoz.
Moaishoinoi`s aigunont ochood Wollowitz`s z contontion that tho oljoctivo
ol loioign policy should lo 'to piovont any hostilo powoi lion doninating a iogion
whoso iosouicos would, undoi consolidatod contiol, lo sulhciont to gonoiato glolal
powoi.` Quotod in Johnson, Scrrcws cj Enpirc, pp. 8o. Moaishoinoi ioitoiatod his
position in an intoiviow givon oight nonths altoi ]. 'Tho Unitod Statos will go to
gioat longths . . . to contain China and to cut China oll at tho knoos, tho way it cut
Inpoiial Goinany oll at tho knoos in Woild Wai , tho way it cut Inpoiial Japan oll
at tho knoos in Woild Wai , and tho way it cut tho Soviot Union oll at tho knoos
As it tuins out, ly gotting loggod down in tho Iiaq quagniio, tho Bush
Adninistiation has loon loicod to doopon iathoi than alandon its con-
stiuctivo ongagonont with China. On his way to and lion tho zoo
Asia-Pacihc Econonic Coopoiation nooting in Bangkok, Bush skiitod
loth googiaphically and ihotoiicallytho countiy that onco was at tho
contio ol his Adninistiation`s national socuiity policy.
As tho Finunciu|
Tincs notod, this was 'a signihcant shilt` loi a piosidont 'who cano into
olhco touting his lioak lion Clintonian policios ol ongagonont with
China, insisting in tho hist wooks ol his piosidoncy that China was a
stiatogic conpotitoi" to tho Unitod Statos.` Boloio Soptonloi , tho
Adninistiation had stoppod up ovoituios to India in an attonpt to cio-
ato a countoiwoight to China, altoi that dato lalanco-ol-powoi politics
took a lack soat to tho Wai on Toiioi. As socuiity issuos in Wost Asia
woighod ovoi noio hoavily on tho Bush Adninistiation, so wainings ol
tho Chinoso thioat gavo way to an ovon gioatoi ongagonont with Boijing
than undoi Clinton. Tho iovoisal was so conploto that tho Whito Houso
logan loasting that it had 'lottoi iolations with China` than any adnin-
istiation sinco Nixon iosunod iolations with tho vc.

To lo suio, tho Pontagon has continuod to wain that 'Boijing has gioatly
oxpandod its aisonal ol incioasingly accuiato and lothal lallistic nissilos
and long-iango stiiko aiicialt that aio ioady loi innodiato application
should tho v lo callod on to conduct wai loloio its nodoinization
aspiiations aio lully ioalizod.` Moio inpoitant, tho Wai on Toiioi has
holpod tho Unitod Statos to 'piopaio loi China`, as John Goishnan has
duiing tho Cold Wai.` At tho sano tino ho acknowlodgod that 'it would lo alnost
inpossillo to slow down Chinoso ocononic giowth.` A noio olloctivo stiatogy, ho
clainod, would lo loi tho 0s to put in placo a political and nilitaiy 'lalancing coa-
lition` that includod Japan, Viotnan, Koioa, India and Russia. Tho Unitod Statos
could thon lack Russia in a loidoi disputo with China, it could lack Japan in a
disputo with China ovoi soa linos ol connunication, oi it could 'go to wai on lohall
ol Taiwan`. In Haiiy Kioisloi, 'Thiough tho Roalist Lons`, Ccnvcrsuticns witn !istcry.
Ccnvcrsuticn witn ]cnn Mcursncincr, Instituto ol Intoinational Studios, 0c Boikoloy,
8 Apiil zooz, availallo at http:]]glolotiottoi.loikoloy.odu].
'In tho hist dialt ol tho z Dolonso Policy Guidanco dialtod ly Paul Wollowitz
and Lowis Lilly, it was uncloai whoio tho now iival to 0s supionacy would nost
likoly onoigo. Euiopo and Japan as woll as China woio anong tho candidatos. By
tho tino tho Bush Adninistiation cano into olhco, howovoi, tho piopononts ol this
doctiino ol supionacy saw only ono possillo pooi conpotitoi onoiging in tho loio-
sooallo lutuio: China.` John Goishnan, 'Ronaking Policy in Asia?`, Fcrcign Pc|icy
in Fccus, Novonloi zooz, availallo at www.lpil.oig.

Finunciu| Tincs, ; Octoloi zoo.

;o iv z
undoiscoiod, thiough tho dovolopnont ol a notwoik ol nilitaiy lasos
in Contial Asia uninaginallo loloio ], tho stiongthoning ol liayod
nilitaiy tios with tho Philippinos, a gioatly oxpandod dolonco ludgot,
and tho iovival ol Roagan`s Stiatogic Dolonso Initiativo: 'Il China is tho
onony ol tho lutuio, thon tho 0s has got a lot ol what it wantod, without
saying that China is tho onony.`
Bcijings |cvcrugc
Novoitholoss, tho noio tho 0s locano ontanglod in tho Wai on Toiioi
and dopondont on choap loioign ciodit and connoditios, tho noio
succosslul was China in liinging to loai a dilloiont kind ol 'stiuctuial
inpoiativo` to thoso onvisagod ly Moaishoinoi. As Paul Kiugnan has
pointod out, whon tho 0s Tioasuiy Sociotaiy wont to Boijing to ioquost
a iovaluation ol tho yuan and got no satislaction, ono ioason was that
China`s tiado suiplus with tho Unitod Statos was laigoly ollsot ly tiado
dohcits with othoi countiios. But anothoi ioason was that:
tho 0s cuiiontly has voiy littlo lovoiago ovoi China. Bush noods China`s
holp to doal with Noith Koioa . . . Fuithoinoio, puichasos ol Tioasuiy lills
ly China`s contial lank aio ono ol tho nain ways tho 0s hnancos its tiado
dohcit . . . Just loui nonths altoi Opoiation Flight Suit, tho supoipowoi has
locono a supplicant to nations it usod to insult.
Moioovoi, tho Adninistiation knows that inposing taiills on Chinoso
inpoits, as a way to pioss loi iovaluation, is a novo that would lackhio.
As Bush`s ocononic advisoi Giog Mankiw has iopoatodly statod, nost
0s jols havo loon lost in industiiosnachinoiy, tianspoit oquipnont,
soniconductoiswhoio Chinoso conpotition is slight. Moio inpoitant,
a iovaluation ol tho yuan would noioly ioplaco Chinoso inpoits with
thoso ol othoi, noio oxponsivo loioign suppliois. Tho iosult would lo
iising ination in tho Unitod Statos, a luithoi loss ol Anoiican conpoti-
tivonoss, and a ioduction iathoi than an incioaso in jols.
Finunciu| Tincs, ; Octoloi zoo. Ono ol tho koy statononts ol tho National
Socuiity Stiatogy Docunont ol zooz'Oui loicos will lo stiong onough to dissuado
potontial advoisaiios lion puisuing a nilitaiy luild-up in hopos ol suipassing, oi
oqualling, tho powoi ol tho Unitod Statos`also did not nontion China. As David
Sangoi olsoivos, howovoi, it is haid to soo which stato qualihod noio than China
as a potontial 0s iival: Ncw Ycrk Tincs, zo Soptonloi zooz.
Kiugnan, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Doconloi zoo.
Eccncnist, Doconloi zoo.
Tho conlinod ollocts ol China`s stiong ocononic hand and Washington`s
tioullos in Wost Asia aio iooctod not just in tho two countiios` nutual
iolations lut also in thoii iospoctivo standing with thiid paitios. On tho
ovo ol tho zoo vc nooting in Bangkok, tho Ncw Ycrk Tincs iopoitod
that political and lusinoss loadois in Asia saw 0s hogonony 'sultly
lut unnistakally oioding as Asian countiios jlookod| towaid China as
tho incioasingly vital iogional powoi`. Although tho 0s ionainod tho
iogion`s liggost tiading paitnoi, China was iapidly catching up, ospo-
cially vis--vis Anoiica`s two nost inpoitant stiatogic allios, Japan and
South Koioa. Moio inpoitant, local poicoptions ol tho politics ol tho sit-
uation had oxpoiioncod a iadical tuinalout. A pioninont Singapoioan
lusinossnan who, a yoai oailioi, had accusod China ol loing 'a juggoi-
naut poisod to snothoi tho woakoi ocononios ol Southoast Asia`, now
diow an altogothoi dilloiont pictuio: 'Tho poicoption is that China is
tiying its lost to ploaso, assist, acconnodato its noighlouis whilo tho
Unitod Statos is poicoivod as a countiy involvod noio and noio in its
own loioign policy, and stiong-aining ovoiyono onto that agonda.`
tho sano tino, tho 'iiso ol Asia` was loing hailod ly tho Finunciu| Tincs`s
chiol analyst as 'tho ocononic ovont ol oui ago`:
Should it piocood as it has ovoi tho last low docados, it will liing tho two
contuiios ol glolal donination ly Euiopo and, sulsoquontly, its giant Noith
Anoiican ollshoot to an ond. Japan was lut tho hailingoi ol an Asian
lutuio. Tho countiy has piovod too snall and inwaid-looking to tiansloin
tho woild. What lollows itChina, alovo allwill piovo noithoi . . . Euiopo
was tho past, tho 0s is tho piosont and a China-doninatod Asia tho lutuio ol
tho glolal oconony. That lutuio soons lound to cono. Tho lig quostions
aio how soon and how snoothly it doos so.
Tho Asian lutuio nay not lo as inovitallo as Woll soons to inply.
Novoitholoss, thoio aio signs ol waning 0s inuonco ovon in tho cultuial
sphoio whoiolion Hollywood novios to &rvtho Anoiican appoal
ionains stiongost. Dotoiiod lion visiting tho 0s ly tho dilhcultios ol got-
ting visas altoi ], an incioasing nunloi ol Asians havo loon tiavolling
to China, as studonts and touiists. Cultuial oxchangos ow loth ways:
tho Chinoso aio loconing tho doninant touiist gioup in tho iogion,
Asian studonts havo takon advantago ol pioliloiating oppoitunitios loi
Jano Poiloz, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, 8 Octoloi zoo.
Maitin Woll, Finunciu| Tincs, zz Soptonloi zoo.
;8 iv z
highoi oducation in China, whilo niddlo-class Chinoso studonts who
cannot alloid stoop Anoiican loos go to canpusos in Southoast Asia.
Wcr|d trudc ti|ting cust
But it is in tho ocononic sphoio that tho ascont ol Chinoso inuonco is
nost ionaikallo. Ovoi tho past thioo yoais, China has accountod loi
ono-thiid ol tho total incioaso in woild inpoit voluno. It has thoioly
locono 'a loconotivo loi tho iost ol East Asia` whoio a laigo pait ol its
inpoits aio concontiatod, with oxpoits to China having playod a lig iolo
in Japan`s iocont ocononic iocovoiy.
But China`s inpoitanco iolativo
to tho 0s is giowing iapidly ovon outsido tho East Asian iogion. Tiado
with India has giown lion Soo nillion a docado ago to S.o lillion
in zooq, loading to a 'conploto U-tuin` in tho iolationship lotwoon tho
two countiios and to an unpiocodontod nutual ongagonont at tho gov-
oinnontal and lusinoss lovol aliko.
Washington`s lailuio to tighton
its contiol ovoi tho 'glolal oil spigot` in Wost Asia was signallod nost
spoctaculaily ly tho signing ol a najoi oil agioonont lotwoon Boijing
and Tohian in Octoloi zooq. Fuithoi south, oil luols China`s push into
Aliica. In zoo alono, ChinaAliica tiado incioasod noaily o poi cont
to S8. lillion. Each yoai, noio Chinoso ontiopionouis aiiivo in Aliica
to invost whoio Wostoin conpanios aio unintoiostod in doing lusinoss,
whilo tho Chinoso govoinnont (oxcopt loi ioquosting that Taiwan not lo
iocognizod piovidos dovolopnont assistanco with nono ol tho stiings
that aio attachod to Wostoin aid. Incioasingly, Aliican loadois look oast
loi tiado, aid and political alliancos, shaking up tho continont`s histoii-
cal links with Euiopo and tho Unitod Statos.
Equally signihcant aio
Chinoso inioads in South Anoiica. Whilo Bush paid only a ooting visit
to tho zooq vc nooting in Chilo, Hu Jintao spont two wooks visiting
Aigontina, Biazil, Chilo and Cula, announcod noio than So lillion
in now invostnonts and signod long-toin contiacts that will guaiantoo
China supplios ol vital iaw natoiials. Political spinolls soonod to lo
Jano Poiloz, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, Doconloi zooq.
Eccncnist, z Doconloi zooq. In zooq, China suipassod tho 0s to locono Japan`s
liggost tiading paitnoi sinco iocoids logan: Finunciu| Tincs, zo Januaiy zoo.
Anna Gioonspan, !ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, q Soptonloi zooq, N. Vidyasagai,
Tincs cj !ndiu, Foliuaiy zoo.
John Muiphy, Bu|tincrc Sun, z Novonloi zooq.
advancing nost iapidly with Biazil, whoio Lula has iopoatodly oatod
tho idoa ol a 'stiatogic allianco` with Boijing.
In zoo, tho Euiopoan Union loiocast that China night ovoitako tho 0s
as its liggost tiado paitnoi ly zoo.
In lact, il tiado lotwoon tho 0 and
China continuos to giow as last it did in tho hist hall ol zooq (a stunning
qq poi cont incioaso, tho two will locono oach othoi`s loading tiading
paitnoi in zoo. In addition, tho 0 is tho laigost loioign supplioi ol
tochnology and oquipnont to China, and ono ol tho top loioign diioct
invostois thoio. Conlinod with thoii nutual dosignation as 'stiatogic
paitnois` and lioquont joint nootings and stato visits, thoso incioasingly
closo ocononic tios havo pionptod talk ol an onoiging 'ChinaEuiopo`
axis in woild allaiis. 'Axis` nay lo too stiong a woid, lut il such an alli-
anco actually onoigos, it will lo laigoly locauso ol a connon poicoption
that 0s hnancial and nilitaiy policios constituto a soiious thioat to woild
socuiity and piospoiity. As ono Euiopoan Connission olhcial dosciilod:
'Tho 0s is tho silont paity at tho tallo in all 0China nootings, not
in toins ol piossuio lut in toins ol oui nutual intoiost in dovoloping
nultilatoialisn and constiaining Anoiican . . . lohavioui.`

China has also logun to ovoishadow tho Unitod Statos in tho pionotion
ol nultilatoial tiado liloialization. Rogionally, it sought intogiation with
sn countiios ly agiooing a Tioaty ol Anity and Coopoiation, whilo
sinultanoously sooking ocononic tios with Japan, South Koioa and
India. Glolally, it joinod Biazil, South Aliica and India in loading tho
czo ollonsivo at tho zoo wro nooting in Cancn against Noithoin dou-
llo standaidsinposing naikot oponing on tho South whilo ionaining
hoicoly piotoctionist itsoll, hist and loionost in agiicultuio whoio tho
South has tho gioatost conpaiativo advantago. In this iospoct, too, China`s
stanco contiastod shaiply with tho 0s alandonnont ol nultilatoial tiado
nogotiations in lavoui ol lilatoial agioononts, ainod at lioaking up tho
Southoin allianco that onoigod at Cancn, oi at gaining suppoit loi tho
Wai on Toiioi. On July q, zooq, Anoiican Indopondonco Day, tho Ncw
Ycrk Tincs nagazino wont so lai as to countoi tho noo-consoivativos`
Duiing a stato visit to China in May zooq, Lula said that Biazil wantod 'a pait-
noiship that intogiatos oui ocononios and soivos as a paiadign loi SouthSouth
coopoiation.` Laiiy Rohtoi, Ncw Ycrk Tincs, zo Novonloi zooq. Soo also Richaid
Lappoi, Finunciu| Tincs, o Novonloi zooq.
Ait Pino, !ntcrnuticnu| !cru|d Tribunc, Novonloi zoo.

David Shanlaugh, 'China and Euiopo: Tho Enoiging Axis`, Currcnt !istcry, vol.
o, no. o;q, Soptonloi zooq, pp. zq8.
8o iv z
Now Anoiican Contuiy ly announcing tho coning 'Chinoso Contuiy`
as its covoi stoiy:
Tho 0s oconony is alout oight tinos tho sizo ol China`s . . . Anoiicans,
poi capita, oain o tinos what tho Chinoso do. And thoio is no shoitago
ol potontial ioadllocks in China`s path, oithoi. Its lanks nay collapso. Its
pooi and its ninoiitios nay iolol. Uppity Taiwan and lunatic Noith Koioa
nay push China to wai. Tho 0s could slap taxos on ovoiything China ships
to us. Still, laiiing . . . nucloai cataclysn, nothing is likoly to koop China
down loi long. Sinco ;8 . . . jit| has gono lion loing viitually alsont in
intoinational tiado to tho woild`s thiid-nost-activo tiading nation, lohind
tho 0s and Goinany and ahoad ol Japan . . . z iocossions, a dopiossion,
two stock-naikot ciashos and two woild wais woio not allo to stop tho 0s
oconony`s giowth, ovoi tho last contuiy . . . China is poisod loi sinilai
giowth in this contuiy. Evon il China`s pooplo do not, on avoiago, havo tho
woalth Anoiicans do, and ovon il tho Unitod Statos continuos to play a
stiong ocononic gano and to load in tochnology, China will still lo an ovoi
noio loinidallo conpotitoi. Il any countiy is going to supplant tho 0s in
tho woild naikotplaco, China is it.
In sun: lai lion laying tho loundations ol a socond Anoiican Contuiy,
tho occupation ol Iiaq has joopaidizod tho ciodilility ol 0s nilitaiy
night, luithoi undoininod tho contiality ol tho 0s and its cuiioncy
within tho glolal political oconony, and stiongthonod tho tondoncy
towaids tho onoigonco ol China as an altoinativo to 0s loadoiship in
East Asia and loyond. It would havo loon haid to inagino a noio iapid
and conploto lailuio ol tho noo-consoivativo inpoiial piojoct. But il tho
cuiiont Adninistiation`s lid loi glolal supionacy is nost likoly to go
down in histoiy as ono ol tho sovoial 'lulllos` to havo punctuatod tho
toininal ciisis ol 0s hogonony, its luisting doos not noan that tho woild-
histoiical ciicunstancos that gonoiatod tho Piojoct loi a Now Anoiican
Contuiy will ovapoiatooi that Washington will not ionain a doninant
playoi in woild allaiis. Although no longoi hogononic in tho sonso in
which wo havo usod tho toin, tho 0s ionains tho woild`s pio-oninont
nilitaiy powoi and iotains considoiallo lovoiago in tho now 'lalanco ol
toiioi` that links its ocononic policios to thoso ol its loioign hnanciois
and conpotitois. In oidoi to idontily tho possillo lutuio usos ol this
iosidual powoi, as woll as thoii piolallo consoquoncos, wo nust now
tuin to tho histoiical piocossos that undoilio tho iolationship lotwoon
capitalisn and inpoiialisn. It is thoso quostions that Pait Two ol this
ossay will addioss.
Tod Fishnan, 'Tho Chinoso Contuiy`, Ncw Ycrk Tincs Muguzinc, q July zooq.
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