Monday, August 20, 2007
The Rise of a Multipolar World
by Dilip Hiro
"With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States stood tall — militarily invincible, economically unrivalled, diplomatically uncontestable, and the dominating force on information channels worldwide. The next century was to be the true “American century,” with the rest of the world molding itself in the image of the sole superpower.
Yet, with not even a decade of this century behind us, we are already witnessing the rise of a multipolar world in which new powers are challenging different aspects of American supremacy — Russia and China in the forefront, with regional powers Venezuela and Iran forming the second rank. These emergent powers are primed to erode American hegemony, not confront it, singly or jointly......
When viewed globally and in the great stretch of history, the notion of American exceptionalism that drove the neoconservatives to proclaim the Project for the New American Century in the late 20th century — adopted so wholeheartedly by the Bush administration in this one — is nothing new. Other superpowers have been there before and they, too, have witnessed the loss of their prime position to rising powers.
No superpower in modern times has maintained its supremacy for more than several generations. And, however exceptional its leaders may have thought themselves, the United States, already clearly past its zenith, has no chance of becoming an exception to this age-old pattern of history."