The Imperium Americana Paradigm: Reshaping the International System

Date of Graduation

Spring 2005


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

C. Walton


The United States is currently the world’s primary power. In the post-Cold War era it failed to make use of this power to enhance its preponderant international position, instead investing it in two Cold war institutions, the United Nations and NATO, to maintain the status quo. Emerging threats were missed as the United States became involved in peripheral conflicts. September 11, 2001, brought one of these threats directly to the United States shores. While the United States has launched a war on terrorism in response to the Al Qaeda threat, others remain. Great powers with hegemonic dreams, rogue states with no stake in the established order, and the continuing danger of transnational terrorism all post threats to U.S. preponderance. This thesis explains the breakdown of the international system in the post-Cold War era and the necessity of altering it. The thesis examines the breakdown of the international system, threats to the U.S. primacy, analyzes the condition of the UN and NATO, and examines the core concepts on which the system is built. Through these analyses, it builds the case for a new strategic paradigm intended to reshape the international system.


United States, primacy, international system, empire, September 11

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Steven D. Peterson