US Dominance in World Politics: NBSE Class 12 Political Science

US Dominance in World Politics
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Get summary, textual answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF to NBSE Class 12 (Arts) Political Science Chapter 11 “US Dominance in World Politics”. However, the educational materials should only be used for reference and students are encouraged to make necessary changes.

Introduction

The chapter titled “US Dominance in World Politics” provides a comprehensive analysis of the United States’ dominance in the global arena and the challenges it faces. The chapter discusses the three dimensions of US dominance: hard power (military strength), structural power (economic strength), and soft power (cultural influence).

The US’s hard power is evident in its worldwide military presence, with over 700 military installations outside its territory. Its defense spending constitutes nearly 36% of the world’s total, surpassing the combined budgets of the next 14 biggest powers. The US’s structural power is reflected in its status as the world’s largest economy, accounting for nearly 15.5% of global exports. Most multinational companies are American-owned, and the US has significant influence over global financial institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO.

The US’s soft power is seen in its cultural dominance. The chapter cites the global popularity of American fast food chains and the ubiquity of jeans as examples of this influence. However, the chapter also notes that cultural influences are never one-sided, and globalization has led to cultural pluralism.

The chapter also discusses the challenges to US dominance. Economically, China and the European Union have emerged as major global trading centers. Culturally, while the US does not have a monopoly on democracy and liberalism, its cultural influence is being met with a diverse array of cultural expressions from around the world.

The chapter also covers the US’s military interventions in the Gulf War and Iraq, its response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and its relations with India. It concludes by noting that while the US remains a dominant global power, it faces significant challenges and competition in the global arena.

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Textual questions and answers

A. Long answer questions

1. Examine any four Causes and the four Consequences of the First Gulf War.

Answer: The main causes of the First Gulf War as mentioned are:

  • Iraq claimed Kuwait as its Southernmost Province: Iraq’s President, Saddam Hussein, did not recognize Kuwait’s Independence from Britain that ruled it in the past. He considered Kuwait to be a Province of Iraq.
  • Accused Kuwait of selling Oil in excess of its Quota: Iraq incurred huge damage as a result of its lengthy war with Iran (1980-1988). It decided to improve its finances by selling the crude oil in large quantities. Iraqi President accused Kuwait of selling oil in excess of the quota fixed by OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), and thereby lowering the price of oil in the world market.
  • Position of Leadership in the Arab world: Saddam Hussein wanted to assume a position of leadership in the Arab world. He felt threatened by powers such as Iran, Israel and USA.
  • Accused Kuwait of Stealing Iraqi Oil: In July 1990 Iraqi Government accused Kuwait of stealing Iraqi Oil. Hussien demanded that Kuwait pay damages of 14 billion dollars to Iraq. The ruler of Kuwait refused to agree to Iraq’s demands.

The consequences of the Gulf War are:

  • This War established the US hegemony and superiority in the world.
  • The Gulf War shattered the illusion of Arab Unity. Twelve out of the 20 Arab countries had dispatched their troops to Saudi Arabia to fight against Iraq.
  • Although the War ended in February 1991, the sanctions imposed on Iraq continued for many years.
  • This War established beyond all doubt that in the field of technology the USA had left the other nations far behind. Military experts termed this as ‘Computer War’, because of a lot of publicity about the ‘Smart Bombs’ used by the United States. It was also called the ‘Video Game War’, because people throughout the world saw television coverage of the destruction caused by the Coalition forces in Iraq. More than 500 Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze, burning fiercely.

2. How did the emergence of Talibans become a cause of the Terrorist attack of 11 September 2001 (9/11) attacks? (Or) What was the 9/11 event?

Answer: On 11 September 2001, a few terrorists hijacked four commercial planes of the United States. Two of the hijacked planes were made to strike against the 110-storey Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. The third plane struck against the Pentagon in Washington D.C., which happens to be the Defence Headquarters of USA. The fourth crashed in a village in the State of Pennsylvania, although the hijackers intended it to strike against the Capitol building of the American Congress. This incident is known as “9/11” (Nine-eleven). It meant the 11th day of the 9th month.

The American President held the Islamic fundamentalist organisation Al-Qaeda responsible for the attack. The Taliban government in Afghanistan was accused of not only protecting Osama bin Laden but also of actively supporting Al-Qaeda. After making massive military preparations in which European powers as well as Pakistan, Iran and other countries joined, the United States launched ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ to root out the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan fell in December 2001.

3. What was the US Response to 9/11 event? How did it result in the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan?

Answer: On the day of the attacks, President George Bush, son of the earlier President George H.W. Bush, vowed that the United States would hunt down and punish those responsible for the attack. The UN Security Council called for international cooperation in the War against terrorism. The American President held the Islamic fundamentalist organisation Al-Qaeda responsible for the attack. The Taliban government in Afghanistan was accused of not only protecting Osama bin Laden but also of actively supporting Al-Qaeda.

After making massive military preparations in which European powers as well as Pakistan, Iran and other countries joined, the United States launched ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ to root out the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan fell in December 2001. The Pakhtoon leader Hamid Karzai formed an interim government in Afghanistan. Later he was elected President of the country. The US President had announced the complete departure of American troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year 2014. Later the United States agreed to maintain a few troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

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6. Examine India’s relations with USA from 1990 onwards.

Answer: India’s relations with the USA from 1990 onwards have been marked by increasing cooperation and mutual interests:

  • The United States has been India’s biggest trade partner. The bilateral trade between the two countries was worth 100 billion dollars during the year 2013-2014. The US purchases amounted to more than 65 percent of India’s total export of computer software.
  • More than three lakh Indians are working in ‘Silicon Valley’.
  • The two countries consult each other on a number of subjects including strategic cooperation, science and technology, health, education, energy and climate change.
  • The two countries agreed to work together for ending terrorist networks, including Lashkar-e-Taiba.
  • In 2006 the US President and the Prime Minister of India signed an Agreement on Nuclear energy. Later this Agreement came to be known as the Indo-US Nuclear Deal.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited America in September 2014. Prime Minister Modi and President Obama agreed to bring together the business magnates, bureaucrats and scientists of the two countries.
  • In July 2018 the US Administration decided to give India Strategic Trade Authorisation One (STA – 1) status. The status would enable India to acquire advanced US military equipment. This status was so far being granted only to very close US allies.
B. Short answer questions

7. What is meant by US Unilateralism?

Answer: The term “US Unilateralism” refers to the approach where the US takes decisions alone on issues of global importance, without necessarily seeking the consent or cooperation of other nations. This is often seen in its foreign policy where it may act without the approval or support of other nations.

8. Why did the military experts term the First Gulf War as ‘Computer War’?

Answer: Military experts termed the First Gulf War as ‘Computer War’ because of the extensive use of technology and advanced weaponry. This war established beyond all doubt that in the field of technology the USA had left the other nations far behind. There was a lot of publicity about the ‘Smart Bombs’ used by the United States. It was also called the ‘Video Game War’, because people throughout the world saw television coverage of the destruction caused by the Coalition forces in Iraq.

9. Give any two evidences in support of US dominance as Hard Power (its military strength).

Answer: Two evidences in support of US dominance as Hard Power (its military strength) are:

  • The United States has worldwide ‘presence’ today. With more than 700 military installations outside its territory, many of which are fully developed military bases, America can land its troops in just few minutes or in less than an hour or two in any part of the world.
  • The US military spending comes to nearly 36 per cent of defence spending of the world as a whole. US military budget exceeds that of the next 14 biggest powers combined, including China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia and others. In 2004 US defence spending was 455.9 billion dollars, while that of China was 84.2 billion dollars and of Russia only 61.5 billion.

10. Give any two evidences in support of US dominance as Structural Power (its economic strength).

Answer: Two evidences in support of US dominance as Structural Power (its economic strength) are:

  • The United States has the status of being “the largest economy” of the world. Her geographical expanse, her mineral wealth (coal, iron, manganese, platinum, etc.), her industries and technological innovations have all added to her structural influence.
  • The United States accounts for nearly 15.5 per cent of World exports. Most of the Multinational Companies (MNCs) are owned by Americans. These three bodies- the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO-determine the basic structure and working of the world economy. An important key to the US dominance is her increasing domination of all these bodies.

11. Give any two evidences in support of US dominance as Soft Power (its cultural supremacy).

Answer: Two evidences in support of US dominance as Soft Power (its cultural supremacy) were:

  • Disintegration of the Soviet Union led to a decline in virtues of Socialism. Nowadays much emphasis is being placed on building liberal political and social institutions.
  • In the matter of eating and drinking we often talk about ‘Pepsi Culture’. What we call ‘fast food culture’ was actually the result of a fast way of life. We make purchases at ‘Shopping Malls’ and love to dine at ‘McDonald’ and ‘Pizza Hut’.

12. Mention the main challenge to US economy.

Answer: Today China and European Union have emerged as the world’s largest trading centres. China has now become a major Global power. Speaking with a single voice the European Union does hard bargaining in trade transactions with even a Super Power like USA. It has established commercial relations with the Asian and African countries. The Chairman of European Commission participates in G-7 Summits and influences the decisions taken at these meetings. The American aerospace and armaments industries have been challenged by stiff competition.

13. Mention an important challenge to US ideology and culture.

Answer: We do admit that the charm and inclination towards Communist ideology declined. Much emphasis is being placed now-a-days on building liberal and democratic institutions. But USA does not have a monopoly on democracy and liberalism. The desire for freedom is a universal principle. So far as culture is concerned, cultural influences are never one-sided. Globalisation has resulted in Cultural Pluralism. Jeans culture no doubt expanded, but at the same time, the demand for Indian Kurtas and Khadi wears also increased considerably in USA and other Western nations. South Indian masala dosa and the Chinese noodles are highly popular in USA and the Western world.

C. Very short answer questions

14. What was called Operation Desert Shield in the context of the First Gulf War?

Answer: The whole world was surprised when Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990. Iraq defeated and occupied Kuwait in Just 6 hours and declared it to be the 19th Province of Iraq. Saudi Arabia was also feared to be attacked by Iraqi troops. Therefore, at the request of the Saudi Government, USA dispatched its forces by 7 August to defend Saudi Arabia. This was called Operation Desert Shield.

15. What is Jeans Culture in the context of US cultural supremacy?

Answer: In the context of US cultural dominance, ‘Jeans Culture’ refers to the global trend of wearing jeans, which has become the first choice of young men and women all over the world. This is seen as a reflection of American cultural influence.

D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✔) the correct answer

16. Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait in the year:

Answer: (c) 1990

17. The incident 9/11 meant:

Answer: (b) 11th day of the 9th month

18. The coalition forces that took military action against Iraq in 1991 were drawn from how many countries:

Answer: (d) 34 countries

19. Internet Technique was a part of US dominance in which of the following dimensions:

Answer: (c) US as Soft power

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