How America Became the World's Dispensable Nation
: "A decade ago, American triumphalists mocked those who argued that the world was becoming multipolar rather than unipolar. Where was the evidence of balancing against the US? they asked. Today the evidence of foreign cooperation to reduce American pri macy is everywhere - from the increasing importance of regional trade blocs that exclude the US to international space projects and military exercises in which the US is conspicuous by its absence. [examples in the article]
It is true that the US remains the only country capable of projecting military power throughout the world. But unipolarity in the military sphere, narrowly defined, is not preventing the rapid development of multipolarity in the geopolitical and economic arenas - far from it. And the other great powers, with the exception of the UK, are content to let the US waste blood and treasure on its doomed attempt at hegemony in the Middle East.
That the rest of the world is building institutions and alliances that shut out the US should come as no surprise. The view that American leaders can be trusted to use a monopoly of military and economic power for the good of humanity has never been widely shared outside the US. The trend toward multipolarity has probably been accelerated by the truculent unilateralism of the Bush administration.. In recent memory, nothing could be done without the US. But today, most international institution-building of any long-term importance in global diplomacy and trade occurs without American participation. In 1998 Madeleine Albright, then US secretary of state, said of the US: "We are the indispensable nation." By backfiring, the unilateralism of Mr Bush has proved her wrong. The US, it turns out, is a dispensable nation. Europe, China, Russia, Latin America and other regions and nations are quietly taking measures whose effect, if not sole purpose, will be to cut America down to size." 11:23:26 AM