September 6, 2007

Like it or not we still need America

... if in fact America does turn its back on other nations for a sustained period, say 25 years, world order, as we have come to know it, will be turned on its head.

With George W. Bush having arrived in Australia for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, I thought it opportune to reaffirm how vital it remains for nations to engage the United States in an intelligent and constructively manner.

The U.S. is increasingly dealing with a challenging world. At a time where countries as China, India, Russia and Iran are vying for regional predominance, where competition between liberalism and absolutism has re-ignited, where and nations are once again, gradually lining up along ideological lines, where the rift between tradition and modernity (Islamic fundamentalism verses modern secularism) is widening, and finally when anti-Americanism is so pronounced; it was timely to come across a common sense blog post/opinion in yesterdays national papers.

Janet Albrechtsen, a columnist for The Australian and member of the Foreign Affairs Council posted an excellent piece, ‘Without US there’d be hell to pay’ in which she contends that continuing negative sentiments in Australia (and the world) toward the U.S. could potentially have negative implications for us all.

"HATE George W. Bush? Wish the US would just butt out of everywhere? Well, be careful what you wish for. You might just get it. And you may not like it when it happens".

"The Lowy Institute for International Policy has released its annual poll surveying Australians on foreign policy and global affairs. The release of the poll last week gave commentators enough time to predictably crow about the findings: a waning regard among Australians for ANZUS, the growing negative feelings Australians have towards the US and the fact that more Australians think it would be a good thing if the US becomes significantly less politically powerful".

I am not convinced that the U.S. would indeed “turn inward’, thus becoming isolationist more accurately, there will not be any radical differences to U.S. policy apart from changes to foreign policy personnel who may be predisposed to being traditionalists (as opposed to transformationalists), pragmatists (as opposed to neocons) and internationalists (as opposed to unilateralists). Incidentally, the latter may occur in spite of which political forces seize power. However, if in fact America does turn its back on other nations for a sustained period, say 25 years, world order, as we have come to know it, will be turned on its head.

Albrechtsen quite rightly also takes a swipe at the U.N. and Europe, for there ineffectiveness in dealing with past conflicts, and highlighting that it is the United States, that can be most relied upon to act decisively in hot spots when they arise.

"But the UN has proved useless when it comes to any crunch. It was rendered irrelevant during the Cold War. It baulked at stopping genocide in Rwanda. Its premier Human Rights Council is still as feckless as ever, unable to address genuine human rights abuses but only too willing to lambast Israel at every opportunity.

"Which is why we ought to be careful about demanding that the US butt out of world affairs. Just in case they do. Who will pick up the slack if the US does the multilateral thing, sending in token troops to the next genocide hot spot? ... And just remind me the last time European soft power, not to mention hard power, solved a major conflict".

I suggest you read the whole piece.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the following words expressing my unequivocal stance.

"All I wish to add is, if the day were to come that the U.S. does collapse economically, financially, politically and strategically, or alternatively butt out of worldly affairs as most seem to wish, not completely but enough to cause major shifts, then the world may be faced with a global situation of startling instability and great risk. A global shift in power of which the end product cannot be accurately guessed at, nor can it be forecast with any exactitude's".

Click here, here, here, and here for my past posts about U.S. and the world.

Comments always appreciated...


Anonymous said...

Soooooo true,always nice to know someone's got your back