Fukuyama: The End of American Hegemony

The withdrawal was necessary in order to focus on confronting the larger challenges of Russia and China in the future.

Francis Fukuyama
a foreign policy expert and senior fellow at the “Freeman Spogli” Institute for International Studies at Stanford University

The Economist published an article by Francis Fukuyama, a foreign policy expert and senior fellow at the "Freeman Spogli” Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. His article was about the end of American hegemony after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, where he believes that Afghanistan may not represent the end of the American period, but the challenge to global standing For the United States more is the political polarization.

The horrifying images of desperate Afghans trying to get out of Kabul this week after the United States-backed government collapsed have evoked a major juncture in world history, as America turned away from the world. The truth of the matter is that the end of the American era had come much earlier. The long-term sources of American weakness and decline are more domestic than international. The country will remain a great power for many years, but just how influential it will be depends on its ability to fix its internal problems, rather than its foreign policy.

The American hegemony lasted less than twenty years, the period started during a fall of Berlin Wall from 1989 until a financial crisis of 2007-2009. The United States was dominant in many fields of power such as; military, economy, politics, and cultural. The American arrogance was invasion of Iraq in 2003, when he hoped to be able to build not only Afghanistan (which invaded two years earlier) and Iraq, but the entire Middle East.

The United States has overvalued on effectiveness of its military force in bringing about basic political changes in the area, and it’s underestimated of model impacts of its "free market economy" on global finance.The decade ended with its forces involved in two wars against terror, and an international financial crisis that led to a huge inequalities created by US-led globalization.

The great challenge to America's global standing is its domestic crisis. American society is deeply polarized, and it is difficult to reach consensus on almost anythingAlthough this polarization began over traditional politics issues such as taxes and abortion and then it has shifted to bitter struggle in cultural identity. Demands for recognition by groups who feel they have been relegated by elites were something that I identified 30 years ago as a weak point of modern democracy. Generally, during a major external threat such as a global pandemic should be an opportunity for citizens to rally around a common response to such a threat. But in the reality COVID-19 crisis have become divisions in American society on the issues as social distancing and wearing masks. Recently the coronavirus vaccinations are seen as more political indicators than public health measuresThese struggles include all aspects of life, from sports to brands of consumer products Americans buy.

Along with Cold War until the early 2000s, there was a strong consensus among America's elites on the need to maintain a leadership position in global politicsHowever the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have disappointed many Americans, this is not only in tough areas alike the Middle East, but generally in international intervention as well.

Polarization has affected US foreign policy directly. During the Obama years, Republicans took a firm line and attacked Democrats for Russia's "reset" and their alleged naivety about President Putin.But former President Donald Trump turned tables by openly embracing Putin, and today nearly half of Republicans believe that Democrats a bigger threat to the American than RussiaIn this context, the goal of "disturbing the liberals” was more important than defending democratic values. Polarization has already damaged America's global influence. This influence was based on what Joseph Nye, a foreign policy scholar, called "soft power,” the attractiveness of American institutions and American society to people around the worldThis attraction has greatly diminished: it is hard for anyone to say that America's democratic institutions have been working well in recent years, or that any country should emulate America's prevailing political partisanship and dysfunction.

The biggest political disaster for President Joe Biden's administration during his seven months in office was the administration's failure to plan adequately for the rapid collapse in Afghanistan. No matter how inappropriate this description is, it does not speak of wisdom of the basic decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, which may prove in the end to be the right decision. Mr. Biden believes that the withdrawal was necessary in order to focus on confronting the larger challenges of Russia and China in the futureBarack Obama never succeeded in creating a "pivot” to Asia because America remained focused on counter terrorism in the Middle East. Therefore, the current administration needs to redistribute the resources and attention of policymakers in order to deter geopolitical rivals and engage more with allies.

In the end, the United States is not likely to regain its former hegemonic position, nor should it aspire to do so. But the only thing that can be hoped for, together with nations have the same concepts, is to maintain a world order that is friendly to democratic values. Its capacity depends not so much on short-term actions in Kabul, but on restoring a intelligence of identity and national goals on homeland.

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