The United States of America has been the most powerful country in the world for over seventy years, but recently the U.S. National Security Strategy declared that the return of great power competition with Russia and China is the greatest threat to U.S. National Security. Further, many analysists predict that America’s autocratic rivals will have at least some success in disrupting-and in the longer term, possibly even displacing-U.S. global leadership.
Lehman Brothers Bank Collapsed
In 2008 when Lehman Brothers Bank collapsed, the world found itself in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The American economic model was badly tarnished and the Chinese, state-led capitalism approach looked better in comparison.
Many began to ask whether China possessed the superior economic and political system. Moreover, some wondered whether the days of U.S. global leadership were coming to an end and China might soon become the world’s leading global economic and geopolitical power.
About The Author: Matthew Kroenig
Matthew Kroenig is an American political scientist, best-selling author, and an award-winning national security strategist.
Named one of the 25 most-cited political scientists of his generation by a 2019 study in Perspectives on Politics, he is best known for strategic options for addressing Iran’s nuclear program. He is also widely recognized for his scholarly research on international security and nuclear weapons.
His contributions to America’s national security were featured in two chapters of the best-seller book Counterstrike: The Untold Story Of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Queda authored by The New York Times reporters Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker.
From 2010 to 2011, Kroenig returned to the Pentagon on a non-partisan Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship to serve as a special adviser on Iran policy in the office of the Secretary of Defense. In that role, he developed strategic options to address Iran’s nuclear program.
Upon leaving, he gained widespread attention for his writing on the viability of the U.S. military option for degrading Iran’s nuclear facilities, including in The New York Times and Foreign Affairs.
He continues to regularly consult with the defense, diplomatic and intelligence committees.
List Of Matthew Kroenig’s Publications
1) The Return Of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy Versus Autocracy From Ancient World To The U.S. And China (2020)
2) The Logic Of American Nuclear Strategy (2018)
3) Nonproliferation Policy And Nuclear Posture: Causes And Consequences For The Spread Of Nuclear Weapons (2015)
4) A Time To Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat (2014)
5) The Handbook Of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (2011)
6) Causes And Consequences Of Nuclear Proliferation (2011)
7) Exporting The Bomb: Technology Transfer And The Spread Of Nuclear Weapons (2010)
The Cold War And Beyond
To be sure, Washington leadership was not uncontested. During the Cold War, from 1945 to 1989, it faced an intense geopolitical competitor in the form of the Soviet Union, but the Berlin Wall came crashing down, leaving the United States as the globe’s sole and undisputed hegemon. It would not be an exaggeration to say that from 1989 to 2014, the United States may have been the world’s most dominant state of any time since ancient Rome.
But all of this may be coming to an end. After twenty-five years of virtually uncontested U.S. global leadership, Russia and China have emerged as great power competitors. In recent years, Russia has invaded its neighbors, Ukraine and Georgia, and intervened forcefully in Syria, establishing itself as a Middle Eastern power broker for the first time since the 1970s.
Fueled By Petrodollars
Feuled by petrodollars, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made modernization of the Russian military a top priority. He has built a formidable force, and a U.S. think tank recently estimated that if Putin decided to invade, he could take the capital of two NATO allies, Estonia and Latvia, within sixty hours.
Putin is interfering in Western politics, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the objective of discrediting democracy and weakening the NATO alliances. He has declared the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century” and his promises to resurrect a greater Russia could very well force a major clash with the United States and its allies.
Brilliant and engagingly written, The Return Of Great Power Rivalry argues that this conventional wisdom is wrong. Drawing on an extraordinary range of historical evidence and the work of figures like Herodotus, Machiavelli, and Montesquieu and combining it with cutting-edge social science research.
Matthew Kroenig advances the riveting argument that democracies tend to excel in great power rivalries. He contends that democracies actually have unique economic, diplomatic, and military advantages in long-run geopolitical competitions. He considers autocratic advantages as well, but shows that these are more than outweighed by their vulnerability.
Kroenig then shows these arguments through the seven most important cases of democratic-versus-autocratic rivalries throughout history, from the ancient world to the Cold War. Finally, he analyzes the new era of great power rivalry among the United States, Russia, and China through the lens of the democratic advantage argument.
By advancing a “hard-power” argument for democracy, Kroenig demonstrates that despite its many problems, the U.S. is better positioned to maintain a global leadership role than either Russia or China.
A virtually important book for anyone concerned about the future of global geopolitics, The Return Of Great Power Rivalry provides both an innovative way of thinking about power in international politics and optimistic assessment of the future of American global leadership.
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If you would like to purchase this book, please do it here: The Return Of Great Power Rivalry by Matthew Kroenig. One of the best books out there right now with what we are going through in the U.S. with Donald Trump in the White House.
All The Best,