Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 09:17:27 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

Editorial »

Lies about economic progress are coming out


The economy has come under pressure due to the banking sector crisis, inflation and soaring imports amid inadequate export earnings and insufficient remittance inflows, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said recently. The banking sector is suffering from cronyism, the think-tank said, adding that various irregularities and embezzlement of public ...

Sports »

Zia finishes runner-up in Delhi Open Rating Chess


GM Ziaur Rahman Zia of SAIF Sporting Club finished runner-up in the 16th Delhi Open International Rating Chess Tournament which concluded on Tuesday at New Delhi in India. GM Zia earned 8 points out of 10 games to became runner-up in the event where total 27 Grandmasters participated.In the 10th ...

Sports »

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic makes a forehand return to Germany's Andrea Petkovic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday.


Entertainment »

Much-awaited intense and gripping trailer of Breathe


After tantalizing the senses of audiences with the edge of the seat teaser, Amazon Prime Video and Abundantia Entertainment have now released the much-awaited trailer of Breathe. Breathe brings to the audience R Madhavan in the OTT space for the very first time. The trailer of the digital series is ...

Entertainment »

Richi works in a serial after returning country


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular TV actress Richi Solaiman returned to Bangladesh on December 8. This time she came here to pass time only with her family and close persons of media. Despite having earlier schedule to come to country Richi did not agree to work for this reason. After returning ...

International »

We will `strangle` US-backed force in Syria `before it`s even born`: Erdogan


Reuters: Beirut :Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to "strangle" a planned 30,000-strong US-backed force in Syria "before it's even born," as Washington's backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies.The United States announced its support on Sunday for plans for ...

International »

Melania, America's enigmatic first lady


AFP, New York :Groomed to perfection yet rarely heard in public, Melania Trump is an enigma-a first lady whose opinions, marriage and goals remain a mystery to millions of Americans.She is without question a unique first lady: a former model who once posed nude in her husband's private jet; the ...

Business & Economy »

NRBC Bank aims to woo investment, quality banking


Kazi Zahidul Hasan  :NRB Commercial (NRBC) Bank Ltd has taken steps to bring substantial amount of foreign investment mainly from expatriate Bangladeshis this year in line with the objective it stated in the founding charter. "The bank was established to bring investment of non-resident Bangladeshi (NRBs) but it slipped from ...

Business & Economy »

Syed Waseque Md. Ali, Managing Director of First Security Islami Bank Limited, poses with the participants of the 28th Foundation Course at its Training Institute in the city recently. Senior officials of the bank were present.


City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the special court on Bakshi Bazar Alia Madrasha premises in the city on Tuesday on two corruption cases filed by Anti-Corruption Commission.


Editorial »

CEC must seek govt.`s cooperation to dissolve parliament


MORE than just holding small and big scale elections, it's time the Election Commission realise that it is essential to ensure the national elections is held in a free, fair and credible manner.  The Election Commission is a constitutional body and its responsibility is to hold election directly on the ...

International »

`I`m not a racist`, Trump says


AFP  :"I'm not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed," Trump told reporters at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he was having dinner with Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.Trump appeared to give up for dead an immigration deal, ...

Football »

Suarez, Messi lead Barcelona to 4-2 comeback win at Sociedad


AP, Barcelona :Barcelona has broken its curse at Anoeta Stadium.Luis Suarez scored twice before Lionel Messi completed Barcelona's 4-2 comeback win at Real Sociedad on Sunday, giving the Catalan club its first league win at the Basque Country team since 2007.Barcelona was behind by two goals when Suarez set up ...

Sports »

The newly elected Executive Committee of Special Olympics Bangladesh pose for a photo session in the city's Tejgaon on Saturday.


Entertainment »

Shabnur, Purnima in a common frame


Entertainment Report :Shabnur and Purnima are two popular actresses in Dhaka film arena. Both of them have already got the National Film Award for single time. Shabnur got the National Award for acting in Mostafizur Rahman Manik’s movie Dui Noyon-er Alo. On the other hand, Purnima received the award for ...

 
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