Robert Kagan Says U.S. “Still No. 1”

In July, I blogged about a Pew Research Center survey showing that Australia is the most popular destination for Chinese seeking to emigrate. Canada was ranked #2 and the U.S. #3. I theorized that the limited interest in emigrating to the U.S. is due to America’s current economic woes and plummeting international popularity because of the Iraq War.

Today, an OpEd in the Washington Post by Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace argues that we’re not witnessing the decline of the U.S.:

  • The U.S. has a 21% share of the global economy, compared with 23% in 1990 and 22% in 1980. Although the U.S. is suffering economically, the world’s other major economies are too, and U.S. may be the first to come out of rescession.
  • While America’s image is certainly damaged, the scale of damage doesn’t compare to the 1960s and 1970s, with the Vietnam War, the Watts riots, the My Lai massacre, Watergate, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy.
  • Even in the Middle East, there’s been no fundamental strategic realignment against the U.S. due to the Iraq War. Longtime allies remain allies.
And, I would add, America’s next president may be able to undo much of Bush’s damage to America’s image abroad. So, long live the American dream.
(Hat tip to China Law Blog for pointing to the OpEd).

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