"During the course of the 2oth century, the United States occupied Panama for 74 years, the Philippines for 48, Palau for 47, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands for 39, Haiti for 19, and the Dominican Republic for 8. The formal postwar occupations of West Germany and Japan continued for, respectively, 10 and 7 years..."
"It also has the largest inventory of nuclear weapons and the most advanced high-tech weaponry in the world. America's superpower status depends on this vital continuation of huge economic strength and incredibly high levels of military expenditure, only made possible by America's unique wealth. [Moreover...] the US has a unique capability for the rapid deployment of its forces deploying both airlift and sea lift assets with remarkable speed."
However, it is through Martijn Koninjs's work on institutions that we can consider how the tentacles of US power are also rooted in the structure of global finance; in the wake of 2008's Financial Crisis, the adage of "Too Big to Fail" spawned books and become part of the vernacular in policy circles. Yet "Too Big to Fail" fails to reflect that it is the interconnectedness of financial institutions and the network effects of negative feedbacks that have resulted in credit, the grease of global commerce, drying up, and the financial system coming to a halt. It is the nature of capital to bypass obstacles and pursue the highest return; and this is done through the financial engineering of American financial institutions hence the proposition of "Too Connected to Fail" remains the greater danger.
Indeed, size is important but understand that while China's state owned banks are now the world's largest, a failure of a Chinese financial institution at this time will have comparatively less effect on most developed nations (save for Australia) than a failure of a significantly smaller American investment bank --such is the nature of America's empire--because when America sneezes, the rest of the world truly does catch a cold.
Notwithstanding the meaningless rhetoric of 'less government' during the current US mid-term elections, it is important to consider the role that the American state played in the expansion of international financial markets and the reliance of American intermediaries as the primary conduit of global capital. The American financial system, has been a key factor in perpetuating American empire: financial statecraft has become an essential pillar of strength. It is wounded, and the fiscal situation makes America more vulnerable: it is down on the matt but is it out for the count?