Saturday, May 12, 2018

Anne Applebaum Weighs In: America IS Losing Hegemony with Trump's Moves

As sometimes happens, I have "original thoughts," only to find out I'm channeling the experts. Nice feeling while it lasted

Leading NATO has let us lead "the free world," as Applebaum says, "on the cheap."

Here's her piece this morning on vanishing hegemony:
Above all, it depended on an American willingness to invest: in diplomacy, in military power — but above all in alliances. By forging mutually advantageous agreements with Germans or South Koreans, the United States had far greater influence than it would have had otherwise. By creating and then expanding NATO, by maintaining troops in South Korea and Japan, the United States kept parts of Europe and Asia free to choose democracy, and open for commerce and trade. Everywhere else, agreements and partnerships as well as money and armies gave the United States an outsize voice in trade and commerce, as well as matters of war and peace.
President Trump knows no history and does not have any idea how the United States became an “essential” country, let alone a superpower. But he seems to believe that he can maintain that status, and even increase it, without making investments — diplomatic, military or monetary — at all. This week, the outline of what this means — call it “hegemony on the cheap” — suddenly came into sharp focus.
The sharp focus is on Trump blowing stuff up, mostly out of ignorance.

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