A New World Order- by Jerry Jasinowski
The election of President Donald J. Trump has caused consternation in some circles - more than a few normally calm people believe our country has entered an unprecedented downward spiral - but it can be seen as part of a global retreat from a system that has dominated world affairs since World War II. Last week, the world economy was based on a capitalist system dominated by the United States. But that was then, this is now.
In his latest book, "A World In Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order," Richard Haass argues that the fundamental elements of the old world order that have served the world well since WWII have largely run their course. Ambassador Haass, who served as Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, has been President of the Council of Foreign Relations since 2003. He is an astute observer of the world scene and the scene he observes today is not for the faint of heart.
Haass notes that the global picture is indeed one of runaway disarray. The Middle East is unraveling. Asia is threatened by China's rise and a reckless, unpredictable North Korea today boasting of its new missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Europe, which has partnered with the U.S. since WWII as a bastion of economic growth and political stability, is foundering. The European Nations are locked in low economic growth, increasing dismay about runaway immigration from the Mideast and Africa, and rising nationalism and populism at home. The abrupt vote in Britain for "Brexit" offers a signal that a growing number of people in western democracies reject globalization and international involvement. Should another major nation head for the door, the vision of European unity may suddenly dissolve.
Across the landscape in the U.S. and Europe we see a rising tide of opposition to free trade and international commitments of every stripe, including military alliances. The collapse of support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the U.S., never strong to begin with, heralds a wholesale rejection of the long-standing U.S. commitment to world economic and military leadership. The Chinese have been quick to pounce on this retreat and to promote their own willingness to assume our traditional role.
When you add to this volatile mix the threat of terrorism, proliferation of nuclear weapons, the changing climate, the challenge of cybersecurity, and the cumulative burden of national debts, "it is painfully evident that the 21st century will prove extremely difficult to manage," Haass wrote. Haass posits creation of a new world operating system which he calls World Order 2.0 reflecting the reality that power is widely distributed today and traditional borders are no longer secure. He says the U.S. must change its approach to dealing with Russia and China, as well as the rest of the world. He wants a fresh look at the very definition of national security.
This is a thought-provoking book that suggests the new foreign policy 2.0 requires more global engagement. Unfortunately, Trump's inauguration speech went in the opposite direction, asserting a new populist protectionism embodied in his America First slogan that would have us withdraw from the world after 70 years of constructive engagement. This is not a strategy calculated to contribute to growth and job creation.
Jerry Jasinowski, an economist and author, served as President of the National Association of Manufacturers for 14 years and later The Manufacturing Institute. You can quote from this with attribution. Let me know if you would like to speak with Jerry. January 2017