The dynamics of world power appear to be changing. President Obama is about to speak at the UN and he’s going to call for other countries to take more responsibility for tackling the world’s problems.
He wants a new era of engagement where those who’ve criticised America for acting alone in the past cannot now stand by and wait for it to solve global problems alone.
Do you echo his call? And has he really got any choice in the reduction of US influence?
In the past few days we’ve talked about the cancelled missile defence shield, about the White House’s struggle to exert pressure on either the Palestinians or the Israelis, and about the lead President Obama is taking on nuclear disarmament. (I was struck yesterday how several guests said that regional factors are more important to nuclear policy than what America does.)
Then we had yesterday comments on climate change from Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. Some (not all though) have compared it with President Obama’s statement on the same subject and argued that the tone and momentum of negotiations on this are no longer being set by the US.
The same argument is being made about the upcoming G20 meeting which will continue to look at the world’s economy. (And let’s not forget that not long ago it was the G8 that was the biggest show in town – another example say some that power is being spread around.)
So do you feel we’re shifting from the dominance of one super power to a world where influence is more evenly shared? And do you welcome that development?
If you do, are you confident those nations with new found influence and wealth are prepared to make the global contributions many have demanded from the United States?
If you don’t, is that because you believe the world has been a safer, fairer and more prosperous while America has been the only superpower.