Friday, June 10, 2005

Dan Drezner writes something stupid:

on the decreasing frequency of warfare, he writes:

U.S. hegemony important to the reduction of conflict in two ways. First, U.S. power can act as a powerful if imperfect constraint on pairs of enduring rivals (Greece-Turkey, India-Pakistan) that contemplate war on a regular basis. It can't stop every conflict, but it can blunt a lot ofthem. Second, and more important to Easterbrook's thesis, U.S. supremacy in conventional military affairs prevents other middle-range states -- China, Russia, India, Great Britain, France, etc. -- from challenging the U.S. or each other in a war. It would be suicide for anyone to fight a war with the U.S., and if any of these countries waged a war with each other, the prospect of U.S. intervention would be equally daunting.

Of course, the US cannot even interfere in Darfur, where a genocide is going on, or in North Korea, which has directly challenged the US. The idea that it would interefere in a war between "China, Russia, India, Great Britain, France" is plainly ridiculous. Notice the evidence-less presentation: thats what happens when one mindlessly applies theories without stopping to consider whether they apply.


At 4:54 AM, Blogger Daniel Nexon said...


I don't know if you've seen my posts on this, but Dan doesn't do a great job of discussing the logic by which hegemons reduce instances of military conflict. The argument isn't as mindless as you think....

(There's also very impressive statistical support for it, in the writings of A.F.K. Organski and his followers)

At 6:19 AM, Blogger alex said...

No, I hadn't seen your posts - thanks for letting me know.

Perhaps there are ways to argue that hegemons reduce instances of military conflict. But I find Drezner's claim - that the US reduces military conflict, not just because there are no great power confrontations, but because nations are afraid to start wars for fear of US intervention to be divorced from reality.

It is one thing to claim something along the lines of: the US has many alliances, and states are afraid to attack states that are allied with the US for fear of intervention. It is quite another to claim that Great Britain and France have not engaged in wars among each other due to US hegemony. The record of US intervention and non-intervention in the post cold war era lends no support to the notion that the US would intervene in an UK-France war.


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