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Commentary – one cheer for American empire

In my latest post on the National Journal expert blog, in the context of a discussion on the deeply disfunctional (dysfunctional?) US-Pakistan relationship, I give a hat tip to hegemony:

…we bully and bribe the Pakistanis to do specific things that they don’t want to do. It’s ugly and messy, but in the ugly, messy reality of international power politics, it’s what countries have to do — and especially so for imperial powers…. As a practical matter, American prosperity depends on the global system of trade — most obviously but not only in the form of Middle Eastern oil. On a global scale, we have more at stake than any other country and more power to act. That inevitably sucks a nation into performing some kind of imperial role, often against its will, whether it’s the Roman Republic repeatedly conquering new provinces to stop barbarian raids against the old ones or trade interests dragging first the British East India Company and ultimately the British government into the internal politics of the Indian subcontinent. The United States may be an inadvertent and reluctant empire, but we are stuck with an imperial role all the same.

For the full post in context, go to this week’s discussion on the NJ blog.

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