Here's one idea that needs to be talked about: being a superpower will bankrupt any nation that attempts it.
The Soviet Union's financial demise was proof of concept. The fact
that the US didn't collapse in the eighties was due to the superiority
of our economic system. It didn't mean that we could continue the
effort indefinitely without severe damage and eventual collapse.
Sure, on the surface our economy looks great. However, as you dig
deeper the damage become visible. The large budget and trade deficits
we have been running since Reagan's defense surge in the 80's have had
an impact. Warren Buffett's analysis demonstrates this:
In the late 1970s the trade situation reversed, producing
deficits that initially ran about 1% of GDP. That was hardly serious,
particularly because net investment income remained positive. Indeed,
with the power of compound interest working for us, our net ownership
balance hit its high in 1980 at $360 billion.
Since then, however, it's been all downhill, with the pace of
decline rapidly accelerating in the past five years. Our annual trade
deficit now exceeds 4% of GDP. Equally ominous, the rest of the world owns a staggering $2.5 trillion more of the U.S. than we own of other countries. Some
of this $2.5 trillion is invested in claim checksU.S. bonds, both
governmental and privateand some in such assets as property and equity
This loss of ownership has now reached 5% growing at a rate of 1% a
year (a rate that will accelerate as the power of compounding interest
works against us). The real question for all us is: when will the
superpower tax overwhelm us financially and we end up with the same
fate as the Soviet Union? [John Robb's Weblog]