I disagree with Hightower.

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Friday, February 28, 2014

American Retreat?

Fareed has another piece in which he disagrees with those who describe American foreign policy as being in retreat.

I think that on this question almost all of us, including those who make a living writing about such things, are in over our heads.

I think that the old order with its large America is gone.
Depending on your perspective that large America was either:
a) trying to stabilize and protect the world and/or
b) bullying the world into supporting American interests.

Either way it is gone.

A new less expansive (and less expensive) American foreign policy will follow.
I hope it will be something like first among equals for awhile with being in the group of "firsts among equals" later.  We cannot dominate the world like we did in the middle of the last century but how it plays out or should  play out is way too much for most of us.

That is why, although I have some quarrels with Obama, I am reluctant to oppose his path toward that new world order.  Fareed seems right to me.


  1. I agree with the following caveats:

    1. I am very skeptical that China and Russia seek the same new order we seek.
    2. If the power void left by the US vacating its position as world power/bully is filled by China or Russia we may be in trouble.
    3. It is entirely possible that by the time we realized we could be in trouble it would be too late to recover.
    4. As they once said in the old West, we should sleep with one eye open.

    The current events in Syria and the Ukraine (particularly Crimea) have prompted several references in the press to strategy in the game of “chess”. I have no idea what game China is playing but I think Russia’s strategy is based more on the game of “Go” that chess.

  2. I think I agree with everything you say.

  3. WRT path to new world order

    It is often said that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Here are two examples:

    December 1979 - In a memo to Jimmy Carter three days after that Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, his national security adviser summed up well the problem of words bereft of action: “Since we have not always followed these verbal protests up with tangible responses, [the Russians] may be getting into the habit of disregarding our concern.”

    From Woody on the TV series Cheers – “That is so true Dr. Crane, I had to repeat it 3 times.