No this is not a rant about the evil American Empire. In fact I appreciate them taking the role of international police force. I get most of the benefits of their actions, a safer world, pressure on terrorists, some sort of control over the more extreme states, etc without having to pay for it.
However it does seem that one of the major factors of their country’s decline is precisely this. They just spend too much playing police. Take the war on terror for example. How much do they spent deploying their military every day? A million dollars? A billion? Those numbers may actually be too small. God forbid a tank blows up. Then you would probably double your day’s expenditure. That’s money that they could be using at home. Creating jobs, developing infrastructure, etc. No wonder China is gaining on them.
There is actually already a growing movement in their country for them to lay down the mantle of world police. You see the criticisms in their culture all the time. From movies like Team America, comments and jokes form south park and other comedians, to people simply posting on blogs on their latest blunders.
Is America to blame for this role though? And can they quit now as everyone wants them to? I would actually say that due to various external and internal factors in their history the U.S. could not help but be anything but the world’s police force. I also think giving up the mantle now would be disastrous for them. More so than the amount of money they sink for it everyday.
Externally countries who hate the States now would not stop hating them if they did not get involved. In fact they might blame them more for not helping in their problems. Even without these problems the poorer countries would still focus their hate on them for being the most prosperous country. Whether that hate is deserved or not. After all the leaders can’t very well blame themselves right?
Internally the citizens would urge their government to stop injustices around the world. After all whether America becomes the world police or not, the holocaust still happens, children still get sent to mines in Africa, the Middle eastern States still fight amongst themselves. The only difference is there would really be no one around to stop it. This is particularly true in times of prosperity. Where the people do not have enough problems of their own and participate in the problems of others. This situation is unique to America. I mean sure citizens in my country could demand that the government do something about child trafficking in Africa, but deep-down we would know that the government does not have any power to do this so we would not expect anything. While people in America would have a valid expectation that there government can indeed do something about these injustices. Of course there are also enormous short-term economic benefits to being the world police which really does make it inevitable.
Still now that it is actually hurting them, they just cannot drop the role. There has already been too much ill will generated in the past. Take the war on terror for instance. If the U.S. army were to abandon every single outpost in the middle east and leave the terrorists to their own devices, would said terrorists say “ thank you, come again!” ? No. They would take it as a sign of weakness and then begin pressing for their revenge. I would not be surprised if there is another tragedy on the scale of 9/11 within 10 years.
Is the US screwed then? Will they be forced to spend all the money on the worlds problems and none on their own?
Probably. I can’t really offer any creative solutions. I mean after seeing what they are going thru I doubt they can convince anyone to take over for them as global gestapo. Sure you can deputize people when they want to be deputized. Like in the case of France in Libya. But as soon as the immediate situation is handled everything gets tossed back to good old U.S.
All I can really offer is a suggestion. Right now the most expensive part of being the world police is the war on terror. So my suggestion will focus on that but can easily be adapted to other situations. Make your carrot, a gilded armored carrot. Then make your stick so long and sharp that whoever gets hit by it will never forget. In fact just make it into a sword.
The gilded, armored, carrot. Everyone who supports the U.S. must be rewarded financially. They must be rewarded so well that they will be able to live lives those who don’t support the U.S. can only dream of more. More importantly they must be guaranteed this life. After all what use is this wealth if they die in the process? US troops must protect them from any and all harm. Even if it means trading American lives for theirs.
The sword. Be harsher towards the terrorists. I would not mind if more of them died “while resisting arrest”. In fact I would not mind at all if the people harboring them die in the shootout. Sure human rights advocates and other people like that will complain. But there really is no other way. You have to show them what it truly means to stand against you.
It will be a long and difficult path. The tactics that have to be used will be harsh. Draconian even. But one day he U.S. may finally find itself safe to rectify its mistake and lay down the mantle of world police.