Could the wielding of American power abroad be curtailed, and if so how?

The extent to which the USA triea to avoid peripheral casualities is, frankly, a lot less discriminate than I think you might be willing to believe.

And spare me the “don’t engage in political violence” nonsense. Most of the people who died in Iraq were civilians. Starting the war was unjustified and a crime.

Holy moly, it’s like something out of an Onion article. Are you serious?

THE UNITED STATES INVADED VIETNAM. Before China did, even, and it was a longer and bloodier war. The USA also invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. If we can edge just a little bit back into the 50s, the USA overthrew a democratic government in Iran and installed a vicious dictator. The USA supported terrorist insurgents in Nicaragua and any number of heinous dictators in other places. China has certainly treated its own people with far more violence and cruelty, but in terms of international aggression, the USA is right there with them.

Also, he needs to consider the time lines of what China is doing. Vietnam, Tibet, Taiwan*, and the USSR are all bordering states. It’s not at all surprising that a large country would have border disputes like that. It’s only in the last decade or so that China has even begun to project power beyond these sorts of local disputes.

And even then, they’re mostly using economic power, not military power. Even now, China doesn’t have the capacity to invade a country in Africa, or South America. But, give it time. If things continue as they have been lately, they eventually will have that power, and it will be in large part because the US has annoyed enough of its traditional allies that they created an opening for China to replace them.
*It’s also amusing to see their relationship to Taiwan described as “declared an independent nation, Taiwan, to be theirs and to arm-twist countries from recognizing her”, when for decades, it was Taiwan who went around acting like they were still the government of mainland China, long after the Communists had established themselves as the actual government. Don’t get me wrong, I’d far prefer the people in Taiwan actually be in charge, but to act like it’s China that’s being completely delusional here is just ridiculous.

A nice summary. Let me add that in addition to the US sponsored coup in Iran in 1953, the US also overthrew the democratically elected president of Chile in 1973 (after all, he was a socialist :eek:)

It can be easily curtailed by curtailing the power of the president to launch attacks against sovereign nations whenever he feels like it. Sure, if it is a military emergency, I have no problem with a presidential response, but this drone attack/assassination was not that at all.

I think that America is still a superpower- it’s hard to argue that the nation with the third largest population in the world, the largest economy in the world (half again larger than the next largest (China)), and the world’s most powerful military(third in size, with 2.5x the spending of the next largest, not to mention qualitative differences) is anything BUT a superpower.

What is true is that the US government has lost some of its reputation and leadership position by reason of the antics of the current administration.

If China and Russia are the future, it’s because they’re unfettered by considerations of international law, morality or anything approaching good behavior.

You forgot Poland. I mean Grenada.

Anarchism isn’t about the absence of power, or even hierarchy. It’s about FAIR distribution of power/hierarchy.

I’m sure I left a few out. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of naming them all.

The difficulty is that some terrorist’s whereabouts may only pop up on short notice and if you don’t drone-strike them within minutes or hours, they can disappear for years, decades or forever. That leaves no time for any sort of Congressional approval.

I don’t think Trump should have bumped off Soleimani, but suppose that, say, it had been a still-living bin Laden during the Obama presidency and Obama was notified, “Hey we got OBL right here! He’s on the move, though, we need to nail him now,” I don’t think any of us would be complaining if Obama drone-killed bin Laden right then and there, within minutes.

Alas, while you’re sharing power fairly, one or more nasty neighbors swoop in, seize power, and enslave or execute you. That’s the tradition.

Since this thread was inspired by my comment, I’ll take a stab at it.

TLDR: Yes, there are plenty of reasons why countries would want this done. No, it won’t require going to a hot war… not yet, at least!.. to contain American power, and, in fact, this containment has already begun.

“Why would people want to do such a thing?” is a question which can only be asked by an American. Maybe I’m thinking too big-picture here, but the Anglo-American alliance has effectively controlled the globe since 1783 and, now that the Pacific rim nations and Russia have “caught up” in the technology/industrialization race, perhaps they’re just sick of the world Britain and America and Europe created. Perhaps Putin and Russia are tired of being Europe’s poor relations, perhaps China is still pissed about that opium thing, perhaps India thinks its time to play the colonizer and not the colonized… all I know is when I read the responses above, about the need for “law and order”, I know they’re being made from a “Western” perspective, Americanized, true, but it argues from a perspective and a value system which is not shared by China or Russia or Japan, and which, perhaps, they no longer wish to adhere to.

Perhaps? There’s no “perhaps” about it. The rejection of American ideals was 3rd on Putin’s to-do list in 1999:

Anyway, yes, the US has brought “law and order”: European law and American order to benefit the Northern Atlantic coalition of nations, and that is increasingly unpalpable to the ¾’s of the worlds population who didn’t grow up in societies steeped in the Western tradition of civilization.

“How are they going to do this? We are so STRONG and MIGHTY!”

True. We’re invincible in a conventional war. Nobody can still project power like America, and while we may rarely achieve our policy goals and objectives via military force, it’s the threat of our unleashing Operation Holy Hell upon your ass which has kept the world largely in line since the collapse of Communism and the first Gulf War.

And yet…

And yet the non-Western world is much wealthier, far more diverse, vastly more industrialized, more powerful, and growing increasingly restless in a world where the post-war American form of capitalism and global order has dominated. And, as shown above, they have no connection to the form of Western liberalism which has been imposed upon them for the past 200-odd years, and now they’re realizing that… soon… they’ll be strong enough to throw off the Western hegemony.

So how do you beat the United States? By the way Putin and company are already beating the United States, by diminishing its power and potency:

[ul][li]Diminish the bonds between European societies which have formed post WW2. [/li][li]Separate Great Britain from the rest of Europe[/li][li]Help install plutocrat rulers who will align their interests, and thus their nations interests, with yours, especially ones with a criminal past and who have no problem blowing up the norms and laws constraining their behavior[/li][li]Use new communications technologies to sow dissension among the citizenry, so that, once fighting, a return to the “way things were” is now anathema to a large section of society no matter which side of the debate they’re on. [/li][li]And if your historic enemy literally gave this network to budding plutocrats who could then be paid to ignore basic fundamentals of “truth” and “facts”, why, holy hell, the opportunity![/li][li]And then, if one of the plutocrat rulers you helped install is increasingly unstable, and this person happens to be the leader of the country which is holding all these post-WW2 coalitions together, all the better.[/ul][/li]
Look, no one needs to take on the US militarily to “contain” American power, not yet at least. The internet has been a gift to authoritarians such as Putin & co. as they now have a direct link to every influential mind and dumbass citizen on the planet. The more reliant we are on these technologies, the more vulnerabilities and hacks made into our systems, the better the waiting game is for them. And if you can actually use these technologies to get Reagan’s GOP to back the pro-Russian agenda and give them the means to implement it, why the need to hurl bombs at the US? You’re already winning! And if we do go to a hot war, well, all that ransomeware your guys have spent 10+ years installing will get activated. Hard to fight a war when the computers are out at the Pentagon, lol.

If America isn’t a superpower, then a superpower doesn’t exist.