Kennedy, for his part, was astutely aware that the bipolar world of the post war era could only last so long. Both the twin fiscal and account deficits of the United States as well as the costs of its open ended military commitments abroad, have resemblances to other overstretched empires of the past. The current major issue in a discussion of American hegemony is the ongoing global economic crisis. As defense spending increases, this reduces the investments in economic growth, which eventually, leads to the downward spiral of slower growth, heavier taxes, deepening domestic splits over spending priorities, and weakening capacity to bear the burdens of defense. And we could spend another five, seven, eight years using the same conventional strategy, and still not be any closer to victory. Kennedy’s term for the phenomenon is imperial overstretch, also known as imperial overreach, and the two classic examples are:

You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Notify me of new comments via email. Britain and the United States Surrey: Dacia and Mesopotamia after that and could not keep the Saxons, Huns and other ‘barbarians’ out in the 4th and 5th centuries. I don’t how one could view it as not being a mistake.

I don’t how one could view it as not being a mistake. The current major issue in a discussion of American hegemony is the ongoing global economic crisis. To be sure, as Congressional Republicans push for another increase in U. Kennedy saw an increasingly fractured world, in which smaller political units would emerge within the vacuum of such a decline.

Imperial overstretch – Wikipedia

Notes [1] Kennedy, Paul. This is not a new challenge to the study of international history, which naturally includes the interstate interactions inherent to the examination of all empires.

imperial overstretch thesis definition

Dual Citizens in Congress? By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. And the view from here argues that the United States — another great power — in this case a superpower that overspent on defense, has weakened its economy and is in danger of driving its empire to the fate of Britain’s and the Soviet Union’s, if it doesn’t change its course and reverse the policy.


See also Andrew Bacevich, American Empire: Might Washington, like Rome, fall victim to imperial overstretch?

The Danger of Imperial Overstretch

The electric grid must be upgraded. The author laments that the U.

Department of Defense over the past 20 years — i. Rather, the totality of those three factors cumulatively puts the United States on a path to decline.

imperial overstretch thesis definition

This article about a political term is a stub. Geographic overstretch clearly exacerbates the existing economic and military overstretch problems. The second area in which the United States is overextending is the military.

The Danger of Imperial Overstretch | Foreign Policy Journal

American hegemony and the historiography of empires in decline The idea of imperial overstretch is not new to modern history. Webarchive template wayback links Wikipedia articles needing rewrite from November All articles needing rewrite Articles with attributed pull quotes All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from November All overstreth articles.

Eisenhower, a five-star U. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: We Need to Know.

Imperial Overstretch: Is A Bloated Defense Budget Weakening the U.S.?

What’s more, underscoring — the United States did not have the money to overspend on defense during this period — it extended the militarily far beyond the nation’s ability to rationally support those adventures. Imperial overstretchalso known as Imperial overreachis a hypothesis which suggests that an empire can extend itself beyond its ability to maintain or expand its military and economic commitments. Clearly, this was true of the Napoleonic Empire, which made rapid gains by conquest in the first decade after Napoleon became dictator of Francebut became over-extended militarily when it attempted to conquer Russia in The Realities and Consequences of U.


Nouriel Roubini, a well known economist and academic, recently commented that because over half of all US Treasury bonds were owned by non residents, America faced the real possibility of losing its hegemonic dominance to its competitors, who would use this situation to their advantage. Aside from the cost of waging military conflict or maintaining United States presence abroad, there is a significant, unsustainable overstretching of military personnel and resources.

Along with increased funding for education and basic research, schools need to be rebuilt, as do many hospitals. Might the whole idea of America eventually be challenged and destroyed by some charismatic new faith: In it, Kennedy argued, among other tenets, that the relative strength between the major powers in the world never remains constant, and that, repeatedly, a great power has thought it could engage in military adventures — extend itself beyond its ability to maintain those commitments, and neglect its economy, but the result has been empire decline.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Instead, the Pentagon chose to fight the war conventionally, which was thhesis mistake, he said to IBTimes. Beyond the costs of the wars, Ferguson also warned of the forthcoming fiscal deficit that will expand as more baby boomers retire and claim Social Security and Medicare benefits.

The conventional war strategy is wasteful and it’s not going to work in Afghanistan, he said to the International Business Times.

imperial overstretch thesis definition

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