In her glory days, the US resorted to its might less and it grew mightier in the eyes, mind and heart of the world. When the opposite became frequent, the excessive use of power, America started struggling to hold unto anything it can. The many wars through which the US wished to assert itself as an unchallengeable nation have dimmed the celebrity that was the United States of America.
The most direct victim of US’s muscle policies is the loss of fear-of-the-unknown factor by would be adversaries. The US army has for a number of decades been exposing herself tactically and technologically. Many a times where the US has been forced to use it latest technologies to end wars that shouldn’t have been waged in the first place.
From her prime adversaries, such as Russia and China to trademark Jihadi groups, almost all benefitted in one form or another from the US’s exhibitions of her technical and technological achievements. The US had ignored the most important rule of war-fighting is to keep your enemies in the dark so that the element of surprise is on your side. So much for John Rambo’s ability to wipe out a full battalion, the real American marine has been growing ordinary by the day. We all remember how many commandos and invisible helicopters were required to attack a compound of a single aging man.
The so called war on terror has exposed the US in a more graphic manner. The Wiki Leaks regarding Afghanistan and Iraq among other places and the Snowden revelations have only managed to antagonize even closest of allies.
As America was busy using wars mainly to coerce her economic interests and protect Israel, the Chinese and others have been doing the hard work of industrialization and commerce on a global and unprecedented scale.
While the US was busy violently pursuing total domination, others have been smiling to the world and the world is duly smiling back. The US had made one gigantic error in judgment; it assumed that the hundreds of billions of dollars invested in wars would be dwarfed by its potential returns that it thought could even buy friends.
The intervening factors such as the unexpected stiff resistance by those it targeted, the rise of China and the financial meltdown has turned things upside down; the melt down that surely has been fueled among other things by US’s military spending. Spending that has made the US’s debts increase exponentially rendering the super power nearly a bankrupt entity which even adversaries are freely buying pieces of.
The brand that was the US has been wounded beyond repair. The attitude now is that, anything America can do so can we; I phone for Samsung and Harley Davidson for TVS. At the time that the US is in dire need of image repair, unbelievably its politicians are blurting out profanities against its only hope, the EU.
On a more positive note, there are some indications such as the warming up to Iran and the softer approach to Syria that would suggest that the US might be shifting gear; the realization that, in a contemporary world, wars cannot bring about economic nor territorial might, the understanding that the opposite is true is setting in. Perhaps the US’s politicians and businessmen have finally realized that a peaceful world is a better world even for America.
Mr. Kerry’s comments last week on Israel settlements activities could possibly suggest another important shift in strategy. That the US cannot be blindly overburdened by a country that only adds to its antagonized world stance. Perhaps the time has come when US officials and public finally understand the extra weight they are carrying in the name of Israel.
The incessant warmongering and the blind adherence to Israel’s wishes has done a great deal of damage to the American political position internationally. The US is perceived by many countries to be a trigger-happy blood thirsty power that can’t be taken as a serious broker to end disputes and conflicts around the world. There is still some influence that the US enjoys but most is based on historical considerations and even more so is based on indirect bribery or direct threats; stick and carrot. The problem is that the carrot is hastily drying up.
Even the puppet governments such as Egypt who have been beneficiaries of American’s billions for many decades are now snubbing the US. Mr. Sisi’s visit to Russia which is surely a trip to seek support for his presidential candidacy is also meant to show the Americans that theirs is no longer the indispensable power it once was. Whilst the next Egypt’s president seduces the number one adversary of the US, he has opened all gates for Egyptian media to throw jabs at the US’s policies towards it. Ironically, even when America is “right” as is the case with its opposition to the coup in Egypt, many still choose not to respect her view.
Softly-softly approach has been working wonders for other powers such as China and Russia in terms of economics and politics and the way the world is moving the US will have to follow suit if it is to continue having any meaningful influence on it.