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To protect one's interests around the world. To create and maintain an international order conducive to one's interests, and to quash any possibility of any threat to said interests from rising.

Doesn't it also perfectly sum up the purpose of most (if not all) actions led by a state actor that can afford such policies? (quite a few companies may also fit the bill)

The fiction of Pax Americana is that the US is the policeman whereas in reality it is actually the Emperor. That is where the disconnect lies.

I do think it’s perfectly rational for a State to pursue those things but not necessarily a Superpower. There are many things America could choose to do (or not do) that may not provide short term benefits but over the long run would benefit every state.

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