Saturday, March 29, 2008

U.S. to be one of THREE superpowers?

The NY Times Sunday Book Review has a review today of THE SECOND WORLD, a book by Parag Khanna. Khanna predicts that the U.S. will be one of three superpowers, the other two being China and the European Union. The review suggests the State Department will need to play an important role in this future if the U.S. is to compete.

Still, if the United States is going to compete successfully, the next administration must undertake some deep-seated fixes at the State Department. In the Arab world, Khanna notes, Chinese diplomats “show deference to local culture by learning Arabic and even taking Arabic names.” America will not become more diplomatically competitive by cutting the State Department further, as many conservatives would like. Already, America’s image and standing in the world have been weakened immensely by closing American libraries and consulates, or putting them behind forbidding security barriers ....The diplomatic ranks need to grow; there are more musicians in America’s military bands than there are foreign service officers, and the generals and admirals who head the various commands, like the Central Command or Centcom in Florida, have more aides and advisers than the country has ambassadors and assistant secretaries of state.

You can read the entire review here.


DS said...

The EU countries already band together when dealing with the US; China, well, we only know what they want us to know, so who really knows how many bunkers they have or how much money they have set aside for their military modernization. It's only a matter of time and not into the quite distant future. And btw, while our influence is shrinking in the southern hemisphere, the Chinese are making partnerships and building relationships there.

Johnson said...

The rise of China was relatively inevitable. I mean, imagine if Mao lost and they went capitalist in 1950? They would totally dominate by now.

On some level, the high average IQ of the Chinese and they're 'relatively' homogeneous population should have heralded the coming of a superpower decades ago, ever since the Sino-Soviet Split.

And our bungling administration has only made the Europeans more united against us. I suppose their demographic disaster and Muslim explosion will probably mute their power somewhat.

If anything, perhaps the space race will begin anew and contact with extra terrestrials will make national distinctions irrelevant.