October 11, 2003

Wanted: Adult Supervision

The US is falling.

No, not the way you think. The US system is predicated on two major parties. The way election law is set up pretty much demands it. But those parties don't stay the same. Sometimes a party gets taken over from the inside like the Goldwater/Reagan/Gingrich takeover of the Republicans or the McGovern takeover of the Democrats.

The problem is that currently both parties are showing signs of old age and internationally, that's dangerous. With the US being the giant of the current international system, a period of US withdrawal, introspection, unpredictability, and relative isolationism is not going to be good.

What is needed right now is for the world to produce some other powers that by themselves, or in coalition, can step up to the plate and take over until the US gets its domestic house in order. Unfortunately, everybody seems to be partially or wholly relying on the US as free riders, whether it is merely in logistics and force specialization assuming that they'll always be complementary or just keeping their general defense outlays at a criminally low level because the US will always be there.

News flash: they're not.

This should not provoke immediate panic because this will not likely be an immediate problem. US revolutions are a funny thing, radical and conservative simultaneously and they take a long time to build. The thing is that one is building and for other countries to be able to take over the burden of leadership of the free world is somewhat like playing the role of a US vice president. But who is that vice-president today?

Britain might be nominated, Australia too, but even together they don't provide the necessary heft to take the burden for a decade, though in a pinch they might slow down Islamist death cult progress enough to fill the gap. It's risky though and pushes the final victory against this pernicious ideology down the road.

What would be best is for the rest of the West, Eastern Europe and Russia to come on board as well at which point you're talking about speeding up current rates of progress until the US domestic political system blows up and maintaining some progress while the US reforms into two new parties that can seriously handle its leadership duties as the foremost world economy.

So far the prospect for that happening is decidedly mixed. Sure, France, Germany, and Russia make noise about creating a multipolar world but it's generally multipolarity achieved by dragging down the US, not by strengthening their own economies and military. In this exercise in ankle biting, France takes first prize with Russia being cast in the unlikely role of a balancer, providing a relative voice of reason to the proceedings.

Will France and Germany get their house in order sufficiently fast in order to be able to build a positive multipolarity of catching up to the US before the US functionally takes itself off the board for its internal political reorganization? I hope so but that's a hope without evidence.

Posted by TMLutas at October 11, 2003 11:26 AM