It’s most likely historians will mark the War on Terror, declared by George W. Bush in 2001, as when the U.S. went into precipitous decline. The rapid military expansion into multiple countries was classic imperial overreach. The era of the U.S. as the sole superpower is drawing to a close. China is challenging U.S. global hegemony. And it is doing so primarily on the economic front. It lets Washington spend trillions on wars and the pricey weapons to fight them. China, in the meantime, is constructing long term economic partnerships and alliances with countries all over the world. It is also building up its military but will not risk a war with the U.S. China had a bad couple of centuries, but it’s back, big time. The trends all point to 2030 when China passes the U.S.
Alfred McCoy is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of the classic The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. He is the recipient the Association of Asian Studies’ Kahin Prize. He is also the author of Policing America’s Empire, Torture and Impunity and In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.
Program #MCCA007. Recorded in Seattle, WA on October 25, 2017.