Why is the U.S. an International Superpower?
The term superpower relates to a state with a sufficient number of military, political, and economic powers that enable this state to convince the nations all over the world in its might. Some experts call other countries like China to be the prospective superpower, but with its might, the United States will retain a dominant position in the major fields (politics, military sector, media, culture, economy etc.) in the near future. The USA, as the globalization center, is the world’s superpower because of all advantages and superiority in the political system, economic structure and growth, demographics, technical development, national security, role in the international organizations, and so on. The following facts show why America is still the world’s only superpower and why this situation will not change soon.
The US economy is one of the most diverse national economies in the world and it has held the leadership in the global economy for the last 100 years. Industry, especially metallurgy, mechanical engineering and instrumentation, electronics, petroleum, chemical goods, automobiles and aviation play the principal role in the US economy. The main in the US exports are machinery and equipment as America alone accounts for around 20% of world exports of high-tech products.
The closest country in terms of its economy growth is China. The Chinese economy grows at an unprecedented rate due to cheap labor force and multinational corporations having their production on the territory of China. However, not only the size of the economy is important but also its quality. Taking into account the country’s prosperity and population, GDP per capita in the United States has always been much higher than gross domestic product in China. Generalized growth in China is possibly higher, but only the American economy allows its citizens to grow with it and provides modern technical and scientific assistance. Now, the US economy remains the foundation of the global financial system, influencing each country greatly.
The United States has a very developed financial sector of the economy. The total volume of traded financial instruments on two largest stock exchanges in the USA is the highest among all financial centers in the world. Almost all financial transactions worldwide are in dollars (Greenberg & Page, 2015). As long as the world continues to have such confidence in the US currency and the economic stability as a whole, the US economy will maintain its leading position.
The United States has traditionally been the world’s leader in attracting foreign direct investment. At the same time, the United States is well known for investing in countries with emerging economies, helping them to improve their economic situation.
The military superiority of America is hard to dispute. The United States has accounted 37% of the global military spending, which is four times more than China, whose position is second after the USA. In 2014, the USA spent 3.5% of its GDP (610 billion dollars) on military expenses (Greenberg & Page, 2015). In addition, it has nuclear weapons. The United States dominated on land, at sea, in the air, and in the space. Because of America’s failure in the Middle East, the US military received a worse reputation, but the war in Iraq and Afghanistan gives more evidence of the US military strategy changes than shows the decline of American military superiority.
Terrorists and guerrilla groups create problems for conventional armed forces due to the nature of their formations. The United States will eventually have to learn to carry out smaller operations in order to respond to these challenges. Although conventional weapons do not hold terrorists back, they nevertheless continue to do an excellent job of curbing hostile nations.
The USA realizes its political power in many dimensions. For the United States, providing foreign aid is an effective way of cementing its political influence on a global scale. In 2013, the United States spent up to 32.7 billion dollars on financial assistance, while the second place belongs to the United Kingdom with its $19 billion spent (Greenberg & Page, 2015). It turns out that the money is able to provide an active political cooperation with countries in a difficult position.
The United States has high level of stability within its borders and in its region. The state has the oldest existing national constitution in the world, effective governance, strong institutions, and the rule of law. The founding fathers created the document that now guides America’s life. For many people in the world, America continues to be the best place to make dreams come true; therefore, the USA is the place where almost all world’s nations coexist.
The United States of America is the leader in every international organization with its membership. Moreover, it is a state possessing nuclear weapons. The USA has the right of veto in the UN Security Council, as it is one of only five permanent members of the UN Security Council along with the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France. The veto allows the permanent members of the Security Council to reject the project of any meaningful UN resolution, regardless of the level of support received by this project. The purpose of the permanent members of the Security Council is to prevent the UN action against the interests of the founding members, considering the lessons of the League of Nations.
Out of 9 world’s largest technology companies, 8 are located in the United States. In view of the growing importance of the technology sector, this factor is rather important. For decades, America has showed concern about energy dependence. However today, America is #1 in the world for oil and natural gas reserves, which is largely possible due to the preservation of deposits and the development of the technology of hydraulic fracturing – the result of public and private energy research and alternative energy (wind, solar, tidal, etc.) (Greenberg & Page, 2015).
The US research universities and research organizations are the best in among their rivals (MIT ranks 1 in the world), which allows the nation to channel their creativity precisely where it is most needed. In addition, America spends money to maintain the integrity of its comparative advantage: 30% of all funds allocated in the world for research and development are accounted for by the United States (Greenberg & Page, 2015).
Culture, Lifestyle, Media
Americans continue to enjoy a quality of life that is not available in other parts of the world. If one puts it all together with the American force in the economy, the military, in politics and in innovation, it is not surprising that the United States holds a privileged position in the world today. Media in the United Stated is highly monopolized. However, they have high levels of freedom and democracy. This country has highly developed television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and a strong music and film industry.
Nevertheless, the United States is still a world leader and most likely it will not change for decades. The country is far superior to the rest of the world on soft power. Every year, America hosts more immigrants than any other country in the world. America leads in high technology (Silicon Valley), finance and business (Wall Street), the film industry (Hollywood), and higher education.
America continues to lead the world in terms of foreign direct investment, almost half ahead of his nearest competitor. The USA implements strategy to global technological leadership and plays a key role in the success of mechanism investment. The country is a leader in providing information services in the world and the US companies are the most competitive ones.
The share of services continues to increase in the structure of the US economy. This is an additional factor in improving the US trade balance. The United States has the most powerful army in the world, on which they spend 560 billion dollars a year. Their GDP ($ 16 trillion) is more than twice of China’s GDP. America is on the forefront of the democratic world, preserving preserve the democratic system in the world, filled with semi-democratic and non-democratic regimes for the longest time.
Who else besides the United States can claim world leadership? In Europe, the unemployment rate grows, especially in so-called PIGS countries – Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. In addition, the population in many of the countries of the European Union shrinks. Japan’s population declines and ages rapidly, the number of immigrants coming into the country is small. In addition, in the past two decades, Japan’s economy has grown very slowly. Russia is an aggressor that does not use soft power and its sales profiles are on the “third world” GDP levels. In China, 650 million people live in poor rural areas. China suffers from widespread corruption, one-party communist rule and the grotesque social stratification. China has huge problems caused by air, water, and soil pollution. As for India, nearly 70% of the population lives in poor rural areas. More than 160 million Indians have no access to water, electricity, and sewerage; there is poor infrastructure, strong corruption, and rapid population growth.
The USA will remain the world’s superpower in the near future because of all advantages and superiority in the political system, economic structure and growth, demographics, technical development, national security, role in the international organizations, and so on. It is the world’s center of globalization that spreads its principles and values to all the countries.