Shaping a new world order


China, Russia, India and others are rising, and to call the U.S. the world’s ‘sole superpower’ now means little. But Washington can benefit if it is able to manage this geopolitical transformation effectively.

The Marine One helicopter carrying President Barack Obama takes off from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington July 1. The Washington Monument is at left, and the Jefferson Memorial is at center. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)The Marine One helicopter carrying President Barack Obama takes off from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington July 1. The Washington Monument is at left, and the Jefferson Memorial is at center. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

By Andrew J. Bacevich

August 17, 2011

Chief among the problems facing the United States today is this: too many obligations piled high without the wherewithal to meet them. Among those obligations are the varied and sundry commitments implied by the phrase «American global leadership.» If ever there were an opportune moment for reassessing the assumptions embedded in that phrase, it’s now.
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