American decline – inevitable or an overreaction?

For a period in history, Great Britain was an ever-present influence exerting its power throughout the world. But faced with domestic political and economic pressures, it began a slow withdrawal from all corners of the globe. Some believe the United States is facing the same fate with a public soured on international engagement and domestic issues weighing greatly on American finances.

“Today, American retreat is not motivated by traditional isolationism, but by practical necessity. Like post-World War II Britain, contemporary America no longer has the financial resources to maintain an empire — one which, in America’s case, was pursued only halfheartedly in the first place. Deficits and debt have been more damaging to dreams of empire than any genuine shift in ideology,” writes Kwasi Kwateng in the New York Times.

The so-called American decline, however, is overrated says Walter Russell Mead.

“The U.S. will still be a leading player, but in a septagonal, not a trilateral, world. In addition to Europe and Japan, China, India, Brazil and Turkey are now on Washington’s speed dial. . . . .

“It won’t be easy, and success won’t be total. But even in the emerging world order, the U.S. is likely to have much more success in advancing its global agenda than many think.” said Mead recently in the Wall Street Journal.

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