Американская гегемония или американское первенство?

КЕМБРИДЖ – Ни одна страна в современной истории не обладала такой глобальной военной мощью, как Соединенные Штаты. Тем не менее, некоторые аналитики утверждают, что США катятся к закату как Великобритания, предыдущий мировой гегемон. Хотя эта историческая аналогия становится всё более популярной, она ошибочна.

Британия никогда не была настолько могущественной, как сегодня США. Конечно, ее флот был равен объединенному флоту двух следующих по мощи держав, а под управлением ее империи, в которой никогда не заходило солнце, находилась четверть человечества. Но есть и важные отличия в том, что касается силовых ресурсов имперской Британии и современной Америки. К началу Первой мировой войны Британия была только четвертой среди великих держав по численности армии, четвертой по размеру ВВП, и третьей по военным расходам.

Управление Британской империей в значительной степени опиралось на местные войска. Из 8,6 млн британских военнослужащих, участвовавших в Первой мировой войне, почти треть приходилась на заморские провинции империи. Когда начали усиливаться националистические настроения, правительству в Лондоне становилось всё труднее объявлять войну от имени империи.

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