US Has No Hegemony to Share; China Stupid to Seek HegemonyPosted: August 31, 2016
The US is indeed the richest and militarily strongest country in the world, but it does not have world hegemony.
It is meaningless for a hegemon to have the strongest military power if it cannot use such power wisely to achieve its strategic goal.
When the US won a landslide victory in the Gulf War, it scared everyone even China. At that time, it was world hegemon. When it invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and won initial victories, it was still a world hegemon all those who opposed it dared not to openly challenge it.
However, when it kept its troops in the two countries to be killed and wounded by locals for a long time, people saw its weakness in spite of its military power and no longer regarded it as a hegemon to be feared.
The US has thus passed its golden era as the only hegemon in the world. Before American failures in the two countries, no one dare to openly challenge the US. However, when the US has shown its weakness in the two countries, ISIS dare to openly challenge the US and declare that it will attack the US.
A country is regarded as militarily strong because it is able to use its strong military wisely to achieve its strategic goal instead of its possession of the best weapons in the world.
US politicians and generals are not even able to set clear and attainable strategic goals in wars.
For example, what was US goal in invading Iraq? It made public at the beginning of its invasion that it wanted to remove Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. It succeeded in its invasion but found no such weapons and there was no need of removal. As a result, it had achieved its strategic goal with respect to weapons of mass destruction and should leave.
However, US politicians and generals changed their strategic goal into an unattainable one of establishing democracy in Iraq. Democracy can never be established by outside military force in a country without the basic foundation of democracy.
The US only succeeded in replacing Saddam Hussein’s national tyranny with regional tyrannies of various factions in Iraq. In spite of obvious failure to achieve the strategic goal of establishing democracy there, the US did not retreat but kept its troops there to be killed and wounded by Islamic extremists and allowed them to grow in strength. Those extremists set up ISIS when the US was forced to retreat.
Moreover, the wars have caused the US to be heavily in debt. The US has betrayed its financial inability in fighting wars to maintain its hegemon status.
By that time the US failures and weakness had caused it to lose its status as world hegemon though it remains the only superpower in the world.
Superpower is not the synonym of hegemon. They are two different concepts.
A country is a superpower when it is militarily and economically the strongest in the world, but it need not pursue world hegemony. Who says that a superpower must pursue hegemony? There is no such rule. Even if there is such a rule, no one is able to impose it as no one is able to tell the strongest what to do.
For example, China was a superpower in Ming Dynasty, but its most powerful fleet in the world did not attack or seize any land in any country. It instead gave gifts to all the countries its fleet visited to show a superpower’s wealth and advanced culture.
I reblogged Michael Lind’s August 21 essay “Can America Share Its Superpower Status?” in order to entertain readers as I find it really funny.
I wrote a post “America Shares Superpower Status with Others – Simply Nonsense” to further entertain readers but seems not able to make readers enjoy the fun fully.
To make further fun, I have to point out here that the writer has confused the concept of superpower with hegemon. The US is the only superpower economically and militarily in the world now but not a hegemon as it lacks the wisdom to pursue hegemony.
The question Michael Lind actually asks is: Can America share its hegemony status? It is not the question “Can America Share Its Superpower Status?” that is simply nonsense.
I have pointed above that the US has no hegemony status now. How can the US share with others what it does not have?
Michael Lind must be sick with hegemony syndrome to be so obsessed with hegemony.
China will become an economic superpower as it wants its people to have the highest living standards. Due to its largest population, its economy will grow much larger than the US.
It must build up its military to be able to resist another country’s bully.
The US tried to impose the Hague arbitration ruling by force when it sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to China’s vicinity to scare China. At that time, its top admiral even said that China must be aware what such deployment meant.
If China had not had grown militarily strong enough, it would have been scared. However, China knows how to defend itself. It has no need to be as powerful militarily as the US to defend itself. With much smaller resources, it can exploit its geographical advantages to resist US attack.
China conducted large-scale military drills before and after the ruling and is now conducting regular combat patrol of its air force to safeguard its historical rights and interests in the South China Sea.
China’s resolution to fight to defend its interests and rights instead has scared the US who regards itself as but is actually not the only hegemon in the world. Now, according to Reuters report today titled “Kerry says no military solution to South China Sea dispute”, the US hopes that China will not resolve the disputes by force as the US will not fight for the Philippines if China takes back by force the islands and reefs occupied by the Philippines but claimed by China.
The role of world hegemon is a hard job. The US spends US$100 billion every year to protect its allies. That is quite a heavy financial burden. That is nothing compared with US very large military budget to maintain its top military strength that it does not know how to use wisely.
Shall China take such burdens to pursue American type of hegemony? Never. Therefore, China shall not share US world hegemony even if the US really has such hegemony and wants to share because it is stupid to pursue such hegemony.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Michael Lind’s essay “Can America Share Its Superpower Status?” and Reuters report “Kerry says no military solution to South China Sea dispute”. Full text of the former was reblogged in my post yesterday while that of the latter can be viewed at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-ruling-kerry-idUSKCN1160QV