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Is America Choosing Decline?

Brett Davis

Posted on May 23, 2021 06:12

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The consequences would be dire.

All good things, it is said, must come to an end. So, too, with America as global hegemon since the end of the Second World War?

Of course, the demise of America — sustainer of an international system of open commerce and democratic alliances that has enabled the world to thrive — has routinely been predicted at the hands of any number of state actors wishing to supplant it as the world’s most powerful nation: the former Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, the European Union, India. Yet America endures as, per Madeleine Albright in 1998, “the indispensable nation.” But, it’s 2021. China is aggressively ascendant, while the United States increasingly acts as a reluctant colossus abroad and hobbles itself domestically. It is becoming more difficult not to think America’s days as No. 1 may be numbered.

We can see America pulling back. Said retreat began with President Obama abandoning Iraq, offering appeasement to Russia via a clumsy “reset” and accommodating Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons through the misnomered Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

President Trump, for all his foreign policy successes, blundered in pivoting away from Asian allies by abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017. The previous year, Singapore’s prime minister presciently warned Sen. John McCain that if America pulled out of the TPP “you’ll be finished in Asia,” where Chinese influence grows. The result? Two new sweeping trade agreements — one in 2018 and one in 2020 — without the U.S.

The nascent Biden administration is an embarrassment: tolerating in scolded-dog fashion an anti-American tirade directed at top U.S. diplomats from Chinese officials at a summit in Alaska; desperately trying to get back into the useless JCPOA; calling off key sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline; and pressuring Israel — not Hamas terrorists — for a cease-fire between the Jewish state and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

America’s problems overseas are, partly, engendered at home. The U.S. seems intent on committing national suicide “Harrison Bergeron”-style. Our self-inflicted handicaps are legion: cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline (Vladimir Putin must be amused); de facto open borders; some $28 trillion in debt and still spilling enough red ink — sufficient for a second Noachian deluge — to shame a drunken sailor; propagating self-hatred by dint of the historically inaccurate “1619 Project”; and risking balkanization with so-called antiracism and its handmaiden, critical race theory. The Great Awokening of America, among other casualties, has produced results from the anti-sublime (a less capable military) to the ridiculous (math is racist). 



As observed by Lebanese scholar Fouad Ajami in 2008, the end of American preeminence is a thing not to be devoutly wished for: “It is one thing to rail against Pax Americana, but after the pollsters are gone, the truth of our contemporary order of states endures. We live in a world held by American power — and benevolence. Nothing prettier, or more just, looms over the horizon.”

Indeed. The alternatives? Global chaos, or domination by the odious regimes of China, Russia and Iran.

Brett Davis

Posted on May 23, 2021 06:12

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Source: Upworthy

There simply is no sugarcoating how awful these numbers are.

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