Transatlantic Security Task Force Series
rans-Pacic Strategic Economic Partnership, and EastAsia Summit — to manage the emerging powers.A second category o states — the “emerging centers o inuence” — includes other G20 members. Tere is anemphasis on Indonesia, which is acing a series o chal-lenges including climate, counter-terrorism, maritimepiracy, natural disasters, and crisis management, andis amiliar to the U.S. president. Brazil is mentioned interms o its leadership and its desire to overcome divisionsbetween North and South in order to improve bilateral,hemispheric, and global relations. In the Middle East, theUnited States is tied to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, andother Gul States by security concerns. Lastly, there is aneed to support the Arican continent’s economic andsocial development including inrastructure and energy,while at the same time keeping a close eye on stability inKenya and Nigeria particularly due to their regional impor-tance. South Arica’s inclusion in the G20 will be ollowedby that o other emerging nations.“More actors exert power and inuence. Europe is now more united, ree and at peace than ever beore.”
Rela-tions with its European allies are presented as the corner-stone o U.S. engagement with the world and a “catalystor international action” on security (such as the partialreorm o NAO at the Lisbon summit in November 2010)and economic issues. A stronger, more integrated Europemust serve common interests such as the promotion o democracy and prosperity in Eastern Europe, the Balkans,the Caucasus, and Cyprus. Te bilateral relationship withurkey is intended to underpin regional stability. Lastly,Washington means to support the strengthening o Euro-pean institutions to make them more inclusive.Te Washington elite does not accept any representation o a multipolar system in which Russia would be on the samelevel with the United States, with the exception o strategicnuclear weapons because Russia’s GDP is 20 times smallerthan that o the United States. Te United States alsoharbors persistent doubts about the stability o the singleEuropean currency and is extremely watchul o Chinesemilitary eorts that might curtail its room or maneuver atsea and in cyberspace. Tere is no question o being on anequal ooting with other centers o inuence.Why would the United States accept a recongurationo the international system when it is pre-eminent in the
4 National Security Strategy, May 2010.
three elds that orm the basis o power: material pros-perity (a lack o wealth brought down the Soviet Russianstrategy); its strategic reach abroad; and the geopoliticalambition to shape international aairs through the appealo its socio-cultural model, its example, and its dominanceo innovation and ideas? Avoiding any reerence to multi-polarity, the secretary o state would rather talk about a“multi-partner world” that reects the reality o the worldtoday (Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, July 15,2009): “We cannot go back to Cold War containment or tounilateralism. We will lead by inducing greater cooperationamong a greater number o actors and reducing competi-tion, tilting the balance away rom a multi-polar world andtoward a multi-partner world.”Hillary Clinton dismissed ideas o a concert o powers (19
century) and the balance o power (characteristic o the 20
century). Her method was to encourage greater coopera-tion between a greater number o actors, both “major andemerging,” citing China, India, Russia, and Brazil as well asurkey, Indonesia, and South Arica. In the nal analysis,the United States reserves the role o arbiter o the mostimportant international issues or itsel.Final point, the reality o growing interdependence o the United States seems either underestimated or hard toaccept. Te United States is oen thought as a relatively closed economy, sucient unto itsel, but that is less thecase than it used to be. Te standard measure o openness,trade in goods and services as a share o gross nationalproduct, has risen rom 21 percent in 1981 to 32 percenttoday. For U.S. banks’ oreign exposure, the gures are11 percent o the GDP in 1991 and 30 percent in 2011.Te globalization o the United States, which has brought
Why would the United States
accept a reconguration of the
international system when it is
pre-eminent in the three elds
that form the basis of power?