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The United States after unipolarity: hard power in hard times: relative military power in an era of budgetary constraint

Quinn, Adam (2011) The United States after unipolarity: hard power in hard times: relative military power in an era of budgetary constraint. IDEAS reports - special reports, Kitchen, Nicholas (ed.) SR009. LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Such was the extent of the United States’ dominance in the arena of military capability over the last two decades that discussion of others’ capacity to rival it largely disappeared from mainstream discussion. Though the US was probably the world’s foremost military power even during the Cold War, there was still scope for anxious public debate in the 1950s and 1970s of imagined ‘missile gaps’, i.e. a Soviet advantage in advanced delivery technology for nuclear weapons. In 1990-91, however, two events occurred in quick succession which inaugurated an era of total American pre-eminence. First, the United States trounced Iraq, previously considered a military force of at least credible middle-ranking standing, in the Gulf War, displaying in the process the fruits of many years of investment in advanced battlefield technology. Then Communism stumbled and the Soviet Union fell apart, ushering in a wave of economic dysfunction and military wastage from which the Russian state has never fully recovered.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE IDEAS
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: SR009
Date Deposited: 04 May 2012 12:29
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43474/

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