America will remain the world’s only superpower for the foreseeable future. But what sort of superpower? What role should America play in the world? What role do you want America to play? Ian Bremmer argues that Washington’s directionless foreign policy has become prohibitively expensive and increasingly dangerous. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have stumbled from crisis to crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine without a clear strategy. Ordinary Americans too often base their foreign policy choices on allegiance or opposition to the party in power. We can no longer afford this complacency, especially now that both parties are deeply divided about America’s role in the world. The next presidential election could easily pit an interventionist Democrat against an isolationist Republican—or the exact opposite. As 2016 rapidly approaches, Bremmer urges every American to think more deeply about what sort of country America should be and how it should use its superpower status. He explores three options: Independent America asserts that it’s time for America to declare independence from the responsibility to solve other people’s problems. Instead, Americans should lead by example—in part, by investing in the country’s vast untapped potential. Moneyball America acknowledges that Washington can’t meet every international challenge. With a clear-eyed assessment of U.S. strengths and limitations, we must look beyond empty arguments over exceptionalism and American values. The priorities must be to focus on opportunities and to defend U.S. interests where they’re threatened. Indispensable America argues that only America can defend the values on which global stability increasingly depends. In today’s interdependent, hyperconnected world, a turn inward would undermine America’s own security and prosperity. We will never live in a stable world while others are denied their most basic freedoms—from China to Russia to the Middle East and beyond. There are sound arguments for and against each of these choices, but we must choose. Washington can no longer improvise a foreign policy without a lasting commitment to a coherent strategy. As Bremmer notes, “When I began writing this book, I didn’t know which of these three choices I would favor. It’s easy to be swayed by pundits and politicians with a story to sell or an ax to grind. My attempt to make the most honest and forceful case I could make for each of these three arguments helped me understand what I believe and why I believe it. I hope it will do the same for you. I don’t ask you to agree with me. I ask only that you choose.”
From the bestselling author of The End of the Free Market, the story of three provocative choices facing the world's sole superpower. Global policy expert Ian Bremmer calls for a complete rethink of America's role in tomorrow's world. In an increasingly volatile international environment, the question has never been more important. Bremmer explores three choices, each with its own benefits and drawbacks: Independent America” argues that it's time for Washington to declare independence from the responsibility to solve everyone else's problems. Instead, America should lead by example by investing in America's enormous untapped potential. Moneyball America” acknowledges that we can't manage every international challenge but asserts that we must defend U.S. interests wherever they're threatened. It looks beyond phony arguments about American exceptionalism with a clear-eyed assessment of U.S. strengths and limitations. Indispensable America” insists that only Washington can promote the values on which global stability increasingly depends in our hyper-connected world. Turning inward would threaten America's security and prosperity. Bremmer makes his best pitch for each scenario, offers his own conclusions, and challenges the reader to choose.
Geopolitical thought leader Ian Bremmer issues a clarion call to America: redefine your place in the world, or the world will define it for you America's identity abroad has long been defined by the second World War and years of Cold War struggle. But the new America has changed; its role and identity are in flux - and with them, the global balance of power. In Three Choices for a Superpower, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer, calls for a completely new definition of America as a superpower - one that adheres to distinct priorities and values. He outlines the three choices facing the new America: Be independent: America does not have an endless supply of blood and finances to spend on other nations. Rather, America will fare much better if it devotes its energies and resources to rebuilding strength from within. Moneyball: America cannot afford every foreign fight in support of American values, but they must defend their interests wherever they are threatened. They must make tough decisions intelligently, with an open admission of America's limitations. Be indispensable: To think that America can operate autonomously from the rest of the world is not only ignorant but also extremely dangerous. The world relies on American leadership, and America has international interests - they must continue their role as an indispensable nation and remain actively involved abroad. As the 2016 presidential election approaches, America needs to define its responsibilities, opportunities, and most importantly, its limits. A foreign policy divided against itself cannot stand; as the world's greatest superpower, America must choose which path it will follow into the future.
Every Nation for Itself
G-Zero — \JEE-ZEER-oh\ —n A world order in which no single country or durable alliance of countries can meet the challenges of global leadership. What happens when the G20 doesn’t work and the G7 is history. If the worst threatened—a rogue nuclear state with a horrible surprise, a global health crisis, the collapse of financial institutions from New York to Shanghai and Mumbai—where would the world look for leadership? The United States, with its paralyzed politics and battered balance sheet? A European Union reeling from self-inflicted wounds? China’s “people’s democracy”? Perhaps Brazil, Turkey, or India, the geopolitical Rookies of the Year? Or some grand coalition of survivors, the last nations standing after half a decade of recession-induced turmoil? How about none of the above? For the first time in seven decades, there is no single power or alliance of powers ready to take on the challenges of global leadership. A generation ago, the United States, Europe, and Japan were the world’s powerhouses, the free-market democracies that propelled the global economy forward. Today, they struggle just to find their footing. Acclaimed geopolitical analyst Ian Bremmer argues that the world is facing a leadership vacuum. The diverse political and economic values of the G20 have produced global gridlock. Now that so many challenges transcend borders—from the stability of the global economy and climate change to cyber-attacks, terrorism, and the security of food and water—the need for international cooperation has never been greater. A lack of global leadership will provoke uncertainty, volatility, competition, and, in some cases, open conflict. Bremmer explains the risk that the world will become a series of gated communities as power is regionalized instead of globalized. In the generation to come, negotiations on economic and trade issues are likely to be just as fraught as recent debates over nuclear nonproliferation and climate change. Disaster, thankfully, is never assured, and Bremmer details where the levers of power can still be found and how to exercise them for the common good. That’s important, because the one certainty of weakened nations and enfeebled institutions is that someone will try to take advantage of them. Every Nation for Itself offers essential insights for anyone attempting to navigate the new global playing field.
From a writer with long and high-level experience in the U.S. government, a startling and provocative assessment of America’s global dominance. Maximalist puts the history of our foreign policy in an unexpected new light, while drawing fresh, compelling lessons for the present and future. When the United States has succeeded in the world, Stephen Sestanovich argues, it has done so not by staying the course but by having to change it—usually amid deep controversy and uncertainty. For decades, the United States has been a power like no other. Yet presidents and policy makers worry that they—and, even more, their predecessors—haven’t gotten things right. Other nations, they say to themselves, contribute little to meeting common challenges. International institutions work badly. An effective foreign policy costs too much. Public support is shaky. Even the greatest successes often didn’t feel that way at the time. Sestanovich explores the dramatic results of American global primacy built on these anxious foundations, recounting cycles of overcommitment and underperformance, highs of achievement and confidence followed by lows of doubt. We may think there was a time when America’s international role reflected bipartisan unity, policy continuity, and a unique ability to work with others, but Maximalist tells a different story—one of divided administrations and divisive decision making, of clashes with friends and allies, of regular attempts to set a new direction. Doing too much has always been followed by doing too little, and vice versa. Maximalist unearths the backroom stories and personalities that bring American foreign policy to life. Who knew how hard Lyndon Johnson fought to stay out of the war in Vietnam—or how often Henry Kissinger ridiculed the idea of visiting China? Who remembers that George Bush Sr. found Ronald Reagan’s diplomacy too passive—or that Bush Jr. considered Bill Clinton’s too active? Leaders and scoundrels alike emerge from this retelling in sharper focus than ever before. Sestanovich finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present. From the Hardcover edition.
The End of the Free Market
Understanding the rise of state capitalism and its threat to global free markets The End of the Free Market details the growing phenomenon of state capitalism, a system in which governments drive local economies through ownership of market-dominant companies and large pools of excess capital, using them for political gain. This trend threatens America's competitive edge and the conduct of free markets everywhere. An expert on the intersection of economics and politics, Ian Bremmer has followed the rise of state-owned firms in China, Russia, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere. He demonstrates the growing challenge that state capitalism will pose for the entire global economy. Among the questions addressed: Are we on the brink of a new kind of Cold War, one that pits competing economic systems in a battle for dominance? Can free market countries compete with state capitalist powerhouses over relations with countries that have elements of both systems-like India, Brazil, and Mexico? Does state capitalism have staying power? This guide to the next big global economic trend includes useful insights for investors, business leaders, policymakers, and anyone who wants to understand important emerging changes in international politics and the global economy.
The J Curve
Locate nations on the J Curve -- left for authoritarian, right for democratic. Then figure out how to force those on the left to open their societies, rather than encouraging them to shut them tighter by further isolating them. The West's isolation of Kim Jong-il's North Korea gives him the cover he needs to extend his brutal regime (the mistake the U.S. made for a long time with Saddam Hussein and Castro); in Saudi Arabia, western governments should encourage manageable change before the country breaks apart; they should help strengthen China's economy so it can further liberalize; they must encourage Israel to decide what kind of country it will be. Filled with imaginative and surprising examples of how to correct outworn political ideas, The J Curve points the way for western governments to lead the way to a realistic political balance and a healthier economic future.
America in Retreat
The world is tipping into chaos. Why? In this acclaimed and influential book, Pulitzer Prize - winning columnist Bret Stephens shows how the retreat of American power, orchestrated by Barack Obama, has created the power vacuums now being filled by our enemies. From Vladimir Putin's quest to restore the old czarist empire, to China's efforts to dominate the South China Sea, to Iran's nuclear ambitions, to ISIS's dreams of an Islamic caliphate, we have entered an era in which our foes no longer fear us and our friends no longer trust us. With his stylistic flair and analytical brilliance, Stephens explains the ideological roots of Obama's suspicions of American power. He demonstrates how a false belief in American decline has led to a disastrous prescription of retreat, as if the cure for domestic weakness is international weakness. In a prophetic chapter, he warns of what the world could look like in 2019 if we do not change course. And he lays out the right formula for U.S. foreign policy - the same formula that brought order to our once crime-ridden streets. America in Retreat is shaping the greatest foreign policy debate of our decade. 'An exceptionally intelligent, well-written book filled with interesting data and analysis that's well worth reading - and I don't even agree with most of it. Stephens is fast becoming the most influential conservative writer on foreign policy. So read it to your delight, or to hone your best arguments against it.' Fareed Zakaria, Fareed Zakaria GPS 'An important book for your well-being.' Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor 'This book is the Wall Street Journalcolumnist at his best: substantive, historically informed, and with the kind of cutting style that helped him earn his Pulitzer Prize two years ago.' The Weekly Standard 'Bret Stephens has written not just a good book on American foreign policy. He has written an important book . . . Anyone even minimally conversant with human nature and history - and Mr. Stephens is far more than that - understands exactly the dangers that are caused by an American Retreat and the lethal global disorder it makes inevitable.' The American Spectator 'With a command of American history, a mastery of big foreign policy ideas, and a supple grasp of the conundrums of current events, Stephens shows that the dichotomy between domestic and international responsibilities is facile. For the world's sole superpower, international affairs inevitably impinge on our economy and our security. Defending our principles abroad advances our interests at home.' Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics 'Given the U.S.'s recently renewed commitments in the Middle East, Stephens's clear, convincing apologia for American power will make especially timely reading for American foreign policy's skeptics and opponents.' Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 'A provocative, carefully reasoned argument, anathema to politicians as disparate as Barack Obama and Rand Paul.' Kirkus Reviews
The Obama Doctrine
By mid-2015, the Obama presidency will be entering its final stages, and the race among the successors in both parties will be well underway. And while experts have already formed a provisional understanding of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals, the shape of the "Obama Doctrine" is finally coming into full view. It has been consistently cautious since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, but recent events in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Far East have led an increasingly large number of foreign policy experts to conclude that caution has transformed into weakness. In The Obama Doctrine, Colin Dueck analyzes and explains what the Obama Doctrine in foreign policy actually is, and maps out the competing visions on offer from the Republican Party. Dueck, a leading scholar of US foreign policy, contends it is now becoming clear that Obama's policy of international retrenchment is in large part a function of his emphasis on achieving domestic policy goals. There have been some successes in the approach, but there have also been costs. For instance, much of the world no longer trusts the US to exert its will in international politics, and America's adversaries overseas have asserted themselves with increasing frequency. The Republican Party will target these perceived weaknesses in the 2016 presidential campaign and develop competing counter-doctrines in the process. Dueck explains that within the Republican Party, there are two basic impulses vying with each other: neo-isolationism and forceful internationalism. Dueck subdivides each impulse into the specific agenda of the various factions within the party: Tea Party nationalism, neoconservatism, conservative internationalism, and neo-isolationism. He favors a realistic but forceful US internationalism, and sees the willingness to disengage from the world by some elements of the party as dangerous. After dissecting the various strands, he articulates an agenda of forward-leaning American realism--that is, a policy in which the US engages with the world and is willing to use threats of force for realist ends. The Obama Doctrine not only provides a sharp appraisal of foreign policy in the Obama era; it lays out an alternative approach to marshaling American power that will help shape the foreign policy debate in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
The Accidental Superpower
In the bestselling tradition of The World Is Flat and The Next 100 Years, THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER will be a much discussed, contrarian, and eye-opening assessment of American power. Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the U.S. Navy. With all the world's oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners. We think of this system as normal-it is not. We live in an artificial world on borrowed time. In THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that-alone among the developed nations-is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are doing nothing less than overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order. For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America's geography is simply sublime.