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Battling over the Pax Americana

October 05, 2009

Re "After the Pax," Opinion, Sept. 29

Though I admire the work of Christopher Layne and Benjamin Schwarz, I don't altogether agree with them. Pax Americana unquestionably fathered economic globalism, but the child has dwarfed its papa. There will be instances of old-fashioned nationalism -- as in the throwback worldview of Vladimir Putin -- but money will outwit them every time.

With the rise of sovereign wealth funds and the unstoppable growth of nonstate international corporations, both of which drive globalism, I strongly doubt that we are destined to return to a world divided into "spheres of influence."

Other forces, chiefly the upward volatility of oil prices, will surely force markets to be more local.

Alan Buster

Santa Monica


Clearly, the burden of being the world's policeman is leading us to financial ruin. Massive Pentagon expenditures are a big factor not only in our budget deficit but our trade deficit, because our trading partners have the competitive advantage of not having to fund a worldwide military presence.

And if only this big military machine actually kept us safe instead of too often being used for blundering interventions that kick up more anti-American hostility.

Guess what? We just can't afford to do this anymore. Our "allies" in Asia and Western Europe are advanced industrial nations fully capable of defending themselves and their regional interests, and making an equitable contribution to the common defense against any global-scale threat.

I'll be perfectly happy with the end of Pax Americana.

Frederick Singer

Huntington Beach


Note to President Obama, Layne and Schwarz: Waiting for China and India to be "the locomotives of global recovery" is a little bit like leaving the porch light on for Jimmy Hoffa.

Phil Apoian



Layne and Schwarz warn that the United States is headed for the dust bin of former great nations with many big words and dense, but informative, writing.

Dudes, we're in trouble here with the money thing; it's not like being on unemployment and collecting cans for beer money. But hey, that's what happens when you start letting your roommate pull your shift (outsource manufacturing), borrow money to buy that overpriced house and try to fight two guys at the same time, only you can't use your biggest gun.

But hey, we're nice guys, maybe we can slip in at second, third? Yeah, I know it's really awful.

Frederick Dickinson


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