Sunday, 19 March 2017

The USA on the decline?

Possibly the only topic not broached since we have had the extraordinary chaos and incompetence of Donald Trump is the decline of the USA as a superpower.

The last time we see this was when the USA overtook the UK as the major superpower. Some historians see this occurring during WW1. Some others see it happening following the Washington Naval Treaty.

What is occurring now is quite extraordinary. Donald Trump does not understand what NATO is about. He makes allegations about foreign agencies which patently has no evidence to back it up.
 He abuses other countries leaders and then leaks the conversation as we know only too well in Australia.
We know he is an ignorant braggart. It is not a quality to endears himself to other leaders.

He is very unpopular overseas. If he tried to lead the other Western Countries they would be loathed to follow because of the electoral consequences or because he has no clout!

His cabinet is highly unimpressive. Whether it be a Treasury Secretary which refuses to endorse free trade or a Secretary of State which goes overseas with no journalists. We still do not know whether an ex-General can be a decent Defence secretary! And the Administration is at war with its own intelligence and security community!

What about the big picture?

The US policies on free trade and the environment (climate change) has enabled China to come out as a leader on the world stage on these two policy areas.
The policy on free trade is obvious to everyone who has expertise on the matter. Protectionism leads to lower living standards, less industry and less employment. Again we have seen all this in Australia.

It is not surprising Trump does not acknowledge evidence concerning climate change as he never does in any policy area where it collides with his prejudices. His idiotic EO on refugees and immigrants shows this.

China has observed this and is sharply changing its stance. All coal fired generators will be gone from Beijing for example.

It will be highly ironic that Trump who wants to make the USA great again will be the main reason why it declines as a world superpower. This will come down to a President who simply does not understand what is going on and will not change his mind despite evidence to the contrary. His main advisors either are in the same boat or cannot explain this to their President!

Update:

Neither Trump nor anyone else seem to appreciate soft power. I thought that obvious above but it seems some people did not get that.