Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sic transit gloria mundi

The March/April issue of Foreign Affairs features a new essay by Niall Ferguson warning of the impending collapse of U.S. primacy in world affairs unless the combined problems of fiscal deficits and military overstretch can be arrested. It is likely that the arguments of Ferguson and others who are similarly inclined will be used by debaters to argue that a reduction in U.S. forces in one or more of the topic countries, rather than compromising U.S. military and security goals, is actually essential to maintaining U.S. hegemony and to preventing the demise of the empire. The painting above, Desolation, from Hudson River school painter Thomas Cole's "The Course of Empire" series depicts an imperial city in decline as nature reclaims the cityspace as its own. The series is used by Ferguson to illustrate his analysis of current U.S. budgetary and security dilemmas.
More development of this argument and others from Professor Ferguson are to be found here.