Sunday, October 31, 2010

Is The "American Century" At An End? -- A Commentary

Pax Americana Is Winding Down -- Arnaud De Borchgrave, Washington Times

Is the world's balance of power shifting away from the West and moving over to India and China? That's what a number of geopolitical sages are discussing in think tanks from Moscow to Beijing to London to Washington. In a joint SOS piece in the November-December issue of Foreign Affairs, former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman and the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard N. Haass, warn U.S. leaders to curb "the current debt addiction - or global capital markets will do it for them." An age of austerity and draconian belt-tightening - and sudden decline in U.S. power - is upon us. Gridlocked Congress, fiscal train wreck, climbing without a rope, all the stuff of headlines the world over.

Read more ....

My Comment: There is very little that I can disagree with in this commentary by Arnaud De Borchgrave. This is the future, and there is very little that Americans can (or want to) in changing it.


Unknown said...

Reading this is like going to a doctor and having him tell you what are your symptoms but without giving you any ideas for what you might do to fix things.

Since WWII we have stationed troops in bases in 141 nations...why? we are an empire and fight in losing wars since Viet Nam (Korea still ongoing) and still talk deficit without doing much about our military budget--and that author know also a lot about our space stuff that is intended to build empire in the skies...
We have allowed our corporations to run our govt., and our lobbyists to dictate our policies...the tea party is a mild protest that simply will if put in place do nothing to change the way we conduct our affairs.

Ok. We are in decline. But then Avis too is 2nd place and still in business.

CTB said...

This whole notion of a Pax Americana, I think, is a flawed one. Was the 20th century truly the American century? Hardly. 1/5 of the century was spent in isolationism, and half of it in direct competition with the Soviet Union in which the USA repeatedly failed to win in Korea, China and S.E. Asia. Ultimately influence in Iran would be lost as well. The whole of Asia minus some islands off the coast and, maybe, Pakistan, was outside the influence of the USA. Influence in Africa was hardly solidified and only half of Europe was ever, barely somewhat, in league with the USA. How exactly a century could be defined as American when 80 miles offshore, its archenemy is deploying nuclear warheads?

In short, there never was an American century. Calling the 20th century the American Century is like pushing the Pax Romana back 200 years to when Carthage was still around. There was a period of time from 1990-2010, 80 years short of a century, when America stood unopposed by any major power and this short period was more the product of the vacuum effect of the collapse of the Soviet Union. A vacuum being more suitably filled by the regional powers who's backyard it is in.

The rise of China and India, the competition of the EU and resurrection of Russia are a return to the normalcy of a competitive world. The 'American century' was a mere 20 year hiccup where the USA faced no real competition and these characteristics can not be applied across the span of the 20th century.