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Post time 2011-9-9 08:23:36 |Display all floors

US: From hyperpower to declining power

Thu Sep 8, 2011 1:36PM GMT

Richard Wike, Pew Global Attitudes Project

In the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks, America's global image has followed a remarkable, if now familiar, trajectory. Initially, there was a global outpouring of sympathy for the United States, but it was short-lived. As the Bush Administration pivoted from Afghanistan to Iraq, and as American anti-terrorism efforts expanded, many around the world turned against the U.S. Widespread anti-Americanism remained a key feature of international public opinion throughout the Bush years, before fading significantly following the election of Barack Obama.

However, at the same time as ratings for the U.S. were waning and waxing, other changes in perceptions of America and its role in the world were also evident. In particular, views about American power have changed over the course of the decade, as economic issues have trumped security concerns. Early in the post-Sept. 11 era, the projection of American military strength led to pervasive fears of an unleashed, and unchecked, hyperpower. More recently, however, the global financial crisis has turned the spotlight to America's declining economic prowess. Once the fearsome colossus, many now see the financially-strapped U.S. as a great power in decline.

The Bush Era and Fears of U.S. Power

Nearly a decade ago, as the U.S. began utilizing its considerable military and intelligence resources in the wake of Sept. 11, global publics began to register their concerns about the reach of American power. The first Pew Global Attitudes survey, conducted in 2002, found that less than a year after the attacks, goodwill toward the U.S. was already beginning to ebb in many nations, including some of America's closest allies. For instance, the percentage of Germans with a favorable view of the U.S. fell from 78% in 2000 to 60% in 2002, and in Britain it dropped from 83% to 75%.

With the onset of the Iraq war in 2003, anti-Americanism surged across much of the globe. Ratings plummeted further in Western Europe, and negative attitudes toward the U.S. became common in parts of the Muslim world where previously America had been relatively well-regarded, such as Turkey and Indonesia.

Opinions about the U.S. remained largely negative throughout the Bush years, as publics around the world expressed serious concerns about American policies and the use of American power. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were consistently unpopular, and more broadly, U.S. anti-terrorism efforts were viewed with skepticism and fear.

Immediately following the attacks of Sept. 11, the "war on terror" received strong support in Western Europe, but as U.S. anti-terrorism efforts increasingly became associated with Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other unpopular aspects of American foreign policy, support plummeted. By 2007, only about four-in-ten in France, Germany and Britain favored U.S.-led efforts to fight terrorism, and just 21% held this view in Spain.

In most predominantly Muslim nations, the war on terror was viewed negatively from the outset. For instance, a 2004 Global Attitudes poll found majorities in Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, and Jordan saying they opposed U.S. anti-terrorism efforts and that the U.S. was overreacting to the threat of international terrorism. Moreover, most of those surveyed in these four nations did not think the war on terrorism was a sincere effort. Combating violent extremism may have been the stated goal of U.S. policy, but many respondents felt this was a smokescreen to hide the real objectives, such as gaining control of Middle Eastern oil, targeting unfriendly Muslim governments, protecting Israel, and dominating the world.

And many in predominantly Muslim nations worried that American power could be used against their country. Since the Global Attitudes Project first asked this question in 2003, majorities in most Muslim nations surveyed have consistently said they are worried that the U.S. could pose a military threat to their country someday.

2008: A Pivotal Year

For America's global image, 2008 was a pivotal year for two reasons. First, the election of Barack Obama led to dramatically higher ratings for the U.S. in many nations. This was especially true in Western Europe, where the new president received astronomical ratings -- in 2009 for example, 93% of Germans expressed confidence in Obama's leadership, as did 91% in France.

But the improvement was not limited to Western Europe. Obama was seen much more positively than his predecessor in the Americas, Africa, and Asia as well, and ratings for the U.S. rose significantly in nations such as Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Nigeria, and Japan.

The 2010 and 2011 Pew surveys showed that the Obama bounce had staying power, as views toward the U.S. and Obama remained mostly positive across much of the world. Still, reservations about American foreign policy did not disappear. For instance, Obama received fairly low marks for the way he has handled specific issues such as Iran, Afghanistan, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Moreover, while America's image has rebounded in much of the world, there has been no Obama bounce in several predominantly Muslim nations that are central to U.S. strategic interests. Fewer than one-in-five Turks, Pakistanis, Jordanians, or Palestinians offered a favorable opinion of the U.S. in the 2011 Global Attitudes poll. In these nations, many of the contentious issues from the Bush era -- Afghanistan, anti-terrorism efforts, U.S. policy toward Israel -- continue to drive anti-American sentiments.

The second watershed event of 2008 was the onset of the global financial crisis. The economic downturn did not necessarily lead people to have a more or less positive opinion of the U.S., but it did lead many to reassess their view of American power -- especially American power relative to China's. As the U.S. economy has struggled over the last few years, China has continued its historic growth, and increasingly Beijing has taken a more assertive approach to international affairs. These shifting dynamics are clearly reflected in global public opinion, and there is a widespread perception that China will supplant the U.S. as the dominant global superpower.

Across the 18 countries surveyed by Pew in both 2009 and 2011, the median percentage saying China will replace or already has replaced the U.S. as the world's leading superpower increased from 40% in 2009 to 47% two years later. Meanwhile, the median percentage saying China will never replace the U.S. fell from 44% to 36%.

Looking specifically at economic power, many believe China has already assumed the top spot. In the 2011 poll, pluralities in Britain, France, Germany and Spain named China -- not the U.S. -- as the world's leading economic power. Remarkably, a 43% plurality of Americans also named China; just 38% said the U.S.

Views about the impact of China's growing economy are mixed. In Western Europe, the British and Spanish tend to see it positively, while the French and Germans see it in a negative light. Among China's neighbors, Pakistanis and Japanese think China's economic growth is good for their countries, while Indians tend to say it is not good for India.

Few, however, see China's growing military strength as a positive development, and there is little enthusiasm for China becoming as militarily powerful as the U.S. There are a few exceptions -- most Pakistanis, Jordanians and Palestinians would like China to rival the U.S. -- but majorities in most of the nations surveyed in 2011 said it would be bad if China were to reach military parity with the U.S.

This view is especially common among many of America's longtime allies, including overwhelming majorities in Germany, France, Spain, Britain and Japan. Even in Turkey -- a longtime NATO ally, but also a nation where anti-Americanism has been rampant in recent years -- only 20% want to see the Chinese military on a par with the U.S.

Thus in many nations where fears of American power have been so pervasive in the decade since Sept. 11, there are now concerns about the relative decline of American power. Initially, the exercise of U.S. military strength in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with the perception that the U.S. disregards the interests of other countries, led to a backlash against American power. But today, the rise of China and the uncertainty surrounding global economic leadership are creating new anxieties about a world where, many believe, American power is weakening.
No Virgin Girl in America

American can not live without SEX.

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Post time 2012-1-18 18:22:21 |Display all floors
Govt. report highlights US 'alarms'
Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:1PM GMT



The office of the US Department of Commerce
The US Department of Commerce has set off alarms on the deterioration of American social and economic prospects, raising fears the country may soon lose its status as a global superpower.


In a newly-published report, titled the Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States, the Department of Commerce highlights the fading notion of high employment figures, middle class income, manufacturing, innovation, education, and infrastructure as key factors behind the persisting downward trend of the US economy:

Jobs

Over the past decade, the US ability to generate jobs has declined and the process of jobless recoveries has become increasingly lengthy.

Following each postwar recession, it usually took America roughly six months to return to the employment recovery level. However, following the recessions in 1990-91 and 2001, employment recovery took 15 months and 39 months respectively.

Between February 2001 and January 2008, job creation climbed at an annual rate of 0.6 percent. The figure is three times lower than the 1.8-percent annual employment growth rate between June 1990 and February 2001.

Wages and Middle Class

The middle class income has “stagnated,” with real median household income -- the income of households in the middle of the income distribution after adjusting for inflation -- falling from $53,252 in 1991 to $52,823 in 2007.

Meanwhile, the income of top one percent earners, on the income distribution chart, has grown by almost four percent per year between 1993 and 2008.

The typical American full-time workers continue to make flat or declining wages, despite an incredible rise in their productivity levels.

Such stagnation has made it impossible for Americans to improve their financial living standard, portraying a murkier prospect for the next generation.

Manufacturing

In terms of manufacturing, the US has been losing ground, as its $564 billion trade deficit of 2010 was expected to run even deeper in 2011.

Until 2002, the US enjoyed a trade surplus in “advanced technology products that constitute primary drivers for the American economy in the future, including biotechnology products, computers, semiconductors and robotics. In 2010, however, the US suffered a $81 billion trade deficit in the critical sector.

Innovation

The report has referred to previous studies on key indicators of innovation, such as the number of scientists and engineers as well as productivity and trade performance, corroborating the fact that the US has made no significant progress in its competitiveness since 1999 and currently ranks fourth in innovation-based competitiveness.

The report cited widespread concerns about the eroding scientific and technological innovation in the US at the time many other nations are laying strong foundations in this respect.

Education

The study similarly warned of downward trends for the US education system, since, according to the 2003 program for International Student Assessment, the problem-solving ability of American students stands below those from most other developed nations in the world.

The average score of mathematics literacy of 15-year-old US students falls below the average score of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), making America in rank 17 among the OECD member states.

Infrastructure

The traditional infrastructure in the US has failed to keep pace with the country's growing population, as the fact is highlighted by delays at airports, time losses in traffic jams, bridges in need of repair and ports incapable of handling the newest ships that have brought about higher costs for businesses and inconvenience for the public.

Meanwhile, digital infrastructure has failed to reach large portions of the US population, since some communities remain disadvantaged as far as broadband access is concerned.

The report comes against the backdrop of spreading “Occupy” movements across major US cities, which emerged after a group of demonstrators gathered in New York's financial district on September 17, 2011 to protest the excessive influence of major corporations on US policymakers and regulators as well as the unjust distribution of wealth and a high-level of corruption in the country.
Diane Abbot (British MP): Anglos love playing divide and rule
David Cameron (British PM): Anglos caused most of the world's problems!

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Post time 2012-1-18 21:40:27 |Display all floors
wiseoldlady Post time: 2010-1-30 06:13
I know, at least they could have made him look more depraved and evil!

no, it's best to make him pitiful
I'm a little bit wrong and your a little bit right.
Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

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