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Henry Seleznev
Henry Seleznev

American Power Is on the Wane: The Rise of China and Other Challengers to U.S. Dominance

American Power Is on the Wane

The United States of America has long been regarded as the most powerful country in the world, both in terms of hard power (military, economic, technological) and soft power (cultural, diplomatic, moral). For decades, it has played a leading role in shaping the international order, promoting democracy and human rights, providing security and stability, and fostering innovation and prosperity. However, in recent years, there has been a growing perception that America is losing its edge, its influence, and its appeal. This phenomenon is known as American decline, and it has profound implications for the future of the U.S. and the world.

American Power Is on the Wane

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What is American decline and why does it matter?

American decline is the idea that the U.S. is diminishing in power geopolitically, militarily, financially, economically, technologically, demographically, socially, morally, spiritually, culturally, in matters of healthcare, and/or on environmental issues. There has been debate over the extent of the decline, and whether it is relative or absolute. Those who believe America is in decline are declinists.

American decline matters because it affects the balance of power in the world, the stability of the international system, the prospects for global cooperation and development, and the values and norms that govern global affairs. It also matters because it affects the self-image, confidence, and identity of Americans themselves.

The signs of American decline

There are many indicators that suggest that America is losing its dominance and attractiveness in various domains. Here are some of them:


Despite having the largest and most advanced military in the world, spending more on defense than the next 10 countries combined , America has faced challenges and setbacks in its military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere. It has also struggled to deter or contain the rising threats from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and non-state actors such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. Moreover, it has faced criticism and resentment from its allies and partners for its unilateralism, unreliability, or abandonment .


Although still having the largest and most dynamic economy in the world , America has suffered from slow growth , high debt , rising inequality , declining competitiveness , crumbling infrastructure , trade deficits , and deindustrialization . It has also faced increasing competition from China , which has surpassed it in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity , manufacturing output , trade volume , foreign exchange reserves , and technological innovation . Furthermore 71b2f0854b


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