USA Is Losing Geopolitical Power
A new geopolitical and geo-economic landscape is being formed, The National Interest reported. It encompasses China’s new Silk Roads, the lengthening usage of the Arctic sea route between Asia and Europe, and the development of spaceports. Central to the new landscape is the shift of the United States away from the idea of the transatlantic alliance system and a commitment to a liberal world order. In many regards, the Trump administration is taking the United States back to where it was following World War I – away from entangling alliances in Europe, a greater reliance on business, and a clearer and narrower definition of national interests (led by creating jobs and keeping the country out of war).
At the same time, China is moving to fill the role of global leadership as the United States steps back and Europe reassesses its role in the world. Meanwhile, Russia has made its return as a major power felt in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean (Venezuela). Brexit is one example of this, and certainly the volatile natures of nationalist-populist politics throughout much of Europe reflect the nature of the shift.
President Trump’s May 2017 trip to Europe and the Middle East clarified that the United States has returned to a disengagement mentality similar to that which descended upon Washington in the wake of World War I – a shift away from Europe’s destructive conflicts, revolutionary upheaval and economic problems and a shift towards business and a more arm’s-length relationship with the world.
On his European leg of the trip Trump indicated that the era of a unified West, inspired by grand Transatlantic experiments in policy coordination, is over. It is a time of going back to the power and interests of the nation-state. After all, the costs of U.S. engagement have been high, while many countries in Europe have failed to live up to their commitment to maintain strong military establishments. This was repeatedly evident in American engagement in a number of areas of European strategic interests in past decades, such as Serbia, Libya and Mali.