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Published:November 9th, 2012 13:09 EST
A Dream Hard Fought

A Dream Hard Fought

By Vincent Gonzalez


The inadequacies that stem from dominance usually result from a simple idea taking on a life of its own. When it comes to the world at large and the United States role in it, the layers of fabric that make up the tapestry that is the international community would largely be dominated by a long stretch of a red, white and blue. Not even the three-fates of ancient Greek mythology could have imagined a tapestry fashioned like the world we have today. Daily, since the terrorists attacks of 9/11 the globe has been held hostage by a shadow regime of radical fundamentalist who continue to exploit the fabric of this tapestry, shredding strands and replacing them with their own in a blind attempt to appease their own radical beliefs. In this post-cold war world, with the U.S. emerging as the only remaining superpower the world is poised to entered a new period in which leadership rests firmly on the shoulders of the United States. One can only speculate as to when the sun will finally set on this international hierarchy that now is the basis for international affairs. What lessons can be learned from events like the terrorists attacks of 9/11, Vietnam, or even the attack on Pearl Harbor is for historians to debate, but what lies at the core of this long fraught debate is the role of the United States and its ability to not only maintain its position as a dominant force around the world but to use its influence, whether it be diplomatic, military, or economic to secure its interests at home and abroad.   

The United States ability to maintain its dominant position on a global scale if anything is a result of the end of the cold war and its ability to stay at the forefront of international affairs. In examining both the U.S. administrations before and after the 9/11 terrorists attacks you can definitely notice what stakes where involved in the framework of the global community. Before and during the cold war our foe was an enemy whose idea and style of governing was in conflict with our own, but now after the 9/11 attacks we fight a new war with an enemy disguised in the shadows. What dictates the motives of any one country is hard to say, yet in regards to the United States and its hegemonic position in the world, it might not be a motive that influences its behavior but an opportunity. Based on the threats, a uniploar state can easily pick and choose what it wants to focus on and simply ignore the rest. The trick is predicting the specific behavior, a talent us humans still need to work on. According to one expert, "Indeed predicting the specific behavior of the American unipole is likely to be particularly task for realists, because a hegemonic state faces few international constraints and has a greater ability to ignore or attempt to overcome those that do exist. (1.)

  Currently, the United States has to walk a fine line between balancing its own ambitions and also taking into the consideration the value of the global community of people at large. One theory for future U.S. role in international affairs is the balance-of-threat theory, a theory that preserves unipolarity by having the U.S. working multilaterally with other status quo states, thereby only inserting, "itself into regional balances overseas if a potential regional hegemon arises that can only be stopped with U.S. assistance." (1.) It only makes sense that at the top of any hierarchy, the person on top will most likely take advantage of its position by remaking the world in its image. Viewed through the prism of 9/11, the American perception of any threat nowadays is followed closely behind with a quick, hasty response. It seems that since the 9/11 attacks the American people can`t afford to be less cautious. We can`t allow our threats to become our interests.

    The future of the international community is, (in particular the role of the United States, Russia and China) fraught with misconceptions and odd beliefs on all sides. What future leaders need to keep in mind, especially here in the United States is that not all terrorists and rogue states are necessarily new al Qaedas. Instead of strategic choices setting priorities, often as not they set standards or bench markers on the progress at hand. Diplomatically, economically, and militarily if the world is to live in a relative peaceful planet, all major international players need to be involved and multilateral approaches to problems need to be made. As best said by one expert, "If the United States is to navigate the international balance of power effectively, it must first balance the American pendulum and prevent the lessons of September 11 from leading to a hyperactive and ultimately counterproductive foreign policy." (1.) 

(1.) Jervis, Robert, and Loren Kando, eds. The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: The Academy of Political Science, 2008. 15-16, 34. Print.