from The Daily Bell:
Why Europe Is Warning of Pax Americana’s End … Last year, the global security establishment was mildly worried about a growing U.S. disengagement overseas. This year, the worry has given way to a realization that the “liberal world order” — another name for Pax Americana — may be finished, and that new security arrangements are needed. That’s the conclusion that can be drawn from this year’s edition of the Munich Security Report, an agenda-setting document put out annually by the organizers of the Munich Security Conference, the world’s most prestigious geopolitical gathering. – The Economist
The Munich Security Conference is meeting later this week. High on its list will be the lack of clarity over the US military vision.
The 2017 conference will grapple with this lack of vision, understanding that Donald Trump and members of his team are unpredictable. Their statements mean nothing because one contradicts the other.
If the U.S. does retreat, vacuums will be filled by other actors. Key institutions will be weakened, spoilers will be emboldened. And some U.S. allies may see no alternative than to start hedging by seeking out new partners. Others will try to convince the new administration that the U.S.-led alliances continue to be a good deal for Washington — and that there is inherent value in long-term commitments.
After all, successful deals are based on trust, which requires some predictability and is often strongest between countries sharing common values — not between opportunistic leaders. A unilateralist Trump administration may find that it has a different hand than it currently thinks. And once cards are on the table, you cannot pretend you never played them.
The US lack of predictability means that it is not projecting itself abroad the way it used to. Neither in Syria nor in Korean is it taking the strong action that it might have taken in the past. Such actions may lead to “escalation for which it has no stomach.”
In 2017, the U.S. is no longer “the whale” on which the world reposes but as “source of uncertainty and tension.”
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