Arctic Oil/Gas Neg

Leadership Advantage Answers

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Leadership Advantage Answers

1NC Alt Causes

The plan only addresses one of the major issues necessary to Arctic leadership- they can’t solve

Ebinger et al ‘14

 Charles K. Ebinger, John P. Banks and Alisa Schackmann, Brookings Institute, Offshore Oil and Gas Governance in the Arctic: A Leadership Role for the U.S., March 24, 2014,

The Arctic is changing and increasingly drawing the world's interest, with the potential for vast reserves of offshore oil and gas constituting arguably the most attractive, yet challenging prospect in the region:

As the U.S. prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this policy brief is designed to inform the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government of the current state of oil and gas governance in the Arctic, and to address the following questions:

How can the U.S. elevate the Arctic region as a priority national interest?

How can the U.S. lead in strengthening offshore oil and gas governance in the Arctic?


Establish oil spill prevention, control, and response as the overarching theme for U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015-2017.

Create the diplomatic post of “Arctic Ambassador.”

Establish a Regional Bureau for Polar Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

Accelerate the ongoing development of Alaska-specific offshore oil and gas standards and discuss their applicability in bilateral and multilateral forums for the broader Arctic region.

Strengthen bilateral regulatory arrangements for the Chukchi Sea with Russia, and the Beaufort Sea with Canada.

Support the industry-led establishment of an Arctic-specific resource sharing organization for oil spill response and safety.

Support and prioritize the strengthening of the Arctic Council through enhanced thematic coordination of offshore oil and gas issues.

Support the establishment of a circumpolar Arctic Regulators Association for Oil and Gas.

2NC Alt Causes

Tons of other, way more important alt causes to Arctic leadership

Ebinger et al ‘14

 Charles K. Ebinger, John P. Banks and Alisa Schackmann, Brookings Institute, Offshore Oil and Gas Governance in the Arctic: A Leadership Role for the U.S., March 24, 2014,

Despite the developments summarized above, within the broader Arctic community the U.S. is often criticized for not prioritizing the Arctic as an important policy area. Many of our regional counterparts want to know: what are U.S. intentions not only as one of the eight Arctic countries, but also as a superpower? Typical criticisms cite the inability of the U.S. to accede to UNCLOS, the U.S.’s hesitancy to enhance the legal authority and mandate of the Arctic Council, and the slow pace of elevating the Arctic as a key policy priority within the government, especially at the State Department.

There is also a rising chorus within the U.S. complaining that the government—and most Americans—simply does not see itself as an Arctic nation, and that the U.S. does not have an effective, comprehensive Arctic strategy. The chief obstacle in effecting a coherent Arctic strategy is a long-standing challenge in balancing Alaskan and broader pan-Arctic interests. One of the manifestations of this is multiple government agencies with policy and oversight roles in the Arctic posing coordination challenges. Issues relating to Alaska are in the hands of domestic agencies, most notably the Department of the Interior, the Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Commerce (NOAA) as well as others. On the international level, primary representation of the U.S. Government in international forums is the responsibility of the Department of State, with the Coast Guard and Navy interacting on cross-border maritime issues with Canada and Russia as well as with other Arctic states in a number of areas.

AT Arctic Leadership

Alt cause to lack of US leadership in the Arctic: no deepwater port

GAO 14 (United States Government Accountability Office, “MARITIME INFRASTRUCTURE: Key Issues Related to Commercial Activity in the U.S. Arctic over the Next Decade”, Report to Congressional Requesters, March 2014)

Officials we spoke with from state and local government suggested that a U.S. Arctic deepwater port is needed to support a potential increase in maritime activities in the Arctic. According to these government officials, an Arctic deepwater port could potentially serve as a trans-shipment hub for companies using Arctic routes or could host a permanent USCG presence in the Arctic, allowing the USCG to better meet its missions for search and rescue, oil spill response, and maritime law enforcement. While there was some agreement about the usefulness of a deepwater port to support USCG efforts, industry representatives we spoke with had varying views about such a port’s potential for commercial purposes. Shipping-industry representatives, for example, indicated that they would not use a U.S. Arctic deepwater port for trans-Arctic shipping because of high fuel costs or the fact that such a port would not be connected with existing port networks or any port connectors.

1NC No Solvency

Plan continues the US policy of focusing on technical, instead of strategic, use of the Arctic- doesn’t solve leadership

Ebinger et al ‘14

 Charles K. Ebinger, John P. Banks and Alisa Schackmann, Brookings Institute, Offshore Oil and Gas Governance in the Arctic: A Leadership Role for the U.S., March 24, 2014,

The historic lack of focus on the importance of the Arctic is illustrated in another perspective expressed to us. This belief is that for far too long the government has treated the Arctic as something that scientific experts deal with in obscure locations, having little relevance to larger geopolitical issues. Institutionally, the U.S. Government has focused on the Arctic as a “technical” rather than a “strategic” issue, hindering the elevation of the region as a priority in the policy hierarchy. As a result, in this view, too much of Arctic policy is conducted at lower levels of the government rather than at the highest levels of the Department of State or White House. This in turn constrains the organizational, human, and financial resources dedicated to the Arctic. Several participants in our research, including some former Arctic officials, were forceful in their contention, saying “We can no longer pretend that we can deal with the challenges of the Arctic and not budget the resources to meet them.” The overall result, according to a senior U.S. Government official based in Alaska, is that U.S. Arctic policy “right now is very broad and not real defined.”

1NC No Arms Races

There is no “lawless Arctic” and no risk of resource races- almost all shelf oil and gas is within EEZ’s and undisputed- nobody cares about the rest

Ebinger et al ‘14

 Charles K. Ebinger, John P. Banks and Alisa Schackmann, Brookings Institute, Offshore Oil and Gas Governance in the Arctic: A Leadership Role for the U.S., March 24, 2014,

The assumption that rising interest in oil and gas resources in the Arctic is outpacing the adequacy of the existing governance framework was questioned by some in the course of our discussions. This view was voiced most often by officials in, or working closely with, oil and gas companies. They argue that while some analysts are eager to portray the Arctic as a lawless region with a race for resources, this is not the case. Even the most authoritative source for oil and gas resource estimates in the Arctic—the USGS survey—is rather speculative and indicates that most resources are located in the continental shelf of the five littoral states. Thus, any exploration and commercial production of offshore oil and gas are regulated as part of those nations’ EEZs, and thus under their respective national laws. In addition, international treaties and conventions are also relevant to the EEZs, namely UNCLOS. There is really only the “high Arctic” outside the jurisdiction of the littoral states, i.e. beyond the 200 mile EEZs, which is not governed, and there is no activity and little interest to date in this area.

1NC OSB Coming

Obama will pursue an OSB strategy- there is no alternative

Layne 12 – Professor and Chair in National Security @ Texas A&M

Chris, 12-27, "The (Almost) Triumph of Offshore Balancing," National Interest,

The DSG is a response to two drivers. First, the United States is in economic decline and will face a serious fiscal crisis by the end of this decade. As President Obama said, the DSG reflects the need to “put our fiscal house in order here at home and renew our long-term economic strength.” The best indicators of U.S. decline are its GDP relative to potential competitors and its share of world manufacturing output. China’s manufacturing output has now edged past that of the United States and accounts for just over 18 or 19 percent of world manufacturing output. With respect to GDP, virtually all leading economic forecasters agree that, measured by market-exchange rates, China’s aggregate GDP will exceed that of the United States by the end of the current decade.Measured by purchasing-power parity, some leading economists believe China already is the world’s number-one economy. Clearly, China is on the verge of overtaking the United States economically. At the end of this decade, when the ratio of U.S. government debt to GDP is likely to exceed the danger zone of 100 percent, the United States will face a severe fiscal crisis. In a June 2011 report, the Congressional Budget Office warned that unless Washington drastically slashes expenditures—including on entitlements and defense—and raises taxes, it is headed for a fiscal train wreck. Moreover, concerns about future inflation and America’s ability to repay its debts could imperil the U.S. dollar’s reserve-currency status. That currency status allows the United States to avoid difficult “guns-or-butter” trade-offs and live well beyond its means while enjoying entitlements at home and geopolitical preponderance abroad. But that works only so long as foreigners are willing to lend the United States money. Speculation is now commonplace about the dollar’s long-term hold on reserve-currency status. It would have been unheard of just a few years ago.The second driver behind the new Pentagon strategy is the shift in global wealth and power from the Euro-Atlantic world to Asia. As new great powers such as China and, eventually, India emerge, important regional powers such as Russia, Japan, Turkey, Korea, South Africa and Brazil will assume more prominent roles in international politics. Thus, the post-Cold War “unipolar moment,” when the United States commanded the global stage as the “sole remaining superpower,” will be replaced by a multipolar international system. The Economist recently projected that China’s defense spending will equal that of the United States by 2025. By the middle or end of the next decade, China will be positioned to shape a new international order based on the rules and norms that it prefers—and, perhaps, to provide the international economy with a new reserve currency. Two terms not found in the DSG are “decline” and “imperial overstretch” (the latter coined by the historian Paul Kennedy to describe the consequences when a great power’s economic resources can’t support its external ambitions). But, although President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta may not admit it, the DSG is the first move in what figures to be a dramatic strategic retrenchment by the United States over the next two decades. This retrenchment will push to the fore a new U.S. grand strategyoffshore balancing. In a 1997 article in International Security, I argued that offshore balancing would displace America’s primacy strategy because it would prove difficult to sustain U.S. primacy in the face of emerging new powers and the erosion of U.S. economic dominance. Even in 1997, it was foreseeable that as U.S. advantages eroded, there would be strong pressures for the United States to bring its commitments into line with its shrinking economic base. This would require scaling back the U.S. military presence abroad; setting clear strategic priorities; devolving the primary responsibility for maintaining security in Europe and East Asia to regional actors; and significantly reducing the size of the U.S. military. Subsequent to that article, offshore balancing has been embraced by other leading American thinkers, including John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, Barry Posen, Christopher Preble and Robert Pape.

1NC Decline Inevitable

Decline is inevitable—rise of the rest

Kupchan 2/6--professor of international affairs at Georgetown University

2k12, Charles, Sorry, Mitt: It Won't Be an American Century,,0

Even if Romney's rhetoric were to get more domestic traction, it would still bear no resemblance to the new global landscape that is fast emerging. The United States is indeed an exceptional nation -- in its prized geographic location, commitment to freedom and democracy, and brand of international leadership. But the country's exceptionalism should not be used as an excuse to hide from global realities. China's GDP will catch up with America's over the course of the next decade. The World Bank predicts that the dollar, euro, and China's renminbi will become co-equals in a "multi-currency" monetary system by 2025. Goldman Sachs expects the collective GDP of the top four developing countries -- Brazil, China, India, and Russia -- to match that of the G-7 countries by 2032. The United States will no doubt exit the current slump and bounce back economically in the years ahead. Nonetheless, a more level global playing field is inevitable.

Decline is inevitable and peaceful

Economist 12

2/2/12, The stakes of American hegemony,

Mr Kagan gives it his all arguing that the "rise of the rest" does not mean America's not still undisputed king of the hill. But Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown law professor, is right that the skyward trajectory of the BRICs does mean America's relative influence has waned, and that that's a happy development: [A]s Reagan recognized, a decline in relative American power is a good thing, not a bad thing — if we can turn rising states into solid allies. Remember "Gulliver's Travels"? True, it wasn't much fun for Gulliver to be the little guy in the land of Brobdingnagian giants, but it was even less fun to be a giant among the Lilliputians. Like Gulliver, America will prosper most if we can surround ourselves with friendly peer and near-peer states. They give us larger markets and improve burden-sharing; none of the global problems that bedevil us can be solved by the United States alone. The global public goods Mr Kagan rightly prizes—peace, stability, unimpeded trade routes—will be more, not less secure if the burden of their provision is more broadly distributed. And America is more likely to remain worth emulating were it to redirect some significant portion of the trillions spent maintaining its hegemony into more productive uses.

1NC Peaceful Transition

Peaceful transition – in context of Obama

Quinn 11 – Professor of Political Science and Int’l Studies

Adam, “The art of declining politely: Obama’s prudent presidency and the waning of American power,” International Affairs, Volume 87, Issue 4, Wiley Online

As noted in the opening passages of this article, the narratives of America’s decline and Obama’s restraint are distinct but also crucially connected. Facing this incipient period of decline, America’s leaders may walk one of two paths. Either the nation can come to terms with the reality of the process that is under way and seek to finesse it in the smoothest way possible. Or it can ‘rage against the dying of the light’, refusing to accept the waning of its primacy. President Obama’s approach, defined by restraint and awareness of limits, makes him ideologically and temperamentally well suited to the former course in a way that, to cite one example, his predecessor was not. He is, in short, a good president to inaugurate an era of managed decline. Those who vocally demand that the President act more boldly are not merely criticizing him; in suggesting that he is ‘weak’ and that a ‘tougher’ policy is needed, they implicitly suppose that the resources will be available to support such a course. In doing so they set their faces against the reality of the coming American decline. 97 If the United States can embrace the spirit of managed decline, then this will clear the way for a judicious retrenchment, trimming ambitions in line with the fact that the nation can no longer act on the global stage with the wide latitude once afforded by its superior power. As part of such a project, it can, as those who seek to qualify the decline thesis have suggested, use the significant resources still at its disposal to smooth the edges of its loss of relative power, preserving influence to the maximum extent possible through whatever legacy of norms and institutions is bequeathed by its primacy. The alternative course involves the initiation or escalation of conflictual scenarios for which the United States increasingly lacks the resources to cater: provocation of a military conclusion to the impasse with Iran; deliberate escalation of strategic rivalry with China in East Asia; commitment to continuing the campaign in Afghanistan for another decade; a costly effort to consistently apply principles of military interventionism, regime change and democracy promotion in response to events in North Africa. President Obama does not by any means represent a radical break with the traditions of American foreign policy in the modern era. Examination of his major foreign policy pronouncements reveals that he remains within the mainstream of the American discourse on foreign policy. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in December 2009 he made it clear, not for the first time, that he is no pacifist, spelling out his view that ‘the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace’, and that ‘the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms’. 98 In his Cairo speech in June the same year, even as he sought distance from his predecessor with the proclamation that ‘no system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other’, he also endorsed with only slight qualification the liberal universalist view of civil liberties as transcendent human rights. ‘I … have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things,’ he declared. ‘The ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas.’ 99 His Westminster speech repeated these sentiments. Evidently this is not a president who wishes to break signally with the mainstream, either by advocating a radical shrinking of America’s military strength as a good in itself or by disavowing liberal universalist global visions, as some genuine dissidents from the prevailing foreign policy discourse would wish. 100 No doubt sensibly, given the likely political reaction at home, it is inconceivable that he would explicitly declare his strategy to be one of managed American decline. Nevertheless, this is a president who, within the confines of the mainstream, embraces caution and restraint to the greatest extent that one could hope for without an epochal paradigm shift in the intellectual framework of American foreign policy-making. 101 In contemplating the diminished and diminishing weight of the United States upon the scales of global power, it is important not to conflate the question of what will be with that of what we might prefer. It may well be, as critics of the decline thesis sometimes observe, that the prospect of increased global power for a state such as China should not, on reflection, fill any westerner with glee, whatever reservations one may have held regarding US primacy. It is also important not to be unduly deterministic in projecting the consequences of American decline. It may be a process that unfolds gradually and peacefully, resulting in a new order that functions with peace and stability even in the absence of American primacy. Alternatively, it may result in conflict, if the United States clashes with rising powers as it refuses to relinquish the prerogatives of the hegemon, or continues to be drawn into wars with middle powers or on the periphery in spite of its shrinking capacity to afford them. Which outcome occurs will depend on more than the choices of America alone. But the likelihood that the United States can preserve its prosperity and influence and see its hegemony leave a positive legacy rather than go down thrashing its limbs about destructively will be greatly increased if it has political leaders disposed to minimize conflict and consider American power a scarce resource—in short, leaders who can master the art of declining politely. At present it seems it is fortunate enough to have a president who fits the bill.

Decline will be peaceful and solves all their offense—only a risk of chain ganging

MacDonald and Parent 11—Profs of Political Science @ Williams and Miami

Paul K. and Joseph M., Graceful Decline?, International Security, Spring 2k11, Volume 35, Number 4, Muse

In short, the United States should be able to reduce its foreign policy commitments in East Asia in the coming decades without inviting Chinese expansionism. Indeed, there is evidence that a policy of retrenchment could reap potential benefits. The drawdown and repositioning of U.S. troops in South Korea, for example, rather than fostering instability, has resulted in an improvement in the occasionally strained relationship between Washington and Seoul.97 U.S. moderation on Taiwan, rather than encouraging hard-liners in [End Page 42] Beijing, resulted in an improvement in cross-strait relations and reassured U.S. allies that Washington would not inadvertently drag them into a Sino-U.S. conflict.98 Moreover, Washington's support for the development of multilateral security institutions, rather than harming bilateral alliances, could work to enhance U.S. prestige while embedding China within a more transparent regional order.99 A policy of gradual retrenchment need not undermine the credibility of U.S. alliance commitments or unleash destabilizing regional security dilemmas. Indeed, even if Beijing harbored revisionist intent, it is unclear that China will have the force projection capabilities necessary to take and hold additional territory.100 By incrementally shifting burdens to regional allies and multilateral institutions, the United States can strengthen the credibility of its core commitments while accommodating the interests of a rising China. Not least among the benefits of retrenchment is that it helps alleviate an unsustainable financial position. Immense forward deployments will only exacerbate U.S. grand strategic problems and risk unnecessary clashes.101

1NC Decline Solves War

Lack of a counterbalance leads to hegemonic wars—hegemony doesn’t deter—decline would solve

Montiero 12/29-- Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University

2k11, Nuno, Why we (keep) fighting

Because threats are not the problem. Backed by the mightiest military in history, U.S. threats are eminently credible. In fact, the absence of another great power capable of deterring Washington gives the U.S. a free hand abroad. As Saddam's foreign minister Tariq Aziz lamented after Iraq's humiliating defeat in the Gulf War, "We don't have a patron anymore. If we still had the Soviets as our patron,none of this would have happened." The problem lies elsewhere. During the Cold War, mutually assured destruction kept the peace. The prospect of an unprovoked U.S. attack, which would ultimately lead to the U.S.'s own destruction, was unthinkable. But now that the Soviet Union is gone, America's enemies feel vulnerable even if they comply with Washington's demands. They know that the United States has the wherewithal to take them down if it so decides, so they are unlikely to accept any U.S. demands (to abandon a nuclear program, for example) that would leave them in a position of even greater weakness. This is what explains U.S. involvement in so many "hot" wars since the Cold War ended. As the world's sole superpower, the United States is often seen as an aggressive behemoth. To make its threats effective, we are told, it must restrain itself through a less aggressive military posture, a commitment to multilateral action, or even a pledge to eschew regime change. But even if it does all this, as long as U.S. power remains unmatched, Washington will continue to face difficulties having its way without resorting to war. This should come as no surprise. It follows from the unparalleled power of the United States.

1NC Heg Not Solve War

Doesn’t lead to peace—statistics show it actually leads to war

Montiero 12--Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University

Nuno, Unrest Assured, International Security, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Winter 2011/12),

How well, then, does the argument that unipolar systems are peaceful account for the first two decades of unipolarity since the end of the Cold War? Table 1 presents a list of great powers divided into three periods: 1816 to 1945, multipolarity; 1946 to 1989, bipolarity; and since 1990, unipolarity. 46 Table 2 presents summary data about the incidence of war during each of these periods. Unipolarity is the most conflict prone of all the systems, according to at least two important criteria: the percentage of years that great powers spend at war and the incidence of war involving great powers. In multipolarity, 18 percent of great power years were spent at war. In bipolarity, the ratio is 16 percent. In unipolarity, however, a remarkable 59 percent of great power years until now were spent at war. This is by far the highest percentage in all three systems. Furthermore, during periods of multipolarity and bipolarity, the probability that war involving a great power would break out in any given year was, respectively, 4.2 percent and 3.4 percent. Under unipolarity, it is 18.2 percent—or more than four times higher. 47 These figures provide no evidence that unipolarity is peaceful.48

1NC China Mod

Attempts to preserve hegemony will cause great power conflict with China

Christopher Layne 2012 (is Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University; ISQ* peer reviewed: ISI Journal Citation Reports® Ranking: 2010: International Relations: 10 / 73; Political Science: 18 / 139 Impact Factor: 1.523) “This Time It's Real: The End of Unipolarity and the Pax Americana” International Studies Quarterly, 1-11

Great power politics is about power. Rules and institutions do not exist in vacuum. Rather, they reflect the distribution of power in the international system. In international politics, who rules makes the rules. The post-World War II international order is an American order that privileges the United States' interests. Even the discourse of "liberal order" cannot conceal this fact. This is why the notion that China can be constrained by integrating into the post-1945 international order lacks credulity. For US scholars and policymakers alike, China's successful integration hinges on Beijing's willingness to accept the Pax Americana's institutions, rules, and norms. In other words, China must accept playing second fiddle to the United States. Revealingly, Ikenberry makes clear this expectation when he says that the deal the United States should propose to China is for Washington “to accommodate a rising China by offering it status and position within the regional order in return for Beijing's acceptance and accommodation of Washington's core interests, which include remaining a dominant security provider within East Asia" (Ikenberry 2011:356). It is easy to see why the United States would want to cut such a deal but it is hard to see what's in it for China. American hegemony is waning and China’s ascending, and there is zero reason for China to accept this bargain because it aims to be the hegemon in its own region. The unfolding Sino-American rivalry in East Asia can be seen as an example of Dodge City syndrome (in American Western movies, one gunslinger says to the other: "This town ain't big enough for both of us") or as a geopolitical example of Newtonian physics (two hegemons cannot occupy the same region at the same time). From either perspective, the dangers should be obvious: unless the United States is willing to accept China's ascendancy in East (and Southeast) Asia, Washington and Beijing are on a collision course.

US-China war goes nuclear

Johnson 1

Chalmers, The Nation, May 14, Wilson OmniFile: Full Text Select

China is another matter. No sane figure in the Pentagon wants a war with China, and all serious US militarists know that China's minuscule nuclear capacity is not offensive but a deterrent against the overwhelming US power arrayed against it (twenty archaic Chinese warheads versus more than 7,000 US warheads). Taiwan, whose status constitutes the still incomplete last act of the Chinese civil war, remains the most dangerous place on earth. Much as the 1914 assassination of the Austrian crown prince in Sarajevo led to a war that no one wanted, a misstep in Taiwan by any side could bring the United States and China into a conflict that neither wants. Such a war would bankrupt the United States, deeply divide Japan and probably end in a Chinese victory, given that China is the world's most populous country and would be defending itself against a foreign aggressor. More seriously, it could easily escalate into a nuclear holocaust. However, given the nationalistic challenge to China's sovereignty of any Taiwanese attempt to declare its independence formally, forward-deployed US forces on China's borders have virtually no deterrent effect.

1NC A2: Managed Transition

There is no way to guide the transition—other major powers will sense American decline and hold out to reshape it to their own advantage and declining power erases leadership for reform

Layne 9

Christopher, Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M, International Security, “The Waning of US Hegemony—Myth or Reality?”, 2009, p. asp

Although a consensus exists that international institutions need to be overhauled, pressures for reform are pushing in the opposite direction than the one prescribed by Brooks and Wohlforth, because the impetus for change is coming from China and the other emerging powers. This became evident during the lead-up to the April 2009 London meeting of the Group of 20, when China and other rising powers argued that international institutions need to be revamped to give them a greater voice, and also that the international privileges enjoyed by the United States and Europe need to be rolled back. These developments highlight a weakness in the institutional “lock in” and “twenty years’ opportunity” arguments: if they perceive that the United States is in decline, rising powers such as China need to wait only a decade or two to reshape the international system themselves. Moreover, because of the perception that the United States’ hard power is declining, and because of the hit its soft power has taken as a result of the meltdown, there is a real question about whether the U.S. hegemon retains the credibility and legitimacy to take the lead in institutional reform.

1NC/2NC Multipolarity>Unipolarity

Multipolarity is more peaceful than unipolarity

Goldstein 11-- professor emeritus of international relations at American University

Joshua, Sept/Oct 2011, Think Again: War,,3

Nor do shifts in the global balance of power doom us to a future of perpetual war. While some political scientists argue that an increasingly multipolar world is an increasingly volatile one -- that peace is best assured by the predominance of a single hegemonic power, namely the United States -- recent geopolitical history suggests otherwise. Relative U.S. power and worldwide conflict have waned in tandem over the past decade. The exceptions to the trend, Iraq and Afghanistan, have been lopsided wars waged by the hegemon, not challenges by up-and-coming new powers. The best precedent for today's emerging world order may be the 19th-century Concert of Europe, a collaboration of great powers that largely maintained the peace for a century until its breakdown and the bloodbath of World War I.

1NC Alliance Entanglement

Hegemony leads to entangling alliances and leads to us getting drawn in—decline solves

Preble 9— vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute

Christopher, The Power Problem, p. 8-9

There are other costs that are harder measure. Often, the existence—or even the perception—of great military power encourages arrogance and overcon-fidence. Meanwhile, our capacity for waging war in far-flung places, and disconnected from any consideration of U.S. national interests, encourages individuals and groups to come to Washington to appeal for assistance. The Reform Party and groups to come to Washington to appeal for assistance. The Reform Party of Syria wants us to get rid of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Georgians want to be members of NATO, and in the meantime they have received U.S. military assistance. We came to the aid of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo. Why not Muslims in Chechnya? We delivered food to starving Somalis in 1993, and then intervened militarily to prevent our aid from being diverted to warlords. Why, then, did we not stop a far greater humanitarian crisis in Rwanda? Or why has the United States not sent military forces to the Darfur region of Sudan, where a genocide has claimed an estimated 200,000 lives? Although we do not always intervene, our impulse to do so is understandable. Our sense of obligation to come to the assistance of those in need is deeply grounded in a number of religious traditions. Christian theologians point to a passage in the New Testament, Luke 12:48, that translates over the ages to a simple affirmation: From those who have been given much, much will be re- quired. Pop culture has adapted this timeless message in the popular Spider- Man comic books and movies, where Peter Parker is haunted by the admonition "with great power comes great responsibility." U.S. leaders from both major political parties, representing views from across the ideological spectrum, regu- larly invoke the theme of the country's great responsibilities to explain why we exert ourselves so often, and why we need an enormous military to fulfill those presumed obligations. However, as our experience in Iraq has shown, our desire to do good is not always matched by our capacity to do good. We do have great power, but we are not omnipotent. No one is. You could say that is another lesson of the Bible. Is there an alternative? Or are we doomed to spend vast sums of money on our military, and then be forced-either out of a sense of honor or shame (or both?)-to use this power on behalf of others? Must we sustain such a policy toward the use of force even if, in the process, we destroy ourselves? I am an optimist. I believe we can recover from this state of affairs. I believe that we can move beyond the United States being the sole superpower, expected to intervene in all places, and at all times, to our more rightful role as a world leader. But the change should come from within. It is unlikely to be forced upon us from the outside-or, if it is, we won't like the way it plays out. We should begin reducing our power in conjunction with a concerted effort to induce our friends and allies around the world to playa greater role.

1NC ME Mod

Hegemony only increases the risk and number of conflicts- causes instability in the Middle East – decline solves.
Bandow 10—Senior Fellow @ CATO

9/22/2010, Doug, senior fellow @ CATO, Book Review: The Frugal Superpower,

However, Mr. Mandelbaum worries that U.S. retrenchment will lead to the return of "great power politics." Yet Washington's current promiscuous tendency to intervene ensures that almost any conflict involving other nations will end up involving the United States. Deterrence often fails. Other nations understandably prefer to rely on Washington for their defense. The latter is not in America's interest — which, after all, is what U.S. foreign policy should be about. Mr. Mandlebaum says, "The national insistence on keeping gasoline cheap in the United States is the single greatest failure of twenty-first-century American foreign policy." He wants to raise the gas tax, a persistent liberal panacea. However, the real policy failure is intervening promiscuously to protect Middle Eastern oil producers even though the energy market is global. Since the end of the Cold War, and even before, Washington's interventions and threatened interventions actually have destabilized the region. Mr. Mandelbaum sees great international change coming. In his view, "One thing worse than an America that is too strong, the world will learn, is an America that is too weak." But Americans currently forced to foot the bill so Washington policymakers can sacrifice American soldiers like gambit pawns in a global chess game might beg to differ. A more humble foreign policy, as George W. Bush once promised, would be a far better deal for the vast majority of U.S. citizens, who suffer through whatever Washington elites decide.

Middle East instability goes nuclear

Kam 7—Deputy Head @ Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies

Ephraim, A Nuclear Iran, Deputy Head @ Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies,

The statements by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about wiping Israel off the map are not qualitatively new and resemble those by other Iranian leaders. Their reiteration at a time when Iran is under pressure on the nuclear issue, however, suggests increasing extremism on the part of the Iranian leadership towards Israel, as well as diminished sensitivity towards international public opinion. Even if it is unlikely, the possibility that a fanatical group, whether within the regime or a faction emerging from a split in the leadership, will gain control of nuclear weapons and decide to use them against Israel cannot be categorically ruled out. Moreover, the Middle East is a volatile region that has witnessed much violence and military force. Ballistic missiles and chemical weapons have already been used on a large scale, including in wars between Muslim countries. The risk that nuclear weapons will be used in the Middle East is greater than in other regions and is greater than the risk between the superpowers during the Cold War. Rules of behavior and channels for dialogue capable of reducing the risk do not yet exist.

1NC Regional War

Regional dynamics will prevent a regional hegemon from emerging – the U.S. should pursue off-shore balancing in the region.

Gause 12/21

F. Gregory Gause III is professor of political science at the University of Vermont. “Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!”. December 21, 2011. Foreign Policy.,0

If we back away from the domestic politics of Arab states (as well as those of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan) and look at the region in classic balance-of-power terms, we need not be so concerned about American regional interests. This is a multipolar region where balancing dynamics operate. Those balancing dynamics are complicated by the appeal of cross-border identities and ideologies, a factor that can be exploited by ambitious regional powers (as with Nasserist Arab nationalism in the 1950s and 1960s or Iran's ties with Islamist groups in the Arab world today). But the modern history of the region indicates that no local power can achieve a dominant position and thus put at risk American interests in oil access. If the United States, the most powerful country in the history of the world, could not impose its hegemony on the region, then it should not be too worried about Iran, even an Iran with a few nuclear weapons, doing so. In this case, system dynamics work in America's favor. Those systemic dynamics are strengthened by the fact that the most powerful state in the region militarily, Israel, and the richest state in the region, Saudi Arabia, are opposed to regional hegemonic plays and are both allied with the United States. Each is an uncomfortable ally in its own way: Saudi Arabia for the obvious reasons and Israel, increasingly, because of its obstinacy regarding a two-state solution with the Palestinians. But their power helps to serve American geopolitical interests in the region during a period of enormous change and uncertainty. Turkey's re-entry as an active player into regional politics also works in America's favor. While the AKP government will occasionally cause headaches, particularly in its stance toward Israel, having another strong (both domestically and internationally) state playing the regional game makes it even more unlikely that Iran, or any other state, can achieve a position of regional hegemony. Thus, the United States should approach regimes in the region, new and old, autocratic and democratic, with a minimalist agenda based on state-to-state interests. New democratic regimes will be as concerned about balancing dynamics as their old authoritarian predecessors. They will turn to Washington for help in their own balance-of-power games (to some extent, this is already happening on Syria). If one state chooses to adopt a hostile position toward the United States, its neighbors will probably seek out U.S. help. America can afford to take a less involved, less intense interest in the region and step in as needed to prevent the worst outcomes -- which can be done without a large U.S. land-based military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else. The term of art in the international relations scholarship is "offshore balancing." That should be the overriding guide to American Middle East policy, not intense involvement in the domestic politics of regional states. I am not advocating a complete U.S. political or military disengagement from the region. Maintaining U.S. bases in the small Gulf states is a relatively cost-effective way of sustaining a military capability in an important area. (Bahrain is becoming more problematic on this score; the United States has no interest in having bases in unstable countries and getting caught up in their domestic politics.) Washington should engage with all regional governments, even Iran, on a regular basis. It should encourage balancing dynamics, bolstering those threatened by America's regional enemies. If circumstances are propitious (though I think this will be rare in the immediate future), Washington should push for progress on the Arab-Israeli front. But America should avoid plunging into the domestic affairs of Arab states, even when it thinks it has influence there. Egypt is the perfect example. America's $1.3 billion in annual aid to the Egyptian military certainly gives the United States some leverage over it. But America should not use that to try to micromanage what will inevitably be a complex and drawn-out process of negotiations among the Army, the newly empowered Islamists, other factions in the new parliament, and the body selected to write a new constitution about just what the relationship between the Army and new political order will be. The United States should simply make it clear that continued aid to the Egyptian military depends on Egyptian foreign-policy decisions toward America and on Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. Of course, the ground rules of U.S. foreign policy have changed, even for an offshore balancer. The United States needs to communicate those ground rules to allied Arab governments and their publics: Washington cannot provide aid to militaries that brutally suppress nonviolent popular demonstrations as a matter of regular policy. Washington will issue statements in support of democratic reform and human rights across the board, affecting allies and adversaries equally. If allies do not like that, tough for them. But these minimal guidelines are far different from the interventionist programs being put forward by both neoconservatives and liberal internationalists in an effort to guide the politics of the Arab world. The United States is well positioned to restrain itself in this period of flux in the Middle East. It needs only to make the choice to do so. U.S. vital interests are not threatened. America's power to prevent such threats is still significant. Regional balance-of-power dynamics work in America's favor. The United States can afford to let developments play out, not getting too exercised by the Islamist wave in the region but not encouraging it through active democracy promotion either. America can husband its resources rather than waste them in the pursuit of chimeras, like liberal democratic Arab states at peace with Israel and strongly allied with the United States. It can take the moral high ground in a way that neoconservatives and liberal interventionists do not appreciate, by not interfering in the domestic politics of Arab states. America can confidently stand aside and wait for regional states, driven by regional dynamics, to come to it for assistance and support. A decade of failed efforts to remake the politics of the region should be enough. Washington needs to learn the wisdom of the White Rabbit and just stand there in the Middle East.

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