Friday, May 28, 2010

The American Century Is So Over

Obama’s Rudderless Foreign Policy Underscores America’s Waning Power

By Dilip Hiro

"What do you make of it when Afghan War commander General Stanley McChrystal now refers to the only significant offensive he’s set in motion — the attempt to drive the Taliban out of Marjah, a collection of villages in Helmand Province — as "a bleeding ulcer"? Or what about his upcoming summer "offensive" to drive the Taliban out of the second largest Afghan city, Kandahar, which has recently been verbally downgraded from an "operation" to something called "Cooperation for Kandahar," now also referred to as a "military presence" so as not to offend local sensibilities with a hint of the coming violence. What do you make of it when Dion Nissenbaum and Jonathan Landay of McClatchy Newspapers report in mid-May that the American non-operation in Kandahar, scarcely beginning, is already showing signs of "faltering," while Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post describes it as a "go-for-broke move that even its authors are unsure will succeed," adding: "There is no Plan B."

Or what about when Gareth Porter, who has been doing top-notch reporting on the Afghan War for Inter Press Service, points out McChrystal’s striking recent Kandahar flip-flop.....

By now, from Afghanistan to Honduras, Brazil to China, global leaders large and small increasingly sense that the Obama administration’s bark is worse than its bite, and though the U.S. remains a major power, it is no longer the determinative one. The waning of the truncated American Century is by now irreversible."

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