I had a conversation with a student last week relevant to this subject. He believes that the United States is the world’s police force and that our 800 military bases around the world are present there, because other world powers are incapable of demonstrating an force against rogue nations. He notes the failure of the UN and NATO as more reason for this presence. I tried to enlighten him to the fact that the United States has undermined the actions of these entities many times. However, it fell on deaf ears. He still sees it true that the United States’ intervention is necessary in world conflict and that we are the capable big brother in a world full of inept losers.
Had I been more equipped and less distracted with the course of the class time, I would have asked for evidence of situations, in which, the United States had really been unilaterally effective in policing world conflict within the last 40 years. It seems that military presence in the world is more about being aggressive about US politico-economic agendas rather than truly being altruistic in policing the world’s aggressors.