Friday, April 13, 2012

International:  The Myth of America's Decline

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.)

New partnerships make for rough sledding. Over the years, the trilateral countries [U.S., Europe, and Japan] gradually learned how to work with each other—and how to accommodate one another's needs. These days, the Septarchs have to work out a common approach.

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. 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. What began as a largely American vision for the post-World War II world will continue to attract support and move forward into the 21st century—and Washington will remain the chairman of a larger board.

For much more, see Walter Russell Mead: The Myth of America's Decline by Walter Russell Mead, April 8, 2012 at WSJ.com.

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