Where Is America's Place in the World Today?

Predictions of America's precipitous fall are premature, thanks to its economy and military might. But the US cannot ignore the fact that non-Western ideologies are gaining regional prominence. 

What's the Latest Development?

Despite America's recession and the rise of Eastern powers, the size of its economy and the strength of its military will keep the nation on sure footing for decades to come. But political promises about the coming 'American century' are dubious. Liberal democratic capitalism, promoted as the Western value in the last century, is being challenged by emerging regional ideologies. In China, state-managed capitalism is the dominant market force. In the Middle East, political Islam is coming to arbitrate cultural values, which will obviously not include promoting a secular state. 

What's the Big Idea?

Maintaining American political influence throughout the coming century, as well as promoting Western cultural values, will require softening the exceptionalist tone that our foreign policy has assumed since the end of the Cold War. "With that in mind, Washington should acknowledge that America’s brand of capitalism and secular democracy must now compete in the marketplace of ideas." By arguing for the right of self-determination and a concerted effort to protect human rights, the US can refresh its moral authority, making it more likely that other nations will respect its preferences.  

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

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