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The United States is one of the world’s most recognized nations that have an influence on the global matters worldwide; as such, its decision affects other countries. In this case, power is the capacity of controlling internal and international affairs, using political, military, and social methods. The United States is characterized by a vast control over the world economy, since it is one of world’s richest economies. It has the most modern military equipment, and a budget that sums up others nations’ budgets. The decline in America’s power is connected to a problematic decade that weakened its global control over international affairs. According to Fichtner (2007), the formerly optimistic post-Cold War period was substituted by pessimism, forecasting vital power declination, bringing forth the close of the American era. Though it is a hegemonic super power, it faces complications outside its borders, and other internal/external problems. The future outlook of the United States is worsened by various factors at different institutional structures. Politically, the United States has carried out different military interventions in different countries. It has reduced terrorism by taking down most of the world’s threatening individuals, like Osama bin Laden and Sadam Hussein. However, this control is declining in the world affairs, due to a variety of reasons, including unjustified military interventions, worsening of the economy, and the emergence of other powerful nations, such as China and India. The United States has some capacity to control the world; however, its worldwide prominence has significantly declined. There are indications that it is trying to maintain its global perception of being a superpower. This paper examines the factors that are leading to the decline of the United States’ power, and studies the indications of the power decline in order to conclude whether the United States power is declining or not.
The costly military interventions are one of the factors that are waning power of the United States. This is notable by the Iraq War, and can be argued to have imposed a negative impact on its geopolitical reputation across the world. It is worth noting that it has cost the United States blood and money. Ikenberry (2009) pointed out that military interventions has led to a change in the United States’ international policies, which was a preventive war that convoluted America’s standing with its own associates. These interventions have also resulted in emerging the new roles to the United States, both in terms of the military and economy. The entanglement with Iraq and Afghanistan was a necessary step made by the United States to bring order to the war-torn Middle East. Throughout this entanglement, corporate interests of the USA have usually arisen accompanied by alleged political hold up, frequently used to get profit in the course of offering services (Fichtner, 2007). These disagreements from anti-American countries have scrutinized the war process, which has shaken the America’s international confidence, and generated negative reputation both home and abroad. Comprehensively, a combination of this two poses an impasse on global policies, making the United States a herald of decline (Fichtner, 2007).
America’s economy is a challenge to its international control and power, despite its continued involvement in the overseas conflicts. Economic challenge is brought about by increased military spending to withstand the immense and mounting war cost. It is estimated that the Iraq War hit a total of $ 3 trillion dollars, and it is more practical that the Afghanistan war cost hundreds of billions of dollars regardless of the fact that some other allies of the United States joined hands by providing financial support to military intervention. Internally, there had been hesitation on raising taxes for ventures abroad by the Republican President and the Republican Congress. The issue of overspending has further aggravated and weakened the economy of the United States, thus accumulating large deficit (Ikenberry, 2009). Consequently, the United States has been forced to borrow enormous financial resources to maintain its economy afloat. This economy has continued dwindling since borrowing and paying attempts have proved to be disastrous. With such predicament fall of the larger American economy, it is clear that the USA economic power in the world is declining (Ikenberry, 2009).
Thirdly, the world is experiencing the prominence of up-coming nations, with China and India on the forefront. Russia and the cohesive European Union are also on the verge of becoming prominent, and have shown interest in gaining the global power. China poses political, economical, and military challenge; India poses economic and cultural challenge. In addition, the education system in the USA is going round, while the education system in China is characterized by a large number of graduating skilled workers than in rival America, however, both countries want to have control and power of the globe (Schmitt, 2009). Although these two nations are pushing forward economically, the United States is deeply buried in deficit in current times. China and the United States are battling to gain international political influence, whereby China is taking advantage by influencing anti-United States regions, where America has negative or no reputation, like Africa and Latin America (Xiao, & Lin, 2009). Conversely, the pursuit of these nations is pushed to gain power in formerly rejected regions by their demanding economies, like the United States. This is a factor that explains why the United States is diminishing in the minds of many as a super power.
Another area enlightening the falling of the United States as a powerful world nation is its economic and foreign policy. The new geopolitical conditions have, so far, surpassed the United States effort to maintain its image as a superpower, implying that the USA has been in a retreat since the invasion of Iraq. Moreover, the United States’ involvement in the world affairs has drastically reduced since the Iraq war. As much as it is trying to possess the Middle East, the United States is unable to cope up with the new challenges and threats. Its inability to conquer new economic challenges reveals that it is vulnerable to weaknesses. This together with its monotonous politics can depict that it cannot stop its decline, both internal and external (Schmitt, 2009).
Some of the internal affairs that tend to portray the USA as a declining superpower is the fact that lower and middle classes have given up on savings, they live from hand to mouth due to the harsh economic conditions, and a great number of households are borrowing much money to the extent of jeopardizing the future they expect to see (Ikenberry, 2009). The USA citizens began the 21st century with little or no reserves, which is similar to a developing world family. This is because they always distort the boundary between optimism and simplicity. The effect of globalization has generated numerous drawbacks to the United States power. It emphasized a lot of global trade; consequently, its local industries are getting wiped out. Various production sectors, including automobile industry, computer manufacturers, and electronics, have deserted the country. The free trade that was meant to benefit the USA has turned against it, and it is now enriching its rivals’ economies that want to rise to power taking a larger portion of the America’s global market. It was thought that the dollar was America’s strength, since it is the only country that trades on its currency, but it posed some vulnerability. The United States government has driven its currency to the world economy to the extent that external economic forces are able to collapse it (Ikenberry, 2009).
There is a flip side of the coin; as much as it seems that the United States is losing out, there are indications that the USA is still the superpower nation, and will remain such for some time. First, it is only in the USA that you will get high focus of optimism and enterprising culture. America struggles to be modern, and it is a culture, which has not begun recently, like the one in the eastern European countries, or few decades ago, like the one in China (Xiao, & Lin, 2009). It has begun from settlers, and their inquisitiveness about new things seems to be deeply rooted in them genetically. It is this curiosity that reveals a nation that cannot quit its quest for power. They will do anything to maintain the current position, because it is their culture.
The United States experiences steady arrival of diligent, adventurous, and innovative people from other nations since 1980 and up to date. This creates continuity and rebirth of an enterprising generation that is not on the verge of collapsing. The influx does not always make the difference, since some immigrants are concerned with their self-interest and cannot promote the daring culture, and not the mere success of the nation as in the case of Germany. This was a moral lesson to Germany when it experienced the arrival of 17 million people (Fichtner, 2007). The continuity of the enterprising culture and innovativeness in the United States simply illustrates that the United States is still powerful economically.
From history, the defiant Americans from every corner of the continent are brought together in the present United States. The founding fathers of the United States go on to pass their genes through many generations up to this date. This is evident in their language that has colonized the world, giving no chances to Spanish and French (Ikenberry, 2009). Their vast and rich cultures, including rock-n-roll, T-shirts, and emails, have been peacefully assimilated in almost half of the universe. The USA corporations, from the foundation of the international trade, were willing to take part and invest abroad. Currently, Multinational Corporations is the USA speciality but initially it might not have been their invention. This illustrates how the USA is willing to adopt and learn any global invention to remain in control of the geopolitical situation (Ikenberry, 2009).
Another reason that clearly places the United States in the forefront of being in power for quite some time is the USA dollar. The USA is the only country that trades globally in its currency, and, to some extent, the dollar is represented as the world’s currency. In addition to this, commercial deals are sealed with the dollar. The global economy is controlled by the American blood. The dollar is more powerful than any other currency, and to own it one must procure it in the United States. Most currency treasury is held in the form of dollar. America still has total power over the world economy.
An indisputable super power must be at the peak of economic, scientific, and cultural pyramids. To surpass the USA, the rivals must be military proficient to wage war in any place of the world. Anti-Americans spite the USA because of its means to enter by force any country, and maintain casualties. In the entire world, no country has, except the US, proven to act this way. A perfect example is the Darfur genocide that was addressed to America. This shows that some issues can only be solved by the United States; though not all but majority, indicating the powerfulness of the United States in global matters (Ikenberry, 2009).
America has some of the major education institution that many top students want to join. Majority of the first top 20 universities are from the US, including Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. The knowledge economy is a driving force to America’s powerful position. Scholars applying for programs in China, have to do this alongside the America’s famous universities. This represents the problems that any nation, struggling to be a superpower, must overcome. Since it is not easy, America will continue dominating the knowledge economy (Ikenberry, 2009).
Though China has had technological inventions, their acceptance by the world market is not as that of the United States. United States have technology that is easy to adopt in daily lives, as characterized by the invention of telephone and airplane long time ago. Despite the innovations going externally, the emergence of new and powerful products still continues from companies located in the United States. Google, eBay, and Yahoo have emerged as one of the profitable companies, and are dominating the world as strength of media and information.
Superpower nation must have the quality of intelligent people, and the United States has the capability of doing it. Furthermore, the immigrants, coming to the USA, expect a good life and wellbeing. The American society is not that difficult to fit in as compared to others. It is claimed that the Chinese culture is not transmitted to the USA, but the USA culture is in China. China being the greatest USA rival must be able to overcome this obstacle (Ikenberry, 2009). The majorities of smart people in the world opt to move to the United States, and are willing to invest there as compared to any other country; it is a vivid indication that America still remains a superpower.
The USA is in the forefront in entertainment and culture, the film and the music industries; it sweeps across the universe (Ikenberry, 2009). Additionally, the burden of being a superpower is very heavy and difficult to bear, and lacks appreciation. America has withstood this burden, and has adapted to it. China should be willing to apologize for Tibet genocide, Great Leap Forward, in which 30 million died, and the containment of news on SARS to beat the USA. China needs to get prepared for this blames if they intend to be the new superpower (Schmitt, 2009). The amount of the abuse China will bear will have to be great to attain political equivalence with America. America has manufactured many household consumer products that are genuine, namely Coca-Cola, Nike, Google, etc. American product logos have flowered billboards in the third world nations. It has also brought sport events to these countries. This clearly tells that America’s domination has gone up (Ikenberry, 2009).
In conclusion, America has a chance to remain a superpower, and at the same time, to lose it. It is clear that China is the greatest rival, and poses a great challenge to the United States as compared to other countries, like India, Japan, and the European Union. As much as the USA is trying to remain in power, the anti-Americans are counteracting on the other side. America and its opposition are taking advantage on each other’s weaknesses to gain complete global control. The dollar is the pillar, and provides America with total economic control; it will not be easy to eradicate it out of the world market to beat America’s economic power. The military spending of America and foreign interventions are major reasons that are contributing to the fall of America; though it is its international role, they have been unable to cut the military forces due to the ever-increasing global war fares and interventions. America’s rise and decline of power are pivotal, if it treads on safer grounds its reign will continue, since China and other countries are constantly on the watch out.