Opinion: (Michael Mandelbaum, the Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy and director of the American Foreign Policy Program at SAIS, the author of a new book, The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era): The world’s only superpower, burdened with debt, is becoming weaker. “American foreign policy stands on the brink of substantial belt-tightening. The mounting expenses of servicing the growing national debt, combined with the skyrocketing costs of Social Security and Medicare as the 78-million-strong baby-boom generation retires, will leave less money for American initiatives abroad. …
The burden that these obligations will impose on Americans—in the form of higher taxes and fewer benefits—will weaken public support for the expansive international role that the United States has played since World War II.
This will change the world, and not for the better. American foreign policy, for all its shortcomings, has underpinned political stability around the world.”
My comment: This stabilizing role in a “cash-strapped era” is being reduced and may disappear. The world will become unpredictable. The American departure from Iraq, Pakistan, and other countries in Asia is fraught with consequences (terrorism, drug trafficking) for the whole of Europe and Asia.