America's return to world hegemony. How the war in Europe is assisting the USA's renewed statuss as a world leader, and how is Israel benefiting as well?
Yishai Gelb | 08.12.2022
At the end of the Cold War, the USA stood without opposition to its position on the world stage, making it an indisputable hegemony. However, in the early 2000s, China began growing in strength, and Vladimir Putin's rise to power in Russia slowly shifted the world from a single-pole to a tripolar world. However, the war in Ukraine and Covid 19 are changing the balance of power in the world. The developments in the past couple of years give the USA a shot at regaining its status as a world power in the coming years and shaping a world order for the coming century.
The US’s road back to being the undisputed world superpower starts with Russia's failure to defeat Kyiv and the opportunities it creates. Russia's aggression gives NATO and the US a reason to begin an arms buildup, training armies and building military strength, sanctioning Russia, and choking Putin's war machine. Russia's failure to defeat Ukraine in a swift campaign boosted US arms sales to Kyiv and Europe, as well as the opportunity to end European dependency on Russian energy, sending the Europeans back to the US’s arms for military and energy needs. Europeans' rush to find alternative energy markets turned the US into the largest exporter of natural gas, filling the US treasury with billions of dollars from energy and weapons sales.
On top of the developments in Europe, China’s Covid-19 policies, along with massive economic challenges, are slowing down China's climb to the top of the latter. The Chinees government's restrictive Covid-19 policies are beginning to reveal public dissatisfaction and a crack in the government's contract with the Chinees citizens - Political freedoms in return for economic prosperity and national pride. With slowing economic growth, internal instability, and challenging demographic prospects, China is showing severe signs of slowing down in its race to surpass the US in military, economic, and diplomatic strength.
The US’s increased military and energy sales, a strong currency, and weakening opposition give the US several opportunities. First, to increase its investments in critical technological industries of the 4th industrial revolution, from advanced chip manufacturing, quantum computing, space infrastructure, and biology technology. Second, to strengthen and invest in its relationship with its allies and to create new coalitions with critical players in the international arena.
In actuality, the US government recently signed into law approximately $369 billion in tax credits and investments in renewable energy turning the US into a leading producer of renewable energy technology and capabilities. In addition, a $52 billion investment to strengthen semiconductor manufacturing in the USA and NASA's Artemis program are working to place astronauts on the lunar surface and develop an ongoing presence in space.
The US continues to arm and support its allies in the Pacific, particularly Taiwan, South Kora, Australia, Japan, and India, to contain Chinees expansionism. In the Middle East, the US is struggling to disconnect Iran from Chinees influence while preserving its relationship with Saudi Arabia. The Abraham Accords are designed to create a solid coalition to deal with the threats in the Middle East while allowing the US to focus its strength in the South China Sea.
Israel is also reaping the fruits of changing world order. War in Ukraine and the European need for Natual gas places Israel in a position to make billions of dollars on energy sales to Europe thanks to its newly discovered natural gas. In addition to increased revenue from energy sales, Israel is selling weapons to countries in the Balkans, the Caucasus, East Asia, and Europe because of the fear of escalating aggression in the future. Moreover, Israel’s positions as a leader in Cyber technology, advanced weaponry, sophisticated intelligence, and a strong economy are giving Israel superb diplomatic power.
Either the world will plunge into a more aggressive future with expanding wars, or we will see a revival of western democracies and a strong USA. If Russia continues to remain stuck in the Ukrainian mud. And suppose the Middle Eastern allies, led by Israel and Sudi Arabia, will succeed in containing opposition to the West without needing US troops on the ground. In that case, the US and NATO powers will have the opportunity to focus most of their strength on deterring China. The prospect that the West will remain the leader of the world order and keep the US as the world leader is more significant than just a year ago.