“The US most likely will remain “frst among equals”among the other great powers in 2030 because of its preeminence across a range of power dimensions and legacies of its leadership role. More important than just its economic weight, the United States’dominant role in international politics has derived from its preponderance across the board in both hard and soft power.”
So I spent much of the day yesterday reading over the National Intelligence Council’s new work Global Trends 2030. It’s a fairly long and in-depth piece so I know many of you will not have a chance to read over it so I just wanted to touch on some brief high lights from it that deal specifically with America.
“Although the United States’ (and the West’s) relative decline vis-a-vis the rising states is inevitable, its future role in the international system is much harder to project: the degree to which the US continues to dominate the international system could vary widely.”
The article as the quote above illustrates does address the reality that the US is being challenged by the rise of nations like China and so forth. It also admits that the days of America acting by itself to impose its will on the international system is coming to an end. I would probably argue that it is not coming to an end but rather that it has already ended. That very brief window that allowed America to stride the global stage nearly unchallenged began with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and probably ended (at least in my estimation) with the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008 has now closed. Evidence to support this can be easily found in Syria today. Had this situation in Syria erupted during America’s singular moment mentioned above I think it is quite realistic that the situation would have been resolved. The Russians would have been either unable or unwilling to challenge America and prop up the regime in Syria. Things are different now and the world is not better off for it but it is the way things are now.
” Nevertheless, with the rapid rise of other countries, the “unipolar moment” is over and Pax Americana—the era of American ascendancy in international politics that began in 1945—is fast winding down.”