Saturday, December 26, 2009

'The death knell of American hegemony'

Storm clouds ahead for America
National Post: Just two and a half weeks after he was elected and before he even set foot in the White House, US President Barack Obama was presented with a 120-page report that was supposed to help him to peer into the future...

Many of the futuristic predictions in Global Trends 2025 are being overtaken by the rapidly shifting realities of the present, says Michael Klare, a professor of security studies at Hampshire College in Massachusetts... 'As a result of the mammoth economic losses suffered by the United States over the past year and China's stunning economic recovery, the global power shift the report predicted has accelerated... For all practical purposes, 2025 is here already.'

The United States' decline is so severe the world's economic powers have already floated the idea of adopting a 'basket' of global currencies to replace the US dollar as a medium of exchange.

Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, estimates between 2000 and 2008 the US share of the world's GDP fell by 32%, while that of China rose by 144%. 'America is in unprecedented decline,' he says. 'The self-inflicted wounds of the Iraq War, growing government debt, increasingly negative current-account balances and other internal economic weaknesses have cost the United States real power in today's world of rapidly spreading knowledge and technology. If present trends continue, we will look back at the Bush administration years as the death knell of American hegemony.'

The United States has experienced the most significant decline of any state, except the Soviet Union, since the mid-19th century, says Prof. Pape, adding: 'Something fundamental has changed.'...

'We are now at the start of what may become the most dramatic change in international order in several centuries, the biggest shift since European nations were first shuffled into a sovereign order by the peace of Westphalia in 1648,' writes Joshua Cooper Ramo in his book The Age of the Unthinkable. 'What we face isn't one single shift or revolution, like the end of World War Two or the collapse of the Soviet Union or a financial crisis, so much as an avalanche of ceaseless change. We are entering a revolutionary age.'
Image source here.