So says Rosa Brooks in Foreign Policy. I’m inclined to agree with her and matter of fact, I’m okay with that. Basically, the rapid globalization of technology along with the rise (partially because of that technology) of the European state, Asia and other places, we’re in decline. Along with this pertinent point:
And let’s save some blame for ourselves. The country has made a hash of things. We squandered much of our moral credibility after the 9/11 attacks (torture and secret prisons) and wasted trillions of dollars on wars as ruinously expensive as they were politically inconclusive. Our current counterterrorism policies (drones, surveillance by the National Security Agency) are angering even our closest allies. Domestically, we’re also in trouble: Our infrastructure is an embarrassment, our public education system has been allowed to decay, we lock up a higher percentage of our population than any country on Earth — we’re even too fat to fight. Not to mention, our domestic political system is broken, and the bipartisan rancor on Capitol Hill makes it hard to imagine turning any of this around.
Americans have been force-fed this idea that we are an exceptional nation; the greatest nation on the face of the earth or that’s ever been on the face of the earth, rather. So, such exceptionalism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: we have to project our force to meet our rhetoric. Thus, we keep getting into conflicts that we can’t possibly solve due to how complex they are (Egypt, Syria, Libya, etc.).
We just need real talk. Yes, we’re clearly still by far the most dominant country in the world militarily and economically, but the latter isn’t going to support the former forever.
I agree with Brooks. It would be great if we tried to reassert our own values again within our core rather than trying to assert those values on others, especially when we’ve come so far from them.