Wednesday, February 20, 2008

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Eagle soaring... for the moment

International relations scholars are/should be familiar with a series of edited volumes on U.S. foreign policy entitled Eagle ________. Eagle Entangled, Eagle Defiant, Eagle Resurgent, Eagle in a New World, etc.

With all the talk of lost hegemony, my latest column for Newsweek International points out that even if U.S. power is waning, it hasn't exactly disappeared. It's called, "The Eagle Still Soars." The take home point:

There is a difference between forming expectations about future trends and believing that the future is now. If anything, recent events reaffirm the primacy of American power....

Longtime observers of international relations will have a sense of déjà vu in reading about America's decline. Two decades ago international-relations scholars were enmeshed in a debate about American decline. Replace China with Japan, and the current gnashing of teeth sounds like a replay of debates from the 1980s. Over the long term, however, the demographic and economic vitality of the American economy is difficult to dispute compared with possible peer competitors. For decades to come, the United States will be first among equals. So don't believe the hype. By most measures, the United States is still the hegemon.

This does not mean, of course, that the declinists don't have a point. Power is a relative measure, and the robust growth of the BRIC nations guarantees that U.S. influence will decline in the future. The really important question for America—and the world—is how Americans will manage this adjustment.

Go check it out.

posted by Dan on 02.20.08 at 08:18 PM


Sure hope your title was not influenced, in whole or in part, by the Ashcroft rendition of similar name.

posted by: J on 02.20.08 at 08:18 PM [permalink]

"... a series of edited volumes on U.S. foreign policy entitled Eagle ________."

My personal favorite overused/abused title is Whither ______?

Question mark at the end is optional.

posted by: Joseph Sixpack on 02.20.08 at 08:18 PM [permalink]

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