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  1. #1
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    America in Decline?

    Interesting. Should the US loosen up a little and co-operate instead of bullying? Or will other countries perceive that as weakness and take advantage of it?

    From The Economist.

    It's the end of the world as we know it

    Apr 10th 2012, 14:04 by W.W. | IOWA CITY





    WRITING in the Wall Street Journal, Walter Russell Mead is the latest in a long line of cheerleaders for American global leadership to maintain that, no matter how it might look, America is not in decline. "The United States isn't in decline", Mr Mead writes, "but it is in the midst of a major rebalancing. The alliances and coalitions America built in the Cold War no longer suffice for the tasks ahead." It turns out that what Mr Mead means by "major rebalancing" is that America is in decline. Actually, Mr Mead says that the "trilateral system" is in decline. According to Mr Mead, from the 1970s to the early oughts, an alliance of America, Western Europe, and Japan dominated global affairs. Japanese and European stagnation mean that the "trilateral era" is now over:
    [T]he trilateral partnership can no longer serve as the only or perhaps even the chief set of relationships through which the U.S. can foster a liberal world system. Turkey, increasingly turning away from Europe, is on the road to becoming a more effective force in the Middle East than is the EU. China and India are competing to replace the Europeans as the most important non-U.S. economic actor in Africa. In Latin America, Europe's place as the second most important economic and political partner (after the U.S.) is also increasingly taken by China.
    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. (Russia isn't sure whether it wants to join or sulk; negotiations continue.)
    Mr Mead doesn't mention American stagnation as a contributing cause of the end of the trilateral era, but come on! When influence is the currency in global affairs, to decline is simply to lose relative influence. If America was once the dominant player in a three-way alliance, and has now become a leading player in a septagonal world, then America is in decline.
    Mr Mead's silver lining is that America can achieve its main aims in foreign affairs without dominance because rising powers have ample independent reason to pursue those aims.
    [E]ven in the emerging world order, the U.S. is likely to have much more success in advancing its global agenda than many think. Washington is hardly unique in wanting a liberal world system of open trade, freedom of the seas, enforceable rules of contract and protection for foreign investment.
    Terrific! Nevertheless, Mr Mead can't quite square up to the reality of America's weakening influence. "Washington will remain the chairman of a larger board", he says, hopefully. Tell me: why is it so damn hard to admit that this straightforwardly implies that America's relative power has slipped and is slipping—that its place at the head of the table has become less secure? Perhaps my problem is that I cannot quite grasp what's so bad about being one power among many, as long as the interests of the many are broadly compatible with the interests of America, which they seem to be. Is it a matter of ego? National self-esteem? Will our influence wane even further if our most prominent foreign-policy wonks are seen to have lost the will to posture? I don't get it. Sure, it's the end of world affairs as we know it. Why not feel fine?

  2. #2
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    billy the kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    other countries perceive that as weakness and take advantage of it
    for sure.
    hyenas will get the scent.

  3. #3
    I am in Jail
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    other countries perceive that as weakness and take advantage of it
    Only if their bombs make more bang than ours.

  4. #4
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy the kid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    other countries perceive that as weakness and take advantage of it
    for sure.
    hyenas will get the scent.
    I think the US is in decline and it will be for the long term.

    Hyenas? Other nation-states such as China, and the rest of the world.

    Domestically, people are realizing their standard of living is declining and will do so for the next couple of decades.

    Possible result:
    ............

  5. #5
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    I don't know about your OP Harry.

    They have a bewt smoking lounge at Denver Airport and you don't even have to ask soldiers carrying M16's where it is............

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    It's in decline only for the young. The old geezers will get treated like the old geezers of the past. The young will have to change the nation if they want some security in their old age. The real changes won't start to take place for another 20 years when most all the 60 year olds are dead and gone. Let's just hope that the evil geezers don't do more damage to America between now and then. If they looked to the future, they would consider the young more because most of them are going to be rotten and filled with worms in 20 years.


  7. #7
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    The article reads like a nostalgia piece from the late 90's- which was when the main talk of America's relative decline was going on. What was happening (or nascent) then is largely in place now. The rise of China is well on it's way, and was largely foreseen by people that pay attention to such things, but India too has been on an upward trajectory and has surprised many now that it has finally got it's act together.

    the world now has four main 'power polarities', of which the US remains undoubtably first amongst equals and, given it's diplomatic sway and influence in Europe, effectively chairman of the board. These being US, Europe, China and India.

    Reflecting back over the last decade, there is little question that the PNAC was an expensive folly, a failure. It will probably be viewed by history as a failed, but understandable, attempt to retain the old 'Imperialist' world order in a changing international landscape. It can be thrown in the dustbin of history, although the archaic thinking it was based on cannot be- because it's aging adherents still hold considerable sway in the corridors of Washington and the MI complex, and are potentially a threat to world peace.

    But really, the main strains that have emerged are domestic. The financial crisis hit the western economies much harder than the vigorous Asian economies, and in many cases we now need to take steps to prevent our States from becoming insolvent. Financial problems have been the undoing of many a great state, and many a great empire. As far as a 'multipolar world order' goes, well basically it is the norm. Nice though it may have been to have grown up and lived adult life in a 'pax Americana', a largely unipolar world order based on a US/ Nato military and diplomatic partnership, it was never going to be a permanent fixture. Commonsensically speaking, hegemony is more likely to be exercised in our own back yards rather than globally, just as India and China will probably do so in theirs.
    probes Aliens

  8. #8
    Lord of Swine
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    Of course it is. You only have to look at its cities (Detroit?, chigago) or it's ageing infrastructure.
    The only question is how much damage they will do lashing out as they go down.

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    America certainly needs to find a way to sustainably fund it's own government, or it will indeed come crashing down. Other countries too, but the difference is if the US goes down in a financial crash accompanied by default, that is a direct threat to the whole world economy, and international peace. If Greece and Ireland go down, not such a big deal. Of course the general populace is sweating the small stuff (radical Islam) and, in comparison, shrugging off the real threat. Often the way.

  10. #10
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    All I hear here in the UK is doom and gloom. Every single mother f***ing day. I for one am f**king sick of it.

    We need to dance. Lets all go dancing in the street.

    Calling out around the world
    Are you ready for a brand new beat?
    Summers here and the time is right
    For dancing in the street




    Or we could have a bit of this classic......

    Let the music play on....play on....play on....play on.
    Everybody sing, everybody dance
    Lose youself in wild romance
    We're going to, party, karamu, fiesta, forever
    come on and sing along
    ALL NIGHT LONG...ALL NIGHT...ALL NIGHT....ALL NIGHT....



    I hope i've got you all in the mood now for a bit of an impromptu street party, maybe a bit of hanky panky with a fine woman. What ever floats yer boat. Innit.

    Go on, walk out into your street and start singing Lionel Ritchie.

    I'm sick of all this financial doom and gloom end of the world bullshit. They're all a bunch of ............


    WHOOP WHOOP!!

  11. #11
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    ^ That wouldn't work. The mussies would get "offended" by it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    Of course it is. You only have to look at its cities (Detroit?, chigago) or it's ageing infrastructure.
    The only question is how much damage they will do lashing out as they go down.
    I agree. Twenty years ago an old hippy janitor in a flea -pit of a New Orleans guesthouse told me

    "America is like an other great civilisation - and like the Romans we too will fall - and it's about to begin"

    After these deep words he continued to mop the floor.

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