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Stokes, Doug (2005)
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: JZ
Contemporary critical theorising on US Empire tends to diverge in two ways. First, more traditional approaches tend to foreground the national basis of the USA's imperial project and the subsequent ongoing inter-imperial rivalry inherent between rival capitalist states and regions. A second ‘global-capitalist’ approach rejects the notion of US Empire and instead posits the transcendence of a nationally based imperialism in favour of an increasingly transnationally orientated state and global ruling class. I argue that both accounts fail in their singularity to capture the nature and role of the US state within a global political economy. Instead, I argue that the US state has long been both subject to and demonstrative of a dual national and transnational structural logic that seeks to enhance US national interests while reproducing a world order favourable for global capital as a whole. Crucially, the end of the Cold War and the terrorist attacks on 9/11 have exacerbated the tensions between these dual logics; these will potentially affect both the hegemony of American Empire and the future of international relations in profound ways.
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    • 1 William Appleman Williams, 'The frontier thesis and American foreign policy', Pacific Historic Review, XXIV, 1955, p 379.
    • 2 For a selection, see Wesley K Clark, Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism and the American Empire, New York: Public Affairs, 2003; Ivan Eland, 'The empire strikes out: the ''new imperialism'' and its fatal flaws', Policy Analysis, 459, 2002, pp 1 - 27; Nial Ferguson, Empire: How Britain Made the World, London: Allen Lane, 2003; Victor Davis Hanson, 'A funny sort of empire', National Review Online, 27 November 2002; G John Ikenberry, 'The illusions of empire', Foreign Affairs, 82 (2), 2004, pp 144 - 154; Charles S Maier, 'An American Empire', Harvard Magazine, 105 (2), 2002, pp 28 - 31; and Max Boot, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, New York: Basic Books, 2002.
    • 3 See George W Bush, State of the Union Address, Washington, DC, 29 January 2002, at http://www. whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.html. Cf Bruce Cumings, Ervand Abrahamian & Moshe Ma'oz, Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth About North Korea, Iran, and Syria, New York: New Press, 2004.
    • 4 Michael Cox, 'The empire's back in town: or America's imperial temptation-again', Millennium, 32 (1), 2003, p 8.
    • 5 New York Times, 17 February 2003.
    • 6 Michael Ignatieff, 'The burden', New York Times Magazine, 5 January 2003, p 24.
    • 7 Condoleezza Rice, Remarks by National Security Adviser on Terrorism and Foreign Policy, 29 April 2002. Cf Jack Snyder, 'Imperial temptations', The National Interest, 71, pp 29 - 40.
    • 8 Robert Kaplan, quoted in Emily Eakin, New York Times, 31 March 2002.
    • 9 Sebastian Mallaby, 'The reluctant imperialist: terrorism, failed states, and the case for American empire', Foreign Affairs, 81 (2), 2002, pp 2 - 7.
    • 10 Max Boot, 'The case for American empire: the most realistic response to terrorism is for America to embrace its imperial role', The Weekly Standard, 15 October 2002, at http://www.weeklystandard.comcontent-public-articles-000-000-000-318qpvmc.asp. For an extended discussion of Boot's call for US neo-imperialism, see his The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, New York: Basic Books, 2002.
    • 11 Anon, 'The American Empire', 27 June 2002, at http://www.stratfor.biz-lStory.neo.
    • 12 PBS, Excerpts from Defense Planning Guidance, undated, at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/ shows/iraq/etc/wolf.html. For context, see Patrick E Tyler, 'US strategy plan calls for insuring no rivals develop', New York Times, 8 March 1992.
    • 13 Dana Priest, The Mission: America's Military in the Twenty-First Century, New York: WW Norton, 2003, p 30.
    • 14 Haass tempers his conclusions, however, with the observation that US 'imperial foreign policy is not to be confused with imperialism', which 'connotes exploitation, normally for commercial ends, often requiring territorial control'. Richard N Haass, 'Imperial America', Foreign Affairs, 11 November 2000, at http://www.brook.edu/views/articles/haass/19990909primacy_FA.htm.
    • 15 White House, National Security Strategy of the United States, 2002, p 33.
    • 16 G John Ikenberry, 'America's imperial ambition', Foreign Affairs, September - October 2002, at http:// sobek.colorado.edu/*brahm/courses/PSCI2223Fall2002/ImperialAmbition.pdf.
    • 17 Stefan Halper & Jonathan Clarke, America Alone. The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
    • 18 Andrew J Bacewich, American Empire. The Realities and Consequences of US Diplomacy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002, p 4.
    • 19 David Painter, 'Explaining US relations with the Third World', Diplomatic History, 19 (3), 1995, pp 530 - 531.
    • 20 Cordell Hull, quoted in RT Robertson, The Making of the Modern World: An Introductory History, London: Zed Books, 1986, p 113.
    • 21 See Gabriel Kolko, The Politics of War. The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943 - 1945, New York: Pantheon, 1990. See also Walter LaFeber, America, Russia and the Cold War, 1945 - 1980, New York: John Wiley, 1980; and William Appleman Williams, History as a Way of Learning, New York: Norton, 1988.
    • 22 Paul Nitze, NSC 68 United States Objectives and Programs for National Security, 14 April 1949, at 5 http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsc-hst/nsc-68.htm 4 .
    • 23 The most extensive study of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Grand Area concept is Laurence H Shoup & William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations & United States Foreign Policy, London: Monthly Review Press, 1977. See also Stephen Gill, American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. For a more liberal analysis of the Grand Area strategy, see G John Ikenberry, 'The myth of post-cold war chaos', Foreign Affairs, 75 (3), 1996, pp 79 - 91.
    • 24 Shoup & Minter, Imperial Brain Trust, pp 117 - 177. See also Stephen Gill, 'Pax Americana: multilateralism and the global economic order', in Anthony McGrew (ed), Empire, Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1994.
    • 25 See Laurence H Shoup & William Minter, 'Shaping a new world order: the Council on Foreign Relations: blueprint for world hegemony', in Holly Sklar (ed), Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management, Boston, MA: South End Press, 1980, pp 135 - 156. See also William Robinson, Promoting Polyarchy, Globalization, US Intervention and Hegemony, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, p 15.
    • 26 G John Ikenberry, 'The myth of post-cold war chaos', in Ikenberry, American Foreign Policy. Theoretical Essays, New York: Longman, 1999, p 618. Ikenberry's is a curious take on the postwar order insofar as it posits an equality of power among Western states in constructing the postwar system. See George Monbiot, Manifesto For a New World Order, New York: New Press, 2004 for an excellent history of the Bretton Woods negotiations and the disparities of power between Britain and the USA, the principal architects of the liberal postwar order.
    • 27 George Kennan, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948. Report by the Policy Planning Staff, Washington, DC: General Printing Office, 1976, pp 524 - 525.
    • 28 Geir Lundestad, 'Empire by invitation in the American century', in Michael J Hogan (ed), The Ambiguous Legacy. US Foreign Relations in the 'American Century', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp 52 - 91.
    • 29 Leo Panitch & Sam Gindin, Global Capitalism and American Empire, London: Merlin Press, 2003.
    • 30 Kissinger, quoted in Seymour M Hersh, The Price of Power. Kissinger in the Nixon White House, London: Simon & Schuster, 1983, p 636.
    • 31 Perry Anderson, 'Force and consent', New Left Review, 17, 2002, pp 5 - 30.
    • 32 Peter Gowan, 'The American campaign for global sovereignty', Socialist Register, London: Merlin Books, 2003, pp 1 - 27.
    • 33 Joseph S Nye, Jr The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
    • 34 James Petras & Morris Morley, 'The US imperial state', in James Petras, with Morris H Morley, Peter DeWitt & A Eugene Havens, Class, State, and Power in the Third World, with Case Studies on Class Conflict in Latin America, New Jersey: Allan Held, Osmun & Publishers, 1981.
    • 35 Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, School of Assassins, New York: Orbis Books, 1997. Today US military force continues to play a central role and the USA officially has 702 overseas military bases in 130 countries (unofficially the USA has many more) while it trains up to '100 000 foreign soldiers annually' with the training taking place in 'at least 150 institutions within the US and in 180 countries around the world'. See Lora Lumpe, 'Foreign military training: global reach, global power, and oversight issues', Foreign Policy In Focus, May 2002, at http://www.fpif.org/papers/miltrain/index.html. See also Chalmers Johnson, The Arithmetic of America's Military Bases Abroad: What Does It All Add Up to?, at http:// hnn.us/articles/3097.html.
    • 36 George Kennan, quoted in David F Schmitz, Thank God They're On Our Side. The United States & Right-Wing Dictatorships 1921 - 1965, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999, p 149.
    • 37 Painter, 'Explaining US relations with the Third World', p 525.
    • 38 Schmitz, Thank God They're On Our Side; Dianna Melrose, Nicaragua: The Threat of a Good Example?, Oxford: Oxfam Public Affairs Unit, 1985; and Kolko, The Politics of War.
    • 39 Charles R Burrows, quoted in Piero Gleijeses, Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944 - 54, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991, p 365. See also James F Siekmeier, '''The most generous assistance'': US economic aid to Guatemala and Bolivia , 1944 - 1959', Journal of American and Canadian Studies, 11, 1994, p 26.
    • 40 Gabriel Kolko, The Roots of American Foreign Policy, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1969, p 79; John Dinges, The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents, New York: New Books, 2004; and Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, New Jersey: Wiley, 2004.
    • 41 Doug Stokes, 'Why the end of the Cold War doesn't matter: the US war of terror in Colombia', Review of International Studies, 29, 2003, pp 569 - 585.
    • 42 On recent alleged US-backed coups, see Anon, 'Aristide says US deposed him in ''coup d'etat''', CNN.com, 1 March 2004, at http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/americas/03/01/aristide.claim/; Duncan Campbell, 'American navy ''helped Venezuelan coup''', Guardian, 29 April 2002, at http:// www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4403366,00.html; and Conn Hallinan, 'Backyard bully?', Interhemispheric Resource Center, 12 September 2002, at http://www.americaspolicy.org/commentary/ 2002/0209bully_body.html.
    • 43 Michael Cox, US Foreign Policy After the Cold War: Superpower Without A Mission, London: Pinter, 1995, p 5.
    • 44 Mark Laffey & Tarak Barkawi, 'The imperial peace: democracy, force and globalization', European Journal of International Relations, 5 (4), 1999, pp 403 - 434.
    • 45 Fred Halliday, 'The pertinence of imperialism', in Mark Rupert & Hazel Smith (eds), Historical Materialism and Globalization, London: Routledge, 2002, pp 76 - 77.
    • 46 William Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class and State in a Transnational World, Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2004, p 10.
    • 47 Ibid.
    • 48 William Robinson, 'Capitalist globalization and the transnationalization of the state', in Rupert & Smith, Historical Materialism and Globalization, pp 213 - 214.
    • 49 Ibid, p 215.
    • 50 Ibid, p 225.
    • 51 Robinson, 'Capitalist globalization and the transnationalization of the state', p 215.
    • 52 Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism, p 47.
    • 53 Ibid, p 45.
    • 54 Ibid, p 131.
    • 55 Ibid, (emphasis in original).
    • 56 Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Empire, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
    • 57 Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism, p 140.
    • 58 Fortune Magazine, Fortune Global 500, at http://www.fortune.com/fortune/global500/subs/country/ 0,17707,,00.html.
    • 59 Public Citizen, A Ten-Point Plan to Fight for the Americas: No to FTAA, at http://www.citizen.org/trade/ ftaa/TAKE_ACTION_/articles.cfm?ID = 8483.
    • 60 Le Monde Diplomatique, April 2001.
    • 61 Claudio Katz, 'Free Trade Area of the Americas. NAFTA marches south, NACLA: Report on the Americas, 4, 2002, pp 27 - 31.
    • 62 Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism, p 140.
    • 63 Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, US Military Budget is the World's Largest, and Still Growing, at
    • 64 Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism, p 140.
    • 65 For an excellent survey of US policy in the Middle East and the role that oil has played in consolidating US hegemony in the postwar system, see Simon Bromley, American Hegemony and World Oil: The Industry, the State System, and the World Economy, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991. For more on Iraq and the aftermath of the US occupation, see Eric Herring & Glen Rangwala, Iraq in Fragments: The Occupation and its Legacy, London: Hurst, 2005.
    • 66 Peter Gowan, The Global Gamble: Washington's Faustian Bid for World Dominance, London: Verso, 1999.
    • 67 Peter Gowan, 'A calculus of power', New Left Review, 16, 2002, p 65.
    • 68 Robert Kagan, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order, New York: Knopf, 2003.
    • 69 Robert Kagan, 'Multilateralism, American style', Washington Post, 14 September 2002.
    • 70 Madeleine Albright, quoted in Edward S Herman, 'Uncle Chutzpah gets back into the ring', 9 April 2001, Znet, at http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2001-04/09herman.htm.
    • 71 Charles Krauthammer, Democratic Realism. An American Foreign Policy for a Unipolar World, American Enterprise Institute, 12 February 2004, at http://aei.org/news/newsID.19912,filter./ news_detail.asp.
    • 72 Richard Perle, Next Stop, Iraq, Remarks of the Hon Richard Perle at the FPRI Annual Dinner, 14 November 2001, at http://www.fpri.org/transcripts/annualdinner.20011114.perle.nextstopiraq.html.
    • 73 Leo Panitch & Sam Gindin, 'Global capitalism and American empire', in Panitch & Gindin, Socialist Register: The New Imperial Challenge, London: Merlin Press, 2003, p 31.
    • 74 Support for America's war on Iraq contributed significantly to the loss of the Spanish election by the right-wing Spanish government of Jos e´ Maria Aznar and has eroded support for the UK's Prime Minister, Tony Blair. See Katya Adler, 'Spain's ''Old Europe'' connection', BBC, 14 September 2004, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3653902.stm.
    • 75 See Noam Chomsky, The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo, Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1999 for a good critique of humanitarianism as a pretext for imperial wars.
    • 76 G John Ikenberry, 'Liberalism and empire: logics of order in the American unipolar age', Review of International Studies, 30 (4), 2004, p 629.
    • 77 Chalmers Johnson, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, New York: Owl Books, 2004.
    • 78 See Doug Stokes, America's Other War: Terrorizing Colombia, London: Zed Books, 2004 for an analysis of US counter-insurgency warfare in Colombia and its link to the preservation of market 'stability' and crucial South American oil supplies.
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