Chapter 3 – US Hegemony in World Politics :Important Questions and Answers

List of Questions and Answers

1.Which one of the following was a part of its global war on terrorism by the U.S.?
(a) Operation Desert Storm
(b) Computer War
(c) Operation Enduring Freedom
(d) Video Game War

Ans: (c) Operation Enduring Freedom

2.What does hide strategy imply within the hegemonic system?

Ans: Hide strategy implies staying as far removed from the dominant power as possible.

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3.What was the significance of "Operation Iraqi Freedom"?

Ans: The purpose of the operation was to prevent Iraq from developing weapons of mass destruction.Besides that there were other objectives like controlling Iraqi oil fields and installing a regime friendly to the US under the operation.

4.Why is the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 considered both a military and political failure?

Ans: The US military has lost over 3,000 personnel in the war and Iraqi casualties were also very much higher.It is conservatively estimated that 50,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US-led invasion.Hence US invasion of Iraq is considered both military and political failure.

5.Mention the main events of 9/11.


  • On 11 September 2001, nineteen hijackers coming from Arab countries took control of four American commercial aircraft shortly after takeoff and flew them into important buildings in the US.
  • One airliner each crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York.
  • A third aircraft crashed into the Pentagon building in Arlington, Virginia, where the US Defence Department is headquartered.
  • The fourth aircraft, presumably bound for the Capitol building of the US Congress, came down in a field in Pennsylvania.
  • The attacks killed nearly three thousand people.

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6.Give examples of the American hegemony as a soft power.


  • This third sense of hegemony is about the capacity to "manufacture consent".
  • Hegemony implies class ascendancy in the social, political and particularly ideological spheres.
  • America is the most seductive, and in this sense the most powerful, culture on earth. This attribute is called ‘soft power’: the ability to persuade rather than coerce.

7.Explain the constraints on American Hegemony.

The biggest constraints to American hegemony lie within the heart of hegemony itself.

  • The first constraint is the institutional architecture of the American state.The three branches of government places significant brakes upon the unrestrained and immoderate exercise of America’s military power by the executive branch.
  • The second constraint on American power is also domestic in nature, and stems from the open nature of American society. The American mass media may from time to time impose or promote a particular perspective on domestic public opinion in the US, there is nevertheless a deep scepticism regarding the purposes and methods of government in American political culture. This factor, in the long run, is a huge constraint on US military action overseas.
  • The third constraint on the US that is perhaps the most important. The NATO is the only organisation which can moderate the exercise of American power today. The US obviously has an enormous interest in keeping the alliance of democracies that follow the market economies alive and therefore it is possible that its allies in the NATO will be able to moderate the exercise of US hegemony.

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8.Explain the UN operation called "Operation Desert Storm".


  • In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.
  • Series of diplomatic attempts failed at convincing Iraq to quit its aggression.
  • So the UN decided to liberate Kuwait by force.
  • A massive coalition force of 660,000 troops from 34 countries fought against Iraq and defeated it in what came to be known as the First Gulf War.
  • The Iraqi forces were quickly defeated and forced to withdraw from Kuwait.
  • This full operation was termed as "Operation Desert Storm"

9.Discuss US Hegemony as hard power.


  • The first meaning of hegemony relates to the relations, patterns and balances of military capability between states.
  • One example of hard power is, Ayesha, who lost her leg in an American missile attack? It is hard power hegemony that has broken Ayesha’s body, if not her spirit.
  • US military dominance today is both absolute and relative and they have military capabilities that can reach any point on the planet and no one can match with them.
  • The US today spends more on its military capability, military research and development and technology.
  • The military dominance of the US is not just based on higher military spending, but on a qualitative gap, a technological and no one can compare with them and one example of it is the US invasion of Iraq .
  • US military capability has shown to have serious weaknesses in policing an occupied territory as after invasion of Iraq , the US has not been able to force the Iraqi people into submitting to the occupation forces of the US-led coalition.

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10.Explain US Hegemony as "structural power".


  • Hegemony in this second sense is reflected in the role played by the US in providing global public goods i.e goods that can be consumed by one person without reducing the amount of the good available for someone else. Example Fresh air and roads.
  • It is the naval power of the hegemon that underwrites the law of the sea and ensures freedom of navigation in international waters.
  • Another example of a global public good is the Internet. We should not forget that the Internet is the direct outcome of a US military research project that began in 1950. The Internet relies on a global network of satellites, most of which are owned by the US government.
  • The US is present in all parts of the world, in all sectors of the world economy and in all areas of technology.
  • The US share of the world economy remains an enormous 28%.The US also accounts for 15 per cent of world trade.
  • The Bretton Woods system, set up by the US after the Second World War, still constitutes the basic structure of the world economy.The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) are the products of American hegemony.
  • A classic example of the structural power of the US is the academic degree called the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).