This thesis presents an analysis of the overseas basing policy debate of the past two decades. The main research objective is to determine the extent to which imperial overstretch has figured in this policy debate. To that end, the analysis concentrates on the types of arguments used by those arguing for and against the expansion of the American global military presence. This thesis’ main finding is that arguments directly related to imperial overstretch have moved from being invisible during the 1990s, to becoming increasingly popular in the past few years. This popularity should be seen as a reflection of the considerable degree to which participants to the policy debate (e.g. scholars, politicians and journalists) see the United States as a great power in decline.
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