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PAX AMERICANA - Pax Americana Will Not Come Easily.

There will be resistance to Pax Americana as a result of its neo-colonialist overtones. The early signs of such resistance are already evident in the way various countries - indeed virtually every country except Britain and Israel - are either opposed to the expected war against Iraq or are providing conditional support. For the US, there are also considerable financial costs involved.

Some critics of Pax Americana note that even at an impressive 20% of global GDP, the US is still far less important today than it was in 1945, when it accounted for half of the industrial production in the world. The EU has a larger, though less dynamic, economy than the US at present. And long-term growth in Asia and elsewhere will inevitably diminish America's relative weight in the world economy. The computer revolution of the late 20th century is providing the US with a lead in technology. But that lead will almost certainly prove temporary, as rising powers master made-in-America technology.

Even if other powers do not equal the US in terms of such technology, they are likely to improve their capabilities and thus reduce US relative strength in the area. This could well happen in the same way that Germany and the US - industrializing in the late 19th century - caught up with Britain, the laboratory of the industrial revolution. As the relative power of other countries increase, the US will have to spend more to keep itself ahead.

Another reason why Pax Americana may stall is if things do not go exactly as planned in Iraq, for example. The US may delay its ambitions for democratisation and other reforms in the region, in order to get the necessary support from countries in the region.

In essence, this would mean a return to square one in terms of dealing with its traditional allies - such as Saudi Arabia. So whether or not the agenda of Pax Americana can be implemented in the Middle East, depends on the ability of the US to achieve and sustain its objectives and to not get sidetracked by established relationships and preferences related to existing regimes in the Middle East.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Fate of the Arabian Peninsula
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 20, 2003
Previous Article:PAX AMERICANA - Part 1 - Overview.
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