Power in Politics

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has the United States employed "power politics" in its relations with other countries? The challenge U.S. policy makers face today is to recognize that fundamental change in world politics and to use America's unrivaled military, economic, and political power to fashion an international environment conducive to its interests and values. Yes, the United States is today the only truly global power, not just an economic phenomenon, but a political, cultural, military, and environmental one as well. Its military reach whether on land, at sea, or in the air extends to every point on the globe. Its economic prowess fuels world trade and industry. Its political and cultural appeal is so extensive that most international institutions reflect American interests. America's position in the world is unique no other country in history has ever come close. Economically, the United States may not widen its edge over its competitors, but neither is it likely to fall behind. The U.S. economy has proven itself at least as adept as its major competitors in realizing the productivity gains made possible by information technology. Europe and Japan face severe demographic challenges as their populations rapidly age, creating likely labor shortages and severe budgetary pressures. China is modernizing rapidly, and Russia may have turned the corner, but their economies today are comparable in output to those of Italy and Belgium and they have yet to develop a political infrastructure that can support sustained economic growth. Which brings us to the issue of how to transform this unquestioned power into influence. Unless employed deftly, America's military and economic superiority can breed resentment, even among its friends. A growing perception that Washington cares only about its own interests and is willing to use its muscle to get its way has fueled a worrisome gap between U.S. and European attitudes. European elites increasingly criticize the United States as being morally,...
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