Why American Leadership Still Matters
The disparate aspects of American global leadership are, in fact, intimately connected and often mutually reinforcing. The genius of America’s approach is that, no matter how one rearranges the pillars of American global leadership, the end result is positive.
What would the world look like without American global leadership? It is difficult to say, partly because we take so many of its benefits for granted and its dividends are dispersed. But global politics abhors a vacuum, and American retrenchment is sure to create one. There is simply no guarantee that whoever might fill our space would have the capacity, the inclination, or will to keep the world safe, markets open, and people free. If anything, an increasingly brazen China, revanchist Russia, volatile North Korea, and ruthless Islamic State collectively underscore the need for more, not less, American leadership abroad.