is US citizents addicted by the idea that USA is a superpower

is US citizents addicted by the idea that USA is a military superpower ?

said in other words:
-Is this necessary for their self-esteem (as it was for the french and the brits a century ago when they had all those colonies) ?

-Is the American military a very important symbol for Americans ? Perhaps more important that they may admit ?

-are the link between the American self-esteem and their military-power strong ? (perhaps too strong)

-How will the average American act the day USA role as a superpower is finito ?
I seams that the Vietnam-war became a limited drawback for the American self esteem back in the 70’s and 80’s.
I believe that similar things happend to the frenchmen and the brits when they lost their colonies. The brits are still in some sort of “no mans land” when it comes to their identity. (Football hooligans is one example, and the brits are still singing “Britannia rule the waves”)
Any american viewpoint about this ?

Maybe. And it could be that one of those who is happens to be President of the Unites States.

As far as I can tell from GW’s actions, he reaches for the military solution first. Even for problems, like worldwide terrorism for which a military solution seems doubtful.

**As far as I can tell from GW’s actions, he reaches for the military solution first. Even for problems, like worldwide terrorism for which a military solution seems doubtful.
Mmmmm… He didn’t fire missiles at an aspirin factory in Sudan in order to divert attention from his legal troubles did he?

He didn’t start bombing Kosova to forestall impeachment proceedings, did he?
Speaking as an American, I rarely even think about the US military power. We’ve got nukes, which would probably preclude any country invading us. Of course, in a conventional warfare scenario, there are probably some countries, such as China, that are becoming close matches for the US. I really think the American public doesn’t have the stomach to fight a long, protracted war, unless we were actually being invaded.

Did I read that right? Maybe- the OP’s “unconventional” use of English makes misinterpretation possible.

Are you suggesting that the US view of itself as a superpower is a self-delusion born of egomania and wallowing in past glories?

Nope - it’s simple reality, friend. Ask the non-Americans if they disagree.

How about a European viewpoint POWER_station?

‘kay, lets start at the beginning; the French and British were deeply involved in what eventually became the Vietnam War and the British Empire was still being dismantled at about the same time. During the first 1 1/2 decade of those years (1950s, 60s and 70s) the French also fought a very bloody war in Algeria that rivals Vietnam in creating public trauma and guilt. The French have not found final closure on this issue and the consequences are to this day impacting domestic and foreign policy, as we have seen so clearly in the last weekend’s poll.

The French and British standing armies are still two of the most modern and war capable machineries on earth. They even have nukes I might point out, and Mr. President Chirac sure didn’t try to hide that in the 90s while joyously setting them off on various atolls in the pacific, against heavy protests from amongst others the US. To boot a large segment of the public in both countries puts a lot of pride in their armies. Go to France on the 14th of July and witness the military parade in Paris, it almost puts the old USSR to shame.

Although there is possibly a vague point to be made somewhere here regarding America’s possible role as world police, I do believe that the OP makes a little too much out of European pacifism and slightly exagerates American militarism. The US armed forces are definitely better marketed and shamelessly showed off to the world, which could either be argued as more jingoistic or less hypocrite depending on your mood and inclination. And for the sake of order I think it worthwhile to point out that being one cohesive military organ of a nation of 289 million people it is a far bit larger than its French and British brothers, which obviously makes it rather more obtrusive in the public eye. Maybe we should also mention that they rarely get involved on any major endeavors without each other’s help since about 86 years (well there were those confused years between 1939-42 but that’s academic).



Regarding the Brits. They, especially, have proven themselves time and time again to be one of the US’ staunchest allies.

I believe that the brits are “show offs”. They wan’t to show the rest of the world that they still are strong military power.

Is the OP going to stick to the OP or is the thread now about the UK? I fail to understand your last remark in context to the OP, or is it a concession in some direction?POWER_station?

Compared to most other nations they are a strong military power.

I don’t think being a military superpower is necessary for the self-esteem of Americans. Believe it or not when most of us think about how great this country is the first thing that pops into our mind isn’t tanks, fighters, and aircraft carriers. Even if France and England were still more powerful then the United States we’d probably still think highly of ourselves.

I don’t think the American military is that important a symbol for most Americans. On more then one occasion I’ve been some place where the national anthem was played or the colors presented and people did not know to stand.

Just out of curiosity where are you from POWER_station?

I see more unease about U.S. military power here in the States than addiction. It’s as if we don’t know what to do with it since the cold-war cooled into non-existence. For the last 10 years there’s been no opponent to justify our enormous military apparatus. We’ve had to reinvent the meaning of the U.S. Military to a point where the distinction between the Pentagon and international law enforcement and has come into question. Although the Pentagon states that the military is still intended to act against aggressors at and outside the borders of the U.S., the co-operation with domestic law enforcement in a world where the enemy is more likely to act in disguise has also become a relevant theme. I see more of an analogy to a giant who doesn’t know what to do with himself because his share size threatens to squash everything under him.

Face it. The U.S is the most awesome military power that has ever existed. Not because it was so fascinated with its guns and bombs in-and-of-themselves but because Americans truely felt threatened. Even if some of these threats were imaginary (McCarthyism and such), some of it was real. Suddenly, we had bombs capable of blowing up entire metropolitan areas. And so did the other guy. Fear lead to fear which lead to the arms-race. Yes, there was an addiction at the time! A sad at times warranted addiction created by two powers suspicious beyond sanity. One guy bummed out of the race, leaving the other a bit dumbfounded. What we’re suffering now is the post-trauma of a long period of substance abuse. A trauma that was at its height during Clinton. The current Administration thinks it can heal the trauma by reinventing the cold-war.

So perhaps there is some truth to the OP. We are addicts. But not recent arrogant substance abusers who think they can reach the portals of heaven with a needle or pipe. Hard, heavy, long-time users aware of their predicament. It’s like W and Rumsfeld are administrating methadone. But unable to kick the habit, we just keep asking for more…

No. Most Americans have little to do with and rarely ever see our military might. We don’t have massive parades of tanks like the Soviets or Chinese.

Already answered. Most American’s self esteem is linked more closely to how successful they are than to any sense of national pride.

Probably the same.

You mean the 60s and 70s, right?

We Americans tend to bounce back from little historical setbacks. Yes, Vietnam was a tragedy, but most Americans did not spend the years afterwards weeping and crying over the fact they were born American.

I think more about the Constitution, my immigrant ancestors coming here and starting from scratch, civil rights movements and stuff when I think of the US.

The U.S. is anything BUT ‘addicted’ to the military. In fact, the U.S. has a habit of dismantling its military whenever it thinks the immediate threat is dissipating. In 2002 the size of the U.S. ground forces is only something like 60% as big as it was at the time of the Gulf war. And even at that, before the war on terror broke out Donald Rumsfeld was working on a force reduction plan that for the first time removed the requirement that the U.S. be able to fight a ‘two front’ war.

At the end of WWII, the U.S. was the dominant power on earth, but dismantled itself so quickly that by the time the Korean war came around there were serious questions about the U.S.'s ability to find even a regional war. During the era of detente in teh 1970’s, the U.S. military shrunk to the point where there were serious questions about its ability to fight at all.

Stupid, stupid argument.

Should you on an offhand chance like to give more voice to that opinion, here would be a good place.

But then, your claim that Bush reaches for the military solution first was stupid, too, wasn’t it? He’s so far gotten embroiled in ONE conflict, which was precipitated by an attack on the United States. Where is your evidence that he’s quick with the military solution?

Rickjay, it must have something to do with all those thousands of troops Bush sent over to Israel to help crush the Palastinians…

Oh, wait…

In any case… no, POWER_Station, there’s not a whole lot of military worship going on here in the states. In fact, there’s not a whole lot of like-mindedness going on at all… the citizens of this country are usually quite divided on any one issue, whether it’s foreign policy, taxes, or Federal spending programs.

And, SPOOFE, that’s something to be REALLY proud of.

We can disagree strongly (STRONGLY) with half the country and no one gets hurt. Try that through most of history.

Ah, but things are just getting under way. So you really assume that just because we are only in one war in 7 months means that’s the end of it? Didn’t Rumsfeld say just yesterday (27 April) this it’s going to be a looong war? We have military advisors in the Philippines and I don’t see any effort to help them find any other way out except military action. You and all of us are being prepared for some sort of military action against Iraq.

All of the important anti-terroism news and action comes out of DOD. The State Department is relatively silent. We hear little about efforts to hamper financial backing for terrorist organizations.

It seems to me, probably foolishly, that if GW thought other avenues of approach to terrorism were important there would be a little more action in those areas.

But hey, we’re only in one war at present. Unfortunately based on GW’s statements (we’ll hunt them down wherever they are?) that one war is worldwide.

Let’s turn the question around and ask if the rest of the world is too concerned with the U.S. being a super military power? Are certain parts of the world too dependent on our military protection? Do nations sit on their hands and expect the U.S. to come in and settle what is a local problem? Do they then criticize those nations that try and do their part?

In a lot of these cases, as an American, I’d be happy to turn over some to the responsibilities to whoever thinks they can do a better job. We could have done something better with what it has cost to station troups in Europe and Korea (and all around the world). Part of the reason was our self interest, but a large part was to protect other nations.