Paul Crespo has an interesting article that says that the US is practicing "democratic imperialism". I generally agree with the substance of his piece, but I have issues with using the term "imperialism" to describe it.

Imperialism tends to be the loss of one’s state sovereignty to another. Empires tax the citizens of a conquered nation and sent it back to the seat of empire, they conscript citizens, and control every facet of their governance. Imperialism is the opposite of democracy.

The current US policy isn’t imperialism because there’s no desire to remain in these countries for longer than necessary. As I’ve written before, the US doesn’t have the political will or desire to maintain a real empire. We want to fix things and get out. If anything, the biggest worry is that our isolationist streak will keep the US from staying long enough to built a stable democracy. Afghanistan is pointed out as an example of this, not necessarily without cause. It would be better to embrace a small touch of imperialism for a better world than leave the dangerous status quo alone.

2 thoughts on “Anti-Imperialism

  1. There was no desire to be in Germany or Japan longer than necessary either, but there we still stand today, 57 years later.

  2. True, and but we left the actual operation of those countries to their own governments in a relatively short time.

    Iraq will likely have a US military presence for the long term, but it will be confined to a few air and naval bases once the transitional government is ready to take over.

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