Imperial overstretch is a proposition with the suggestion that a domain can extend itself past its capability to sustain or broaden its military and economic obligation. The idea of imperial overstretch was advanced by Paul Kennedy, a historian at Yale University. In light of this definition, it is right to argue that the United States of America is at the point of imperial over-stretch.
The United States of America has been a superpower for quite some time now. This owes to its economic and military might. Due to the strong economic base, it has managed to increase its commercial strength at both, domestic and international levels. Hence, the United States has been able to exert its superior military power beyond its borders. This kind of obligation demands for more financial commitment in order to be successful.
Superior Economic and Military Power of the United States
The United States has its military bases all over the world. This gives the notion that it has the solutions to all the world’s problems; furthermore, the increasing rate of the United States’ expansion of foreign military operations may be assumed to be its imperialistic aggressiveness to control and influence the world. For instance, the United States has been militarily involved in various international military activities. The war in Iraq was spear-headed by the United States and was dabbed War on Terror with a global scope, the country also spear-headed the war in Afghanistan, where its military operations still remain alive. Besides, the United States’ military operations have been witnessed in other countries like Somalia, Djibouti, and recently in Uganda, where President Obama sent about 100 troops to assist the Ugandan military in tracking down the LRA leader, Joseph Kony, and his operatives. All these military operations have a great impact on the economic sustainability of the United States.
The United States may have the technology and know-how to sustain its military commitments abroad; however, financial inadequacy is a major hindering and weakening factor. It goes without saying that the United States has certain crucial internal strains that have placed much pressure on the financial assets of the country. Besides, the recent financial crises has negatively influenced the entire economy. There is a problem of inflation and strained healthcare sector that require reforms amidst insufficient finances. Due to this, the United States’ foreign military commitment is becoming more expensive every day. The foreign operations of the American military have overstretched the country’s resources.
The aggressiveness with which the United States has been expanding its military operations to the regions where it has interests has been counterproductive; much money has been spent, yet there is little to show for it. The United States’ foreign military operations have been backed by steady financial aid to foreign countries of interests. Therefore, both expanded foreign military operations and financial aid to foreign nations may be considered to be detrimental to the country in terms of its economic and military strength for future influence of the world; in other words, it could lose its status as a superpower. The point the United States has reached with this kind of foreign operations, the country might have reached appoint of imperial overstretch, since it finds it difficult to continue funding the operations.
If the United States continues taking more foreign military and financial obligations, it is highly likely to suffer economic strains. The likely effect of this is that the United States will lose the influence it has on other nations in the world. Evidently, the United States, as a super power, has reached a point of imperial overstretch.
The United States has had a strong economic base. Due to this, it has been able to establish and expand its foreign military operations. However, it can be argued that it has reached a point of imperial overstretch due to its dwindling influence in the world. The foreign military operations and financial aids have become too costly to bear. The United States is considering cutting down on its foreign military expenditure. This is evident from the fact that it has plans to reduce the number of troops involved in foreign operations.