Even among their critics, who could have imagined then that, more than 16 years later, having faced only lightly armed enemies of various sorts, still wealthy beyond compare, still with a military funded in a way the next seven countries couldn’t cumulatively match, the United States would have won literally nothing? Who could have imagined that, unlike so many preceding imperial powers (including the U.S. of the earlier Cold War era), it would have been able to establish control over nothing at all; that, instead, from Afghanistan to Syria, Iraq deep into Africa, it would find itself in a state of “infinite war” and utter frustration on a planet filled with ever more failed states, destroyed cities, displaced people, and right-wing “populist” govern-ments, including the one in Washington? Who could have imagined that, with a peace dividend no longer faintly conceivable, this country would have found itself not just in decline, but -- a new term is needed to catch the essence of this curious moment -- in what might be called self-decline?
Thursday, June 14, 2018
America in the 21st century
Tom Englehart has an interesting article,from which I've extracted the following, as I think our days as an empire are coming to an end.