Archive for March, 2010
I once took for granted US supremacy – military, economic, and technological. Now, our economic health has been shaken by the disastrous financial crisis. Technological innovation has also fallen behind other countries – US IPOs are at an all time low even as China surges ahead. Until I spent time abroad, I did not realize the extent to which US reputation is tied to our military strength and diplomacy, how much other countries appreciate the unique position the US holds to regulate potentially dangerous states, and how delicately the balance of power and politics stands. Unfortunately, US relations with foreign states are being eroded by policies undertaken in this and previous administrations, who sacrifice long term relations for short term political gains. Before we wake up one day and realize our political power has gone, consider what the US is doing now. Obama’s labeling of the Armenian ‘genocide’, only the smallest consolation for a decades old massacre, severely disrupts US relations with Turkey, which could have been an invaluable ally in the region. The suspension of military-to-military exchanges with China further undermines a relationship we desperately need to maintain as the world’s third largest economy grows. The US public may not recognize these subtleties but it is the job of the administration to be aware of the consequences of its actions, and not be so sensitive to public pressures.