The United States has dominated power for quite some time, which is more than a century. Many analysts have argued that the United States may anytime lose its sole control to China, which is believed to be an emerging superpower. According to Beckley, the United States has several reasons why it will remain the only superpower for decades. He tackles these reasons in his book, “Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the World’s Superpower.” America has ensured and has enforced peace and order in the world. According to Robert Kagan, the United States, in recent years, some developments have disturbed her and is in the process of withdrawing from the position of being the world’s superpower considering her sentiments. Kagan highlights reasons why it can be the worst response even if the United States withdraws. He argues that powers are growing, just like how the Jungle will always grow back after it is cut down. He says that actors have filled the world which, if left unchecked and controlled, they have the ability as well as the desire to make worse things in this world.
Why America Will Remain the World’s Superpower?
America is a country that is believed to be living very far from troubles. It is considered to be a blessed nation. It is naturally protected by two big oceans and neighbors that never threaten. America has a large population whose majority are young and educated. Its natural resources are not limited. Its economy is innovative, and it’s enormous (Beckley, 2018). America’s military is mighty, experienced, and very well equipped. The United States is suitably located geographically, something that translates to numerous advantages in the position of geopolitics. America faces rivalry from China, the European Union, and Russia, who fight for the position of being the superpowers. They are limited in some ways. Compared to rivals, America enjoys so many sources of strength as a nation. Many foresee the United States decline, but according to Beckley, it is to remain the sole superpower in the world for decades.
Beckley makes some comparisons between America and other powers who have been rivals for some time by calculating their economy that is needed to maintain those powers. Three types of costs which include production costs, security costs, and welfare costs. Productions costs refer to values that are incurred during the generation of the economy and military power (Beckley, 2018). These may include expenses like training of troops and acquiring natural resources. The costs incurred while supporting a country’s population are referred to as welfare costs. These include charges directed to the social services of the country. Finally, the values that are incurred in maintaining the internal government and enabling the country to survive in the neighborhood are the security costs.
Although China is believed by many to be taking over, Beckley argues that it is very far much behind the United States in terms of national power, and it will remain to be far behind for the next couple of years. The US has a policy of ignoring the weaknesses of china and continually implements a severe response to its expansion, which is interpreted as the growth of power. The United States’ wealth is three times that of China (Beckley, 2018). The gap is enormous and growing every year by trillions of dollars. The economy of China though it is significant, is not sufficient. For the companies of china to produces as the Americas companies do, they need to double capital and five-times labor. The rate of wealth accumulation in China is very much slower compared to the United States.
This is because China feeds, protects, and serves four times the number of people the United States does. In terms of military capability, the United States has almost ten times compared to china. The United States, with its partners and allies, can maintain stably prevent China from expanding to East Asia. China can and potential to deny military of the United States the control of their sea and air for some miles on the coast of China, but China cannot sustain the significant battle operation after that zone. The cost that the United States retains to deny China the control of air and sea over those areas is relatively low. This includes even preventing China from achieving some of its objectives like Taiwan conquer. The economic growth of China is the worst. The level of debt declines its productivity.
The training that Chinese troops get is half of the training the United States troops get. This is the same for the practice of pilots and sailors. China also has limited experience in operation. Although institutionally, America is not the best, China is worse. China is headed by a dictator (Beckley, 2018). In China, there is a promotion of corruption and inequality by systematically sacrificing the efficiency of the economy. This is to maintain control in politics. The United States, demographically, is the most stable. The United States has a significant population where the majority of the population is composed of young educated youths. The workforce is ranked third in terms of size, second youngest, and the most educated.
By contrast, China is said to have lost almost two hundred million workers by the coming thirty years. China produces wealth per hour, which is six times less compared to the wealth the United States workers produce per hour on average (Beckley, 2018). Most of the Chinese workers, around two-thirds, do not have a high school education. Due to malnutrition in china, approximately one-third of Chinese workers enter the job market with an IQ, which below ninety. The situation may also be caused by pollution and poor care. This makes China far behind the United States in becoming the world’s superpower.
For any state to be ranked among the most powerful, it must be able to gather a considerable stock of resources. For this to be possible, it must have a high population. It must be able to incur low costs of production to produce high outputs. Personnel costs for china are not less than twenty-five percent higher compared to that of the United States (Beckley, 2018). Thirty-five percent of China’s budget goes to internal security operations. For the United States, these costs are obtained from civilian agencies. Another reason why the United States will ever remain to the sole superpower and something that China does not have is that the assets of the US military are spread across the whole world. At the same time, china concentrates only on Eat Asia. Again, China must keep on guard the military that is at home since it suffers from internal and domestic unrest to a level that is twice that of the United States. The reason is that it borders a lot of countries, among which five were involved in fighting China in the past century. Among them, ten countries still raise claims of some parts of China that it’s theirs.
In contrast, the United States is involved by choice in the majority of the regions, and therefore redeploying forces from one area to another is not an issue. The United States has been leading in generally maintaining a large economy and military. Any other nation to reach such a level has to ensure faster growth of power base than the current rate.
According to Kagan, powers like China are rising to threaten the United States as the sole superpower. These nations have kept quiet in the last few decades, where they are said to have been establishing themselves (Beckley, 2018). For example, China is growing at a fast rate. This condition is said to be shaking the world’s superpower – the United States. However, the United States is aware, and it’s responding the same through several ways to maintain the position. This rise of China and other nations like Russia, India has some impacts on the United States’ national security and interests.
Impacts on America’s National Securities and Interests
The rise of China and other powers have had some effects on the United States. There has been an influence on the economy and also in the military on America. Investors from the US and corporations have taken advantage of the cheap and labor to reap huge profits continually. These profits, if they are utilized, can translate to the growth of America’s economy and can also help America to improve in technology, military, and scientifically (Beckley, 2018). Again, the rise of China can weaken to some point the influence of the United States on the globe, although this is not something that can happen in a single day and also may not direct attacks to the US military. If these powers withdraw their engagements from the institutions where America influences most, this can weaken their dominance. In a case where China and India make their trade networks excluding the United States, and sign agreements of investments and establish their institutions and build their global webs, the United States can no longer be taking the center position in the management of the economy globally. This can later become a source of competition for the United States.
There is a competition between America and China in trade, which is in the areas of technology, economy, security, and even governance ideas. This competition is deepening, especially in technology, is concerned. Also, there exist conflicts of interests, mainly ranging from security issues for some decades. This includes the status of Taiwan and security, modernization of the Chinese military, among other forms of competition. This has threatened the United States, and in response, the US has improved on several areas to curb the effects of the tournament (Beckley, 2018). China’s actions in the areas of security and economy have led to the intensification of economic competition by the United States.
I Agree with the Assessment of the Beckley
The arguments of Beckley’s arguments about the United States remaining in superpower for decades makes sense to me. I agree with his reasoning. His arguments are based on statistical facts, and he avails lots of evidence to prove his sentiments. He says that no power can challenge or stop the American supremacy, either economically, militarily, or technologically. He relatively compares the capabilities of different nations by analyzing the wealth and their investments in the military. Some countries may have a more significant population than the United States (Kagan, 2019). Some others may have more economic outputs, while others may have more soldiers than the United States. Beckley argues that with all these factors, none comes close to the United States in the net assets.
China is seen as a potential power to challenge the United States. Beckley, and I don’t buy it. China, though it’s big, it’s equal to the task. It is inefficient. On the other hand, the United States is significant as well and efficient (Beckley, 2018). Beckley also shows the unworthiness of China to surpass the United States through its growing military. He clearly shows that China is surrounded by defenses that have grudges with it. This makes china too busy and unable to confront the United States that has been building its military stock for decades and has systems that are far much advanced. Beckley says it is not a rising power that is the greatest threat to its dominance but internal decay.
Kagan, in his book ‘The Jungle is Growing Back,’ argues that it is after World War II when democracy and the rule of law, as well as capitalism, prospered. This was brought about by the signing of treaties that favored peace in the nation-states. Before the war, the power Centre was in Europe and Asia. The end of World War II gave rise to a new liberal and democratic superpower – the United States. The situation, according to Kagan, resulted in continuous cycles of powers coming up, warring, and falling again. The position he describes by use of Jungle. He suggests that nations are going back to traditional habits (Beckley, 2018). I don’t entirely agree with Kagan in this argument. In his case, he does not blame the United States, but he acknowledges the country as responsible. Kagan says Americans need to address the alarming domestic liberal order. Kagan does not recognize the continuous role of the United States and how the request of the world has always been under America as a superpower. In my opinion, America has played a crucial role in maintaining the world’s peace while in its position as a superpower.
In conclusion, it can be said boldly that America remains the sole superpower for decades to come. Its geographical location and its economic status will enable the United States to stay in the position for quite some years. Although it may remain the superpower for the rest of life, other nations like China who are expanding and modernizing their militaries and their economy, may take longer to be an ability to challenge the United States. As the powers grow, also America is increasing. This means they have to increase their rate of growth of economic growth. The fact that the United States has military bases in many regions strengthens its power. For other countries to achieve this state, it can take some good time. Therefore, it can be comfortably concluded that the United States will enjoy the benefits of superpower for decades.
- Beckley, M. (2018). Unrivaled: Why America will remain the world’s sole superpower. Cornell University Press.
- Kagan, R. (2019). The jungle grows back: America and our imperiled world. Vintage.