Benevolent Global Hegemonyrnby James George JatrasrnEvery once in a great while, an article appears in a mainstreamrnpublication that lets the eat out of the bag, byrnspelling out ideas that have long been dominant in public lifernbut are usually seen only in vague or implicit form. One suchrnappeared in the July/August 1996 edition of Foreign Affairs.rnEntitled “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy,” it was intendedrnas a blueprint for a Dole administration, and no doubtrnalso a claim for high appointment for its authors, William Kristolrnand Robert Kagan, both editors of the neoeonservativernWeekly Standard. It could best be summed up as an appeal forrnAmerica to become the embryo of a world empire.rnThe American role in the post-Cold War international order,rnaccording to Kristol and Kagan, should be “benevolent globalrnhegemony.” After defeating the “Evil Empire,” the UnitedrnStatesrnenjoys strategic and ideological predominance. The firstrnobjective of our foreign policy should be to enhance thatrnpredominance by strengthening America’s security, supportingrnits friends, advancing its interests, and standingrnup for its principles around the world. The aspiration tornbenevolent hegemony might strike some as morally suspect.rnBut a hegemon is nothing more or less than a lead-rnJames George jatras is a policy analyst at the United StatesrnSenate. This article was delivered as a speech at a Chicagornconference in March on “America’s Intervention in thernBalkans,” hosted by Chronicles and The Lord ByronrnFoundation for Balkan Studies. The views expressed are hisrnown and do not represent any Senate member or office.rner with preponderant influence and authority over allrnothers in its domain. That is America’s position in thernworld today.rnOther powers, they argue, notably Russia and China, will bristlernat American hegemony, but we should take their displeasurern”as a compliment.”rnPredictably, the authors call for a military buildup unconnectedrnto any identifiable military threat. They call for “citizenrninvolvement,” in effect, a militarization of the populace (in arncomplete perversion of the traditional citizen-soldier concept)rnand their seduction into the imperial enterprise: to “close therngrowing separation of civilian and military cultures in our society,”rnto “involve more citizens in military service,” to “lower thernbarriers between civilian and military life.”rnPerhaps most disturbing about the Kristol/Kagan call torngreatness is how they define our interests. “Americans,” theyrnwrite, “have never lived in a world more conducive to their fundamentalrninterests in a liberal international order, the spread ofrnfreedom and democratic governance, [and] an internationalrneconomic system of free-market capitalism and free trade.” Ofrncourse, this has nothing to do with how we will preserve the traditionalrnmoral and economic interests of our own people orrnwith keeping other powers out of our traditional empire in thisrnhemisphere—what we usually mean by national interests—andrneverything to do with the blessings we will supposedly bestowrnupon the rest of benighted humanity, assumed to be, as Kiplingrnput it, half devil and half child.rnThey continue: “American hegemony is the only reliable defensernagainst a breakdown of peace and the international order.rnJUNE 1997/27rnrnrn