Is This The End of the American Century?

This site features updates, analysis, discussion and comments related to the theme of my book published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008 (hardbound) and 2009 (paperbound).

The Book

The End of the American Century documents the interrelated dimensions of American social, economic, political and international decline, marking the end of a period of economic affluence and world dominance that began with World War II. The war on terror and the Iraq War exacerbated American domestic weakness and malaise, and its image and stature in the world community. Dynamic economic and political powers like China and the European Union are steadily challenging and eroding US global influence. This global shift will require substantial adjustments for U.S. citizens and leaders alike.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cluster Bombs Used by Libya--and by the U.S.

The New York Times has a front-page story today on how "Qaddafi is using cluster bombs in civilian areas." This is an atrocity and a tragedy, of course, but it is difficult for the U.S. to raise much of a fuss about it, because U.S. armed forces have also used cluster bombs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. There is an international treaty--the Convention on Cluster Munitions--that bans the stockpiling and use of such weapons, but the U.S. is one of the few countries that has not signed the treaty. Fifty-six countries have ratified the Convention, and another 52 have signed but not yet ratified it. Among those that have not signed it are Israel, Pakistan, Libya....and the United States.

Chapter 6 of The End of the American Century, on "Abandoning International Order," documents the refusal of the U.S. government to sign dozens of international treaties and conventions that almost every other country in the world has adopted. It is this unilateralism and exceptionalism that has withered America's stature and moral authority in the world, and is one of the factors that makes it difficult for the U.S. to resume the leadership it held for so long in the postwar period.

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