Life in a G-Zero World
Published on: January 28, 2013
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  • Anthony

    “A new kind of multilateral structure is required…. In the end everyone is going to have to deal with the reality of growing Chinese power….”

    G-zero world is aspect of economic and social challenges facing United States, Europe, and Japan while underlain by post World War II Mid East contretemps interwoven with a new cauldron of vistas (African Sahel as well as other parts of Africa).

    We need more than scholarship Francis Fukuyama to overcome impending aspects of G- zero world. Leadership and foresight speaks to governance. When and how to begin where many fear to tread runs concomitantly with changing nature of world politics referenced.

  • Jim.

    It’s always curious to me that otherwise intelligent people to the Left of (American) center still think that the pittance Europe spends on defense is sustainable. Europe can spend little because the US spends much; if the US cuts its defense spending, Europe will get a very rude surprise as to how abysmal their defense spending is, in this world.

    Considering that Europe spends little because America spends much also makes me wonder how otherwise intelligent people in America can look at Europe and say, “See, that’s how much America should spend on defense!” It’s like they believe fairies (or perhaps little green unicorns) will protect us.

    I wonder, will Europe cut its social spending to bring its defense spending up to the necessary levels to provide “a broader multilateral framework”? Somehow I doubt it.

    The fact is that America needs to get its social spending under control (making ever-more promises is NOT the way to do this!) by either eliminating spending increases for some length of time, or imposing actual cuts. The world is a dangerous place, Europe cannot be counted upon, and even the smallest change in power-sharing has the potential blow up in our faces.

    • jc

      The problem with your argument is that it doesn’t contain a single grain of intelligent thought, and only one grain of fact – i.e. that Europe and the US do spend different amounts on their militaries. Assuming, however, that the US’s spending is correct and needs to be matched by Europe is argument by conclusion, one of the gravest and most shameful of all intellectual failures. In fact Iraq has demonstrated that the US got very value for its military dollars, the British and French are managing their optional wars very well, and it is hard to see why Europe should need to confront China or protect Israel or South Korea. If you think Europeans need to spend more then you need to point out the actual threat (China? Zombie Hitler? Aliens? And that’s in order of increasing plausibility…)

      • pashley

        Actually, in Libya, the French had to call for help almost immediately. A west European intervention in Syria is not in the cards.

        Not to say anyone should try to match the US’s bloated national defense budget. And Europe is even more broke broke broke than the US.

    • Peter

      Right on, Jim. Yes, Europe has been sponging off U.S. defense spending for generations now. Who doesn’t know that?

      But that party is fast ending. The U.S. public, if not our elite, are tired of carrying pompous Europeans who do little but complain about America and what we do or don’t do. Plus, we can’t afford that generosity any longer.

      As for the future, it seems Europe might be so degraded from its massive welfare state spending that it might not be able to function as a true player in the world as the U.S. withdraws its security blanket.

      Obama has been a disaster in domestic policy. But give the devil his due, Obama’s ‘leading from behind’ foreign policy is a preferable to that of, say, warmongering John McCain and his neo-con allies.

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  • Europe’s fantasy was the “post-historical paradise” — but that’s so 2003, folks.

    Jim is right: Europe is spending so little, because we spend so much, on defense. The US doesn’t have many real allies — South Korea, Israel, anyone else? The rest are dependencies, not allies.

    Politicians needs to make real decisions about priorities. Ranking, deciding, moving out — these are the essence of leadership. Only in government, with an unlimited ability to borrow money, can you get away without this.

  • dan berg

    What EXACTLY are we so nervous about? Will China “take” S. Korea? They never have. Viet Nam: tried that. New Zealand? Hawaii? My question is: China is a rising threat because….?

    • ltlee

      Good questions.
      China’s rise is often compared with “the rise of a unified Germany after 1871.” Is this comparison fair? There was no unified Germany before 1871 and a unified Germany constituted existential threat to other European countries. In contrast, China was, more often than not, the regional superpower during the last two thousand years. Europe’s failure to find a way to coexist peacefully had led to WWI and WWII. In contrast, East Asia with China as its regional superpower has found a way to coexist for at least one thousand years if not longer. A G-0 world is probably a better world.

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  • steve

    WE are weakened financially because of the policies pursued by the current government. Even the WP did a study on our current deficits and found that with increased unemployment benefits, bailouts, and lost tax revenue, our deficits should not have exceeded $660 billion. 4 years of 1.3 trillion or higher???? The current regime has moved the baseline budget into uncharted territory. This is decline by choice. A pro-American, pro-Western, and pro-growth regime will change this direction. Destiny is choice, hopefully we will stop maing the wrong one’s soon enough.

  • venze

    A well documented and analyzed article. Verily, China’s meteoric rise has caused concern in balancing the global power equation, particularly when neighbors are worrisome of its growing economic if not military prowess.

    Nonetheless, Beijing cannot afford to antagonize any nation, not when it is still deeply troubled by endless domestic issues. (btt1943, vzc1943)

  • Very insightful article.
    But I Don’t believe that Europe Will expend more on military if Us would do less.
    Europe is trapped in its own Wonderland. Impossible to hope any thing.
    Item More: Don’t think about Europe as a political unit. It is not, less today, with all the mess created by the Euro.

  • LESD

    Seems like I might have heard this argument somewhere before. “Every Nation for Itself” has been in bookstores for awhile now.

  • Sam Hall

    “Yet Japan has found itself largely isolated in the region as a result of the persistence of the historical issues between itself and its neighbors. There is plenty of blame to go around on all sides for this fact, but a more skillful diplomacy would have put the historical questions to one side in the interests of long-term strategic cooperation.”

    Those issues are not just in the past. Look at the situation of the Zainichi Community (and other Koreans) in Japan today.

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