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The End of American Illusion

Author: Nadia Schadlow

Affiliation: Hudson Institute

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: September 2020/USA
Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 4461 


Keywords: Foreign Policy, Liberal Internationalism, USA


The author analyses the foreign policy illusions, devised from a particular reading of the world order, which affected the US in the past and their impact on the overall standing of the US in the global setting.  The article also sheds light on the variations in the foreign policy brought by Donald Trump and the impact it created. While the tenures of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were characterized by a fundamental belief in liberal internationalism and Militarism respectively, Trump seemed to have turned the tide towards a more US-centric foreign policy. While pointing out that the US leadership has long had a very rosy image of a globalized and unipolar world, the author opines that the US should be more practical in its approach, given that competition is inevitable. Another illusion was about technology, which was seen as a hope for bringing about freedom and equality in the world order and continuing the campaign of liberal internationalism. However, an upside-down image has been seen so far. Countries like China and Iran have used technology to upgrade weaponry and are increasingly asserting their presence. The article concludes with policy recommendations to the US leadership, which can help keep the US on the path of development and leadership, amidst increasing global competition.  Irrespective of who holds the White House in the future, realizing the consequences of globalization and understanding the unfulfilled promises of global governance will be a key factor in moving on. 

By: Usman Khan Pathan, CIGA Research Associate



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