Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, November 20, 2017 03:36:54 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Learning to love a multipolar world

By
05th-Jan-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Jeffrey D. Sachs :
American foreign policy is at a crossroads. The United States has been an expanding power since its start in 1789. It battled its way across North America in the nineteenth century and gained global dominance in the second half of the twentieth. But now, facing China's rise, India's dynamism, Africa's soaring populations and economic stirrings, Russia's refusal to bend to its will, its own inability to control events in the Middle East, and Latin America's determination to be free of its de facto hegemony, US power has reached its limits.
One path for the US is global cooperation. The other is a burst of militarism in response to frustrated ambitions. The future of the US, and of the world, hangs on this choice.
Global cooperation is doubly vital. Only cooperation can deliver peace and the escape from a useless, dangerous, and ultimately bankrupting new arms race, this time including cyber-weapons, space weapons, and next-generation nuclear weapons. And only cooperation can enable humanity to face up to urgent planetary challenges, including the destruction of biodiversity, the poisoning of the oceans, and the threat posed by global warming to the world's food supply, vast drylands, and heavily populated coastal regions.
Yet global cooperation means the willingness to reach agreements with other countries, not simply to make unilateral demands of them. And the US is in the habit of making demands, not making compromises. When a state feels destined to rule - as with ancient Rome, the Chinese "Middle Kingdom" centuries ago, the British Empire from 1750 to 1950, and the US since World War II - compromise is hardly a part of its political vocabulary. As former US President George W. Bush succinctly put it, "You're either with us or against us."
Not surprisingly, then, the US is finding it hard to accept the clear global limits that it is confronting. In the wake of the Cold War, Russia was supposed to fall in line; but President Vladimir Putin did not oblige. Likewise, rather than bringing stability on US terms, America's covert and overt wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, South Sudan, and elsewhere created a firestorm stretching across the greater Middle East.
China was supposed to show gratitude and deference to the US for the right to catch up from 150 years of abuse by Western imperial powers and Japan. Instead, China has the audacity to think that it is an Asian power with responsibilities of its own.
There is a fundamental reason, of course, for these limits. At WWII's end, the US was the only major power not destroyed by the war. It led the world in science, technology, and infrastructure. It constituted perhaps 30% of the world economy and formed the cutting edge of every high-tech sector. It organized the postwar international order: the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions, the Marshall Plan, the reconstruction of Japan, and more.
Under that order, the rest of the world has closed much of the vast technological, educational, and infrastructural gap with the US. As economists say, global growth has been "convergent," meaning that poorer countries have been catching up. The share of the world economy represented by the US has declined by roughly half (to around 16% currently). China now has a larger economy in absolute terms than the US, though still only around one-fourth the size in per capita terms.
None of this catching up was a perfidious trick against the US or at its expense. It was a matter of basic economics: given peace, trade, and a global flow of ideas, poorer countries can get ahead. This tendency is to be welcomed, not shunned.
But if the global leader's mindset is one of domination, the results of catch-up growth will look threatening, which is how many US "security strategists" view them. Suddenly, open trade, long championed by the US, looks like a dire threat to its continued dominance. Fear-mongers are calling for the US to close itself off to Chinese goods and Chinese companies, claiming that global trade itself undermines American supremacy.
My former Harvard colleague and leading US diplomat Robert Blackwill and former State Department adviser Ashley Tellis expressed their unease in a report published last year. The US has consistently pursued a grand strategy "focused on acquiring and maintaining preeminent power over various rivals," they wrote, and "primacy ought to remain the central objective of US grand strategy in the twenty-first century." But "China's rise thus far has already bred geopolitical, military, economic, and ideological challenges to US power, US allies, and the US-dominated international order," Blackwill and Tellis noted. "Its continued, even if uneven, success in the future would further undermine US national interests."
US President-elect Donald Trump's newly named trade adviser Peter Navarro agrees. "Whenever we buy products made in China," he wrote last year of the US and its allies, "we as consumers are helping to finance a Chinese military buildup that may well mean to do us and our countries harm."
With just 4.4% of the world's population and a falling share of world output, the US might try to hang on to its delusion of global dominance through a new arms race and protectionist trade policies. Doing so would unite the world against US arrogance and the new US military threat. The US would sooner rather than later bankrupt itself in a classic case of "imperial overreach."
The only sane way forward for the US is vigorous and open global cooperation to realize the potential of twenty-first-century science and technology to slash poverty, disease, and environmental threats. A multipolar world can be stable, prosperous, and secure. The rise of many regional powers is not a threat to the US, but an opportunity for a new era of prosperity and constructive problem solving.

(Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network).
Courtesy: Project Syndicate

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

National »

GAFFARGAON: Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of Muktijodha Sanghati Parishad Major (Retd.) Md Rezaul Karim, a veteran freedom fighter and an Awami League leader addressing a meeting on his participation in the coming National Election as a candidate from Awami League in the election area Mymensingh-10 (Gaffargaon & Pagla PS) Primary School field, Gaffargaon on Friday. Among others, freedom fighter Mofazzal Hossain, Auditor (retd.) Alhaj Abdul Karim and Ex Ward Member Saiful Islam also spoke in the meeting at Charalgi (Nidiar Char) .


Editorial »

Higher production capacity for power plants


THE state-owned power plants can't generate electricity to a minimum of their stated capacity as they lack improved technology, besides management failure to achieve the highest output as per a report in The New Nation on Sunday. The report quoting Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said its power plants can ...

International »

Hariri announces return to Lebanon as crisis simmers


AP, Paris :Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he will return home in the coming days from where he will declare a political stance for the first time since making a strange resignation announcement from Saudi Arabia that unleashed fears of a crisis in Lebanon.Hariri and his family met Saturday ...

International »

Trump blasts Hillary for questioning legitimacy of election result


Xinhua, Washington :US President Donald Trump on Saturday denounced allegations of Hillary Clinton who questioned the legitimacy of his victory in last year's presidential election.Calling his Democratic presidential rival the "worst of biggest loser of all time," Trump tweeted that "She just can't stop, which is so good for the ...

Business & Economy »

Md. Abdul Hamid Miah, Managing Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, receiving the 'Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA) 2017' from Professor Humayon Dar, Chairman and Founder of IRBA on Tuesday at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. The bank achieved the award for strongest Islamic retail bank in South Asian Region conferred by UK-based financial intelligence house Cambridge IF Analytica.


Sports »

Opening ceremony of the Bengal Plastic Asian U-14 Series Tennis competition at Ramna National Tennis Complex in the city on Sunday.


Entertainment »

Documentary on Dilara Zaman


Entertainment Report :Ekushey Award winner noted actress Dilara Zaman got the house where she lived with her parents 65 years ago. After finding the house this noted actress broken down into tears because she tried to find out it for several times. This time after getting this she became excited ...

Editorial »

Engage the dignitaries for a prompt multilateral approach


FIVE foreign ministers from top Asian and European countries including a few high-ups of the European Union have started arriving in Dhaka since yesterday for discussing the Rohingya crisis with government officials. It has apparently become clear that our foreign office has finally woken up to realise that - not ...

Sports »

Asian U-14 Series Tennis competition begins tomorrow


The Bengal Plastic Asian U-14 Series Tennis competition will begin tomorrow (Monday) at Ramna National Tennis court complex in the city, said a Bangladesh Tennis Federation press release.A total of 22 boys and 15 girls' from host Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Philippines, America, and Sri Lanka will take part ...

Sports »

Vanderbilt guard Chelsie Hall (left) drives against Middle Tennessee guard Zeynep Canbaz (right) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday.


Entertainment »

Bubly , Shakib Khan pair once again


Entertainment Desk :Shakib Khan is bringing a new film under his own banner SK films. Titled Priotoma and directed by Himel Ashraf, popular Dhallywood actress Bubly will be seen against King Khan in this film, informed the actor."Himel Ashraf came to me with the story plot six months ago. I ...

Entertainment »

Kajol confirms film with Parineeta director


It was being speculated that Main Hoon Na writer Rajesh Saathi was to direct Kajol in her next film with Ajay Devgn Films. The project is said to be based on Anand Gandhi's Gujarati play Beta Kaagdo.But Kajol put the rumors aside. "Pradeep Sarkar will be directing the film, and ...

City »

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaking at a discussion marking 41st death anniversary of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani organised by Bhasani Smrity Sangsad in DRU auditorium on Saturday.


International »

German parties head into long weekend of coalition talks


Reuters, Berlin :Germany's would-be coalition partners continued talks on Friday after all-night negotiations failed to produce a breakthrough, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives saying they would compromise further on climate change policies to secure a deal.The conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens remained divided on climate policy ...

Editorial »

Questions over holding tax


THE government moves to increase holding tax in Dhaka and Chittagong cities by up to nine times at a time seems to be highly arbitrary that lacks reasonable justification anyway to be acceptable to the both city dwellers. People are voicing angry reaction to such move and we must say ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news