the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.
-”Rebuilding America’s Defenses — Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century,” page 51
Project for the New American Century, September 2000
This article by Thomas E. Ricks of the Washington Post is notable mostly because of the date, August 21, 2001. It describes an emerging debate over America’s role in the post-Cold War world, with a specific emphasis on the notion of a “Pax Americana” being advocated by PNAC at that time.
Ricks indicates that while the think tank had been having a significant influence on the way foreign policy was being discussed, the neoconservative vision had hardly won over everyone. Not until the terrorist attacks on September 11 of that year did the tables turn decisively in favor of the aggressive, expansionist policies being articulated by PNAC.
In other words, 9/11 turned out to be precisely the Pearl Harbor-like event that had been eerily predicted in the PNAC report of September 2000, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.”
Empire or Not? A Quiet Debate Over U.S. Role
By Thomas E. Ricks
Tuesday, August 21, 2001
People who label the United States “imperialist” usually mean it as an insult. But in recent years a handful of conservative defense intellectuals have begun to argue that the United States is indeed acting in an imperialist fashion — and that it should embrace the role.
When the Cold War ended just over a decade ago, these thinkers note, the United States actually expanded its global military presence. With the establishment over the last decade of a semi-permanent presence of about 20,000 troops in the Persian Gulf area, they contend, the United States is now a major military power in almost every region of the world — the Mideast, Europe, East Asia and the Western Hemisphere. And even though the United States is unlikely to fight a major war anytime soon, they believe, it remains very active militarily around the globe, keeping the peace in Bosnia and Kosovo, garrisoning 37,000 troops in South Korea, patroling the skies of Iraq, and seeking to balance the rise of China.
The leading advocate of this idea of enforcing a new “Pax Americana” is Thomas Donnelly, deputy executive director of the Project for the New American Century, a Washington think tank that advocates a vigorous, expansionistic Reaganite foreign policy. In ways similar though not identical to the Roman and British empires, he argues, the United States is an empire of democracy or liberty — it is not conquering land or establishing colonies, but it has a dominating global presence militarily, economically and culturally…