Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Lax Americana

| October 23, 2015

Why a United States that's trying to do a little less is good for the world — and good for America

What's the biggest challenge facing American statecraft today? Reaching a meaningful global agreement on climate change? Countering a rising China? Containing the Islamic State? Convincing Vladimir Putin to cool his jets (both literally and figuratively)? Making sure Iran fulfills the nuclear deal and doesn't make more mischief in the Middle East?

These are all vexing problems, but the broader challenge to American statecraft is figuring out how to liquidate the unsound strategic positions the United States took on following its Cold War victory — and especially after 9/11 — without inviting allies and adversaries to assume the United States is no longer a force to be reckoned with in places that actually matter....

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Walt, Stephen M..“Lax Americana.” Foreign Policy, October 23, 2015.

The Author

Stephen Walt