I start with the main point: even with the change of the Presidency in January 2021, the US that recently faltered unceremoniously by getting out of Afghanistan last September 2021, is in trouble since it is fighting several wars with several nuclear power states and worse, is also at war with itself.
Think of a nuclear-armed global colossus plagued by civil war while it is trying to fight with other nuclear-armed states and a global asymmetric war against a low-grade non-nuclear non-state movement that has territorial ambitions and universalist aspirations!
If the US was born on July 4, 1776, the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, and the Russian Federation was born January 1, 1992, it is quite clear that the Americans had enjoyed more than one and a half centuries’ head-start over its two global rivals. If we take note that the current Russian Federation is a newer reset of the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics organized in 1921 after the 1917 October or Bolshevik Revolution, the reckoning should be two hundred sixteen years from 1776 to January 1, 1992, when the Russian Federation emerged as Mikhail S. Gorbachev, erstwhile Soviet reformist leader faded into the pages of history to be replaced by the fiery and vodka-addicted Boris Yeltsin. The American advantage over the Chinese apparently measures the same if one argues that the modern Chinese state and government must be the non-Maoist one that emerged from the Tien-an Men debacles of June 1989—a solid two hundred thirteen years.
The American advantage ensured that the American economy is the largest in the world and its military forces are strongest and most lethal in the world up to this point. It has alliances with more countries in the world than any of its two global rivals. It also has a preponderance of soft power with American NBA icons Lebron James and Kobe Bryant known the whole world over and HBO and Netflix are ubiquitous in screens around the world especially during the forced idleness of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Why then does the United States NOT get things done the way it wants them done?
The short answer?
The US is involved in too many wars, stretching its capacity and material resources to almost breaking point, and is not even fighting the wars in a smart manner. And its relations with many allies are frayed.
Let me list the wars the United States is currently mired with.
First, it is at war with itself. There is an ongoing civil war in the United States. Republicans and Democrats are unable to forge the so-called ‘bipartisan consensus” that was really the bedrock of the Americans’ exceptional global power from 1945 to 1975. Former President Donald Trump, known as 45, instigated an insurrection last January 6, 2021, in a deliberate bid to stop the inauguration of the 46th POTUS, former VP Joe Biden of the Democratic Party. During that riotous day, several Republicans found themselves in physical danger, and yet they all refused to certify that the November 2020 elections went Biden’s way in a foolish recognition of the inordinate command of 45 over the Republican political base.
The Republican effort may pay off after all. They might regain control of both the Senate and the House in the upcoming November 2022 mid-elections.
To be continued…