The New Hegemony
"Yankee go home, but take me with you!" How long is that going to last? This writer seems to believe tha the European and Chinese ways are catching on more now than the American way. I'm slightly sceptical as to the former, but there's certainly an element of truth in it.
On the other hand, the strength of America's style of democracy - I say 'style' since it's not an absolute democracy as one gets from proportional representation methods - does mean that we will have regime change in a year. It's the Bush administration that has sown alienation against the US, not America per se. It can still be turned around, though of course the trend is a general one.
Many saw the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as the symbols of a global American imperialism; in fact, they were signs of imperial overstretch. Every expenditure has weakened America’s armed forces, and each assertion of power has awakened resistance in the form of terrorist networks, insurgent groups and “asymmetric” weapons like suicide bombers. America’s unipolar moment has inspired diplomatic and financial countermovements to block American bullying and construct an alternate world order. That new global order has arrived, and there is precious little Clinton or McCain or Obama could do to resist its growth.
But Europe lacks a coherent foreign policy, even now, and the Treaty of Lisbon probably won't alleviate that fundamental weakness by 2016. Then again, as pointed out, the Euro is now the real tool of Brussels foreign policy.
As for Beijing: "Every country in the world currently considered a rogue state by the U.S. now enjoys a diplomatic, economic or strategic lifeline from China, Iran being the most prominent example." That's a Warsaw Pact in-the-making if ever I saw one.
Note also the logical follow-on from my 2012 scenario and big picture theory of simultaneous bipolar-multipolarity, plus the importance of Gwadar.
It is 2016, and the Hillary Clinton or John McCain or Barack Obama administration is nearing the end of its second term. America has pulled out of Iraq but has about 20,000 troops in the independent state of Kurdistan, as well as warships anchored at Bahrain and an Air Force presence in Qatar. Afghanistan is stable; Iran is nuclear. China has absorbed Taiwan and is steadily increasing its naval presence around the Pacific Rim and, from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea. The European Union has expanded to well over 30 members and has secure oil and gas flows from North Africa, Russia and the Caspian Sea, as well as substantial nuclear energy. America’s standing in the world remains in steady decline.
The author Parag Khanna is a senior research fellow in the American Strategy Program of the New America Foundation (sounds disturbingly like PNAC to me, but will let that one go. The essay is adapted from his book, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, to be published by Random House in March. Gonna add it to my Amazon wish list, I think.