Money and the decline of America’s global leadership

September 24th, 2010

Clearly America's role in the world is changing. The American Century, declared by Henry Luce, seventy years ago, may have long since reached its apex. Many view this as a positive sign of humility and a refreshing lack of nationalistic hubris. We also hear much about our growing national debt, caused in large measure by the military expansionism of the past 9 years. Remember, Bill Clinton left us with a surplus back in 2000.

The question now is how are these two ideas related. How is American foreign policy and our role in the world, being shaped or influenced by our economic limitations and is that a good or a bad development?  In his latest work, The Frugal Superpower: America's Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era, Professor Michael Mandelbaum, one of our most astute foreign policy thinkers, takes on these dual questions and what they mean for the future of global leadership. My conversation with Michael Mandelbaum: