Shaping a new world order

Andrew Bacevich writes:

Chief among the problems facing the United States today is this: too many obligations piled high without the wherewithal to meet them. Among those obligations are the varied and sundry commitments implied by the phrase “American global leadership.” If ever there were an opportune moment for reassessing the assumptions embedded in that phrase, it’s now.

With too few Americans taking notice, history has entered a new era. The “unipolar moment” created by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has passed. To refer to the United States today as the world’s “sole superpower” makes about as much sense as General Motors bragging that it’s the world’s No.1 car company: Nostalgia ill-befits an enterprise beset with competitors breathing down its neck. Similarly, to call Barack Obama the “most powerful man in the world” is akin to curtsying before Elizabeth II as “Queen of Great Britain, Ireland and British Dominions beyond the Seas”: Although a nice title, it confers little by way of actual authority.

A new global order is rapidly emerging. In that order, the United States will no doubt remain a very important player. Yet alongside the U.S. will be several others: China preeminently among them, but with Russia, India, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and Brazil also demanding to be reckoned with. (Whether Europe, currently wallowing in disarray, can muster the will and wallet to play in this company qualifies as an unknown.)

Nothing Washington can do will prevent this geopolitical transformation. Politicians may insist that the United States still stands apart — always and forever a “triple-A nation” — but their declarations will have as much effect as King Canute ordering the waves to stop. Indeed, to indulge further in the fiction of American omnipotence — persisting in our penchant for fighting distant wars of dubious purpose, for example — will accelerate the process, with relative decline becoming absolute decline. For Americans, husbanding power rather than squandering it is the order of the day.

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3 thoughts on “Shaping a new world order

  1. DE Teodoru

    Right now the Europeans are looking for a way of buying Russia into EU so they can tell the US “by by.” Americans never could appreciate how little value others give to America’s “security umbrella” and how much our mortgage stock fraud is resented by retirement plans all over Europe duped by the phony mercenary “Tripe A” rating the same scum that down-rated the US gave them (constitutionally they couldn’t invest in our mortgage fraud without the triple-A ratings). We may have been fooled by the incompetent SURGEon Petraeus’s “media savvy BS” into thinking his SURGEry a success but our NATO “allies” were not. As soon as they come to terms with Russia they’ll be most willing to dump NATO for Russia in EU. There are another three continents that feel the same about us so had had better turn around and look behind us instead of incessantly in our Narcissistic mirror. Israel is our only real dependency. The rest are looking to China to finish us off while they steal Russia from the Sino-Russian alliance. At this point, Bacevich has it right: modesty and honesty are the best policy!

    Obama seems to grasp that, in contrast the the fruit cake Republican candidates.

  2. BillVZ

    “Bacevich has it right: modesty and honesty are the best policy!”And
    Obama seems to grasp that, in contrast the the fruit cake Republican candidates.

    Huh?……… what am I missing here in your remark?

    I have reread Bacevichs piece and fail to see any reference to best ‘policy -modesty and honesty or as something Obama has a grasp on. Using words from Bacevich- to call Barack Obama modest and honest is akin Using words from Bacevich- to call Barack Obama modest and honest is akin to Richard Nixon’s “I’m not a crook”

  3. Renfro

    Obama got elected and as far he was concerned that was the end of his job.
    He’s been enjoying the perks of being Prez and letting the revolving door neos, zios and elites of Bush-Cheney continue to run the country.
    Don’t bother trying to figure Obama out, there’s nothing there to figure.

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