Fareed Zakaria at PostGlobal

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. He is a member of the roundtable of ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanapoulos" as well as an analyst for ABC News. And he is the host of a new weekly PBS show, "Foreign Exchange" which focuses on international affairs. His most recent book, "The Future of Freedom," was published in the spring of 2003 and was a New York Times bestseller and is being translated into eighteen languages. He is also the author of "From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role" (Princeton University Press), and co-editor of "The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World" (Basic Books). Close.

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. more »

Main Page | Fareed Zakaria Archives | PostGlobal Archives

Wanted: A New U.S. Grand Strategy

Barack Obama's campaign for president began with his opposition to the war in Iraq. But before last week's terror attacks in India, the subject of foreign policy had disappeared, almost completely overshadowed by the economic crisis.

This doesn't mean that international issues will be ignored. No doubt the national security team Obama is announcing this week will be quick to tackle the many issues in their inbox, and will likely do so with intelligence and competence. There are enough problems to occupy them fully -- Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, al-Qaeda, Iran, Russia -- and they will face unexpected crises like the Mumbai assaults.

But we must hope that as president, Obama does more than select a good team, delegate well and react intelligently to the problems that he will confront. He must have his administration build a broader framework through which to view the world and America's relations with it -- a grand strategy.

At this moment, the United States has a unique opportunity to push forward a vision that aligns its interests and ideals with those of most of the world's major powers. But it is a fleeting opportunity. Grand strategy sounds like an abstract concept--something academics discuss -- and one that bears little relationship to urgent, jarring events on the ground. But in the absence of strategy, any administration will be driven by the news, reacting rather than leading. For a superpower that has global interests and is forced to respond to virtually every problem, it's all too easy for the urgent to drive out the important.

Strategy begins by looking at the world and identifying America's interests, the threats to them and the resources available to be deployed. By relating all these, one can develop a set of foreign policies that will advance America's interests and ideals. When the unexpected happens, one can respond in ways that are aligned with these broader objectives. One uses the urgent to pursue the important. Or, to put it another way: never let a crisis go to waste.

How to think strategically? Dick Cheney provides an example -- a negative one. In the wake of the Cold War, Cheney's staff at the Pentagon produced a draft document that was a self-conscious effort at grand strategy. Allegedly written by the then Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, the Defense Guidelines unabashedly declared that America sought supremacy and freedom to maneuver across the globe. "Our first objective is to prevent the emergence of a new rival," it said, "and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

What is most important, the draft noted, is "the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S." and that "the United States should be postured to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated."

The draft proved much too aggressive and unilateral for George Herbert Walker Bush, who ordered that it be toned down. It was a strange document in many ways, a throwback to a world in which "dominating a region" and "controlling resources" were seen as sources of lasting national power. (China has done neither, and yet by developing its economy has become the world's No. 2 power.) But the ideas in the paper provided a powerful organizing ideology for many conservatives, and laid the basis for George W. Bush's post-9/11 foreign policy. Part of the appeal of this strategic framework was that it accurately read the world of the 1990s. While many strategists and politicians were speaking of an emerging multipolar era, the Defense Guidelines recognized that right then, American power was unrivaled.

Any attempt at a grand strategy for today must also begin with an accurate appraisal of the world. For that, the Obama administration should study the National Intelligence Council's newly published forecast, "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World."

"The international system -- as constructed following the Second World War -- will be almost unrecognizable by 2025," the document says, owing to the rise of emerging nations, a globalizing economy and a dramatic power shift. "In terms of size, speed and directional flow, the transfer of global wealth and economic power now underway -- roughly from West to East -- is without precedent in modern history."

Some have seized on the fact that emerging markets are slumping to argue that the era of Western dominance isn't over yet. But the rise of the non-Western world -- which began with Japan in the 1950s, then continued with the Asian tigers in the 1960s, China in the 1980s and India and Brazil in the 1990s -- is a broad and deep trend that is likely to endure.

For some countries, the current economic crisis could actually accelerate the process. For the past two decades, for example, China has grown at approximately 9 percent a year and the United States at 3 percent. For the next few years, American growth will likely be 1 percent and China's, by the most conservative estimates, 5 percent. So, China was growing three times as fast as the United States, but will now grow five times as fast, which only brings closer the date when the Chinese economy will equal in size that of the United States. Then contrast China's enormous surplus reserves to America's massive debt burden: the picture does not suggest a return to American unipolarity.

The "rise of the rest," as I have termed it, is an economic phenomenon, but it has political, military and cultural consequences. In one month this past summer, India was willing to frontally defy the United States at the Doha trade talks, Russia attacked and occupied parts of Georgia, and China hosted the most spectacular and expensive Olympic Games in history (costing more than $40 billion). Ten years ago, not one of the three would have been powerful or confident enough to act as it did.

Even if their growth rates decline, these countries will not return quietly to the back of the bus. The "Global Trends" report identifies several worrying aspects of the new international order--competition for resources like oil, food, commodities and water; climate change; continued terrorist threats; and demographic shifts. But the most significant point it makes is that these changes are taking place at every level and at great speed in the global system. Nations with differing political and economic systems are flourishing. Subnational groups, with varied and contradictory agendas, are on the rise. Technology is increasing the pace of change. Such ferment is usually a recipe for instability. Sudden shifts can trigger sudden actions -- terrorist attacks, secessionist outbreaks, nuclear brinksmanship.

The likelihood of instability might increase because of the economic crisis. Despite some booms and busts--as well as 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq--the world has been living through an economic golden age. Global growth has been stronger for the past five years than in any comparable period for almost five decades. Average per capita income has risen faster than in any such period in recorded history. But that era is over. The next five years are likely to be marked by slow growth, perhaps even stagnation and retreat, in certain important areas. What will be the political effects of this slowdown? Historically, economic turmoil has been accompanied by social unrest, nationalism and protectionism. We might avoid these dangers, but it is worth being acutely aware of them.

At the broadest level, the objective of the United States should be to stabilize the current global order and to create mechanisms through which change -- the rise of new powers, economic turmoil, the challenge of subnational groups like al-Qaeda -- can be accommodated without overturning the international order. Why? The world as it is organized today powerfully serves America's interests and ideals. The greater the openness of the global system, the better the prospects for trade, commerce, contact, pluralism and liberty.

Any strategy that is likely to succeed in today's world will be one that has the active support and participation of many countries. Consider the financial crisis, which several Western governments initially tried to handle on their own. They seemed to forget about globalization -- and nothing is more globalized than capital. Belatedly recognizing this, leaders held the G20 meeting in Washington. This was a good first step (though just a first step). Without a coordinated approach, efforts to patch up the system will fail.

The same applies not just to "soft" problems of the future -- pandemics, climate change -- but to current security challenges as well. The problem of multilateralism in Afghanistan -- a place where everyone claims to be united in the struggle -- is a sad test case for the future.

Thirty-seven nations, operating with the blessing of the United Nations and attacking an organization that has brutally killed civilians in dozens of countries, are still unable to succeed. Why? There are many reasons, but it does not help that few countries involved -- from our European allies to Pakistan -- are genuinely willing to put aside their narrow parochial interests for a broader common one. Terrorism in South Asia generally requires effective multinational cooperation. Business as usual will produce terrorism that will become usual.

National rivalries, some will say, are in the nature of international politics. But that's no longer good enough. Without better and more sustained cooperation, it is difficult to see how we will solve most of the major problems of the 21st century. The real crisis we face is not one of capitalism or American decline, but of globalization itself. As the problems spill over borders, the demand for common action has gone up. But the institutions and mechanisms to make it happen are in decline. The United Nations, NATO and the European Union are all functioning less effectively than they should be. I hold no brief for any specific institution. The United Nations, especially the Security Council, is flawed and dysfunctional. But we need some institutions for global problem-solving, some mechanisms to coordinate policy. Unless we can find ways to achieve this, we should expect more crises and less success at solving them.

In a world characterized by change, more and more countries--especially great powers like Russia and China and India--will begin to chart their own course. That in turn will produce greater instability. America cannot forever protect every sea lane, broker every deal and fight every terrorist group. Without some mechanisms to solve common problems, the world as we have come to know it, with an open economy and all the social and political benefits of this openness, will flounder and perhaps reverse.

Now, these gloomy forecasts are not inevitable. Worst-case scenarios are developed so that they can be prevented. And there are many good signs in the world today. The most significant rising power--China--does not seem to seek to overturn the established order (as have many newly rising powers in the past) but rather to succeed within it. Considerable cooperation takes place every day at the ground level, among a large number of countries, on issues from nuclear nonproliferation to trade policy.

Sometimes a crisis provides an opportunity. The Washington G20 meeting, for instance, was an interesting portent of a future "post-American" world. Every previous financial crisis had been handled by the IMF, the World Bank or the G7 (or G8). This time, the emerging nations were fully represented. At the same time, the meeting was held in Washington, and George W. Bush presided. The United States retains a unique role in the emerging world order. It remains the single global power. It has enormous convening, agenda-setting and leadership powers, although they must be properly managed and shared with all the world's major players, old and new, in order to be effective.

President-elect Obama has powers of his own, too. I will not exaggerate the importance of a single personality, but Obama has become a global symbol like none I can recall in my lifetime. Were he to go to Tehran, for example, he would probably draw a crowd of millions, far larger than any mullah could dream of. Were his administration to demonstrate in its day-to-day conduct a genuine understanding of other countries' perspectives and empathy for the aspirations of people around the world, it could change America's reputation in lasting ways.

This is a rare moment in history. A more responsive America, better attuned to the rest of the world, could help create a new set of ideas and institutions -- an architecture of peace for the 21st century that would bring stability, prosperity and dignity to the lives of billions of people. Ten years from now, the world will have moved on; the rising powers will have become unwilling to accept an agenda conceived in Washington or London or Brussels. But at this time and for this man, there is a unique opportunity to use American power to reshape the world. This is his moment. He should seize it.

Comments (22)

drpat2001 Author Profile Page:

a new strategy for the 21st century is a tall order. there are so many elements in it, it boggles the mind. interests of america: well whose interests. it is in the interest of some corporations to leave americans unemployed until they are willing to take mexican incomes. if not, let them eat cake. is it always in the interest of the vast majority of americans, the the US be a superpower, whether unipolar or multipolar? in what sense must we use the term strategic american power? so the grand scheme to control the hitherto unaligned arab world has come to a halt with afghanistan, iraq and of course the chesnut, palestine. control of the oil region was our goal, given the mistake made by bin laden that gave cheney the excuse he needed, but was it a worthy goal? imagine if all the money spent since 9/11 on disastrous policies had been put into alternative energy, biofuel from sugar cane (not corn), nuclear energy research and development, wind and so on. if it had been put into car companies that would produce a different kind of car. this policy would have created new interests...new car interests and new energy interests, and would in fact have enriched the oil and car industries. and here, i am just peeking over the first hill. a grand strategy should start with peeking over hills, and maybe, just maybe the larger picture and horizon will be seen.

rizvisqa Author Profile Page:

The fareed Zakaria 's thought and aspiartion does reflect on the majority's view regarding the international community's anticipation of registering the next US government's policy of tergiversation from Bushism and of course, many many hopes are now being sprouted from the Obama's vision of anchoring change in the world via his pragmatist, pacifist and humanist policies.

Chaotician Author Profile Page:

A Rational Strategy? What a concept!

What is needed I believe is to think beyond American; what is needed is a global strategy for all of the world's peoples to become a part of:

1) Nations have become outmoded and are no longer a useful mechanism for peoples of the world. The growing national mixings make geographical boundaries simply silly; the current subjugations of sub areas by the 19th/20th century nationalism of Bismark and other empirical powers no longer make any sense; and the opportunities for global abuse by collective powers such as America, China, Russia, et al can not be allowed to be a continuing threat. Returning to traditional territory groupings of tribes, traditional geographical boundaries, States, Territories, and other politcal sub groups would provide a basis for a world federation of equal members in wealth, resources, population, etc.
2) Conflicts are no longer tolerable as "facts" on the ground. Whether Darfur, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afganhistan, Tibet, Kashmir, Palestine, or Georgia; such military activities have no place in a "civilized" world.
3) Universal disarment of all peoples of the planet except for a global federation "peace" force is essential for any lasting peace with justice.
4) There must be a universal, global acceptance that all species are critically important to the world and must not be allowed to be exploited for short-term economic benefit or even to avoid catistrophic human consequences.
5) The greatest challange to the world is the Human population and its devastating affects on our environment. A sane policy to reduce and maintain the human population on the planet must be made! This will require a basic change in religious pieties, human perogatives, and realistic determinations of what populations can be supported by a "balanced" value rating of all of the species of the planet and its renewable resources. One suspects that a human population of around a million would be ideal; getting to 3-5 Billion would be a significant achievement!

asoders22 Author Profile Page:

A grand strategy begins with identifying interests and goals, I might add - but it is a mistake to say those interests should only be those of America. Instead of just keeping America's strength and compete with/dominate foreign leaderships, America should work on making friends with the populations, in particular the oppressed populations.

robertjames1 Author Profile Page:

In recent decades, America has been driven by its arrogance. It has regarded its self-interests as valid and those of other nations and regions as inferior. It backed up its position with a predictable use of force and covert operations.

I imagine that many Americans cannot refer to the covert operations that were used by the US to destabilise governments that it did not want. These operations led to tyranny and, torture and killings.

Business as usual means that America tells other nations what they should or should not do. Of course, some of those nations tell the US to mind its own business or to stop rocking the boat.

America has willingly opressed the PAlestinians because Israel wants them to be broken. It staggers me that the US could not see that it was breeding hate against the US. Many people in the Middle East today hate the US and regard it as an abusive nation. However, the US doesn't care. Well, it is now paying a high price f or the hate that it has fomented.

The US will have to enagage in introspection and will have to identify principles of fairness and stop demonizing groups it does not like if it wants stability and peace.

tropicalfolk Author Profile Page:

Obama made a monumental mistake by appointing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. She is ruthless politician and a workaholic, but she has no clue about foreign policy. She doesn't even speak foreign languages.

Clinton will have to deal with Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Bin Laden, and countless other threats, from muslim militants trying to grab Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, to Mexican maffias armed with American weapons.

On top of that, another clueless lady, Janet Napolitano, will be in charge of Homeland Security.

I'm afraid Americans will soon be missing George W Bush, Dick Cheney and the gang. At least they had what Fareed Zakaria is now asking from the Obama team: strategy!!!

AnjuChandel Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria, having come to know the President-elect Barack Obama through his protracted presidential campaign, I am sure that he will deliver. He is a world leader with a wide world vision and he is intelligent enough to realize that "this is his moment indeed" which he will utilize to maximum benefits for his own credibility, for restoring America's status and for over all stability and prosperity in the world. He has those transformational capabilities and we are really fortunate to have him to lead as the President of still the most powerful nation on this earth.

DardenCavalcade1 Author Profile Page:

I must smile when Fareed cites "Global Trends" to make his point that the present world order will collapse by 2025. Global Trends is a National Intelligence Council/CIA product. CIA analytic products gave us the "bomber gap", "missile gap", the Russians will never put nuclear missiles in Cuba judgment, the Russians are winning the Cold War judgments, and the Iraq has WMD judgment. How often must an organization be wrong before it loses credibility?

The political American political elite has decided that the United States must be the guarantor of international stability. That decision has led to a policy of militarism and intervention lasting three generations.

I suppose one could say that it has worked on balance, but we are entering a period in which the rise of the rest will make it essential for others to assist in keeping the international system stabile. If our partners aren't interested, we shouldn't be either.

American grand strategy should focus on preserving the independence and political institutions of the United States. It should focus on ensuring a strong domestic economy. Peace is the best contribution to Americans that an American foreign policy strategy can make.

The United States became a world power in great part because other great powers decided to make war against each other and destroy each other's patrimony. We have squandered much of our own national resources of power and influence in the same way. It isn't a curiosity that the nations that have remained at peace...China, India, Indonesia, Brazil...over the last two generations have done so well. It isn't surprising that the states at war at home and abroad have done so poorly.

Peace at home and abroad is the indispensable prerequisite for advanced civilization. I hope that President Obama adopts a foreign policy strategy that responsibly shrinks our security commitments and conscientiously avoids military intervention.

A strategy like this may mean that parts of the world are going to burn. So be it.

EliPeyton Author Profile Page:

Some have seized on the fact that emerging markets are slumping to argue that the era of Western dominance isn't over yet. But the rise of the non-Western world -- which began with Japan in the 1950s, then continued with the Asian tigers in the 1960s, China in the 1980s and India and Brazil in the 1990s -- is a broad and deep trend that is likely to endure.
During our summer, some of Brazil is in the same time zone as Dallas, Texas. Where exactly does East meet West on your globe?

dmfarooq Author Profile Page:

President- elect Obama has in recent days explined himself that " He is the change " . Let us better believe it. Mr. Zakaria is so right, in looking for answers like many of us at the vry outset of Prsesident- elect Obama 's cabinet announcements . New cabinet members' names at the Treasury and State has created dounbts about the change . I for one am very optimistic, that their will be abosolutely a new strategy for War on terrorism and domestic economic situation.

dabrack Author Profile Page:

I have often admired Mr. Zakaria's analysis of international relations. And the only thing wrong with this one is that there is nothing concrete in it at all. Platitudes are not a strategy, and neither is giving every two-bit dictator an equal vote in a crisis. The UN has tried that to everyone's misery. If the EU, Russia and others want a real voice they must step up with real resources and actions. Lamenting about Darfur but waiting for the US to bear the cost and do the work does not qualify. We left the EU to work their famous diplomacy with Iran and that resulted only in time for uranium enrichment to go past the critical mass. I don't like paying to defend the world's sea lanes, to stop European aggression and defend against Russian encroachments, or to confront Islamic terrorists but it has to be done and since no one else has the resources or the courage we have to.

It is not a new strategy, but I think the USA should get some new allies. I think the English speaking democracies with India, Brazil and maybe one or two others would be better than listening to Europeans whine and second guess every move. I really want to include the eastern European democracies such as Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria but they are almost geographically indefensible though their hearts are strong.

So Mr. Zakaria needs to explain this new strategy and how it could cope with aggression for economic or political power. This article does not come close to answering the realities of the world.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria, I believe the fundamental challenge is that the time has come for world power to be really and truly shared among all the world major powers, old and new, as among equals. In the coming years, populations throughout the world will expect, and demand, that world leaders collectively exercise world power, with the full support of the international community of nations.

That clearly excludes nations acting arbitrarily and unilaterally. It also entails that as relates to the nascent world order (key international institutions, country representation, rules and regulations, international law, international charters, conventions, treatises and agreements, indeed everything defining that world order), no amount of patching up the current system will be acceptable. To keep on doing as if nothing had changed will not work.

Dreams of world imperial hegemony have become ruinous nightmares and must be abandoned. The necessity for radical reform of the old world order has to be admitted and understood by both the American people and the US government.

London School of Economics professor John Gray: “At present the US combines an absolutist insistence on its own national sovereignty with a universalist claim to worldwide jurisdiction. Such an approach is supremely ill-suited to the plural world which globalization has created. The practical upshot of American policy can only be that other powers will act unilaterally when the instability of global markets becomes intolerable. At that point, the jerry-built edifice of global laissez-faire will begin to crumble." ("False Dawn, the Delusions of Global Capitalism")

In view of the American arrogance and impotence displayed at the last G-20 summit, in Washington, and considering recent unilateral initiatives by China, as well as by major European countries, relative to the current global US generated economic crisis, I happen to believe this process has already begun. It is urgent, if not too late, for the US to lead among equals. I am afraid this country has not even begun to consider yet how it can go about doing that. To do so right now would be making a first gigantic step toward devising, at long last, a truly new grand strategy toward that world order already in the making.

As this new world keeps moving forward at an accelerating pace, we are rapidly running out of time.

ajain31 Author Profile Page:

The expectations of President Elect Barrack Obama are huge but so are his limitations as the head of his Administration. True test will be how he forges his Cabinet team and delegates authority but assumes all responsibility of results. e.g. Can he use President Clinton's goodwill to engage in the pressing problem of Kashmir an issue embroiling two close allies in Asia.

India, an emerging power has to be given due recognition it desrves. Gone are the days when India through Indira Gandhi belonged to the Soviet orbit. Secy of State (SoS) Rice has recognised that through the nuclear agreement it has forged with India. So balancing India with military aid to Pakistan is the thing of the past.

President Elect Barrack Obama needs to assign President Clinton as special envoy to South East Asia and delegate authority to him to do the ground work to remove the sore thorn of Kashmir out of the two strategic atomic powers like allies that are India and Pakistan.

Then SoS Clinton can cement a deal between India and Pakistan that will bring comfort and security to the two nuclear nations and help the US to deal with Al Quieda in the North West Frontier of Pakistan with full force and might of Pakistan at its disposal.

This is the time to seize the opportunity and spear ahead a Kashmir dentente between India and Pakistan which only the Clintons can manage for Obama on the world stage today.

mansour112 Author Profile Page:

A good analysis Mr. Zakaria. However you have forgotten two important things:
1- You mentioned the security council of the UN without mentioning that its veto system made the UN a nondemocratic organization and made the five veto powers committ many crimes against humanity killing millions of humanbeings together with their friends without being held accountable. Making the UN democratic is the most important factor in a world order free of injustice.As a human you want to live in a democratic country like the US but you may not want to live in a democratic world order because you think your country loses. On the long run you and all humans will gain.
2- You did not mention the Palestinean problem
which have to be solved in order to get peace and justice in the middle east and beyond

If power remains the fundamental motive in social science as Bertrand Russel has stated, the prospects for humanity are bad unless we find a democratic world order which we use to solve our problems.

dummy4peace Author Profile Page:

Being an amateur, I have this gut feeling that we will be sorry for neglecting South America for too long. Cuba is another. Our foreign policy also has to include strategies for space and ocean international politics after the Chinese successful anti-satellite test in 2007 and the US debate on the UN Convention of the law of the sea.

dummy4peace Author Profile Page:


The Remains of the Day Translated into Film
Gregory Gipson '98, English 27, 1997

'... Mr. Lewis, the American senator who was present at the conference, who described Lord Darlington as not only an old-fashioned gentleman but also as "an amateur,"(102) not qualified to be meddling in political affairs.'

Although Mr. Lewis' critique of Darlington's playing an amateur diplomat with the Nazis might have been fictitious, the amateur critique reminds us of today's world politics. Shamefully, the world's peace time didn't last long after Berlin Wall came down, Bill Clinton was elected, and then Putin came to power. We are living the time when we desperately need professionals for world peace, especially after Russian invasion of Georgia.

Star-power is only as good as what it is, a star. We need professionals like Dr. Zakaria and General Petraeus, well trained in international relations. That's why we need a basic qualified exam for all candidates that run for a public office. Beyond that, we can comfortably let stars be born for politics and people's affairs. If so, we would have had a smarter Congress that could foresee the doomed to fail bailout.

jfd1 Author Profile Page:

If I am not wrong, catchup between two countries will be faster if they have 9% (the smaller country) and 3% growth rates, than if they have 5% and 1% respectively.

floydearlsmith Author Profile Page:

I appreciate your main point here, which is absolutely correct. However, if China is half the US' size today economically, and grows at 9 percent, and the US at 3 percent, China catches up in 15 years; if, from the same starting point, China grows at 5 percent, and the US at 1 percent, it takes 20 years. The same pattern holds with different relative starting points; your five times as fast / three times as fast assumption that China will therefore catch the US faster is simplistic and wrong. Sorry. (Your editor should have caught this too.)

Then, having suggested that America needs a strategy, you fail to suggest or even provide guideposts for what one might be.

Not your best outing.

strotmant Author Profile Page:

As a mathematician I must comment that Mr. Zakaria's claim that the decline in growth rates will favor China is wrong. At the current growth rates it will take China 12 years to double its size relative to the US while at the projected rates it will take 18 years. That the relative growth factor is controlled by the differences in growth rates, and not the ratio, is most easily seen by taking growth rates of 0.001%(US) and 0.005%(China). At these rates it would take 17000 years to double its relative size, but China is still growing 5 times as fast as the US.
There was a reason to pay attention in pre-calc!

Roger11 Author Profile Page:

It's unhealthy that the US is "the only global power". That just means that our leaders are tempted to play God around the globe, helping one side against the other - apparently even in opposition to our interests (Iranian supported Shiites against the Sunnis in Iraq, for example). Any "Curveball" that comes along can sucker a goofball in the White House. We're still paying for the sins of Kissinger, McNamara, and Bundy in Viet Nam. The Iraq misadventure has driven our economy to its knees. What we need to do is to concentrate on having good relations with the rest of the world, and being very good in defending our borders. India, China and Europe can stand on their own feet. They want to sell their products to us, and we want to sell ours to them. That's enough.

whistling Author Profile Page:


Please follow up on an op ed in the Times this morning...

noting that the terrorists at the Jewish hoiuse in Mumbai house called an Indian radio station and screamed that there'd been an Israeli General in Kashmir recentl.

Not only does that give an apparent signature to their identity, it explains a major part of their

WHY can't we ever be told the truth? Is the zionist hold on media in this nation so pervasive that we can't be given the facts?

edbyronadams Author Profile Page:

A rational strategy to an era of widespread nuclear weapons would be to return to an isolationist policy and strict adherence to the Monroe Doctrine. As a thought experiment, think what the proper response should be to a nation or rogue non state actors detonating a nuclear bomb in the middle of a naval task force, a purely military target.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.