The US has been a major player in Asia and Southeast Asia since at least WWII. Yet on 20 Nov it was announced that 15 Asian nations, who, by the way, compose half the world’s population, are forming a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Guess who’s not invited? Yup, the USA.
President Obama was at the summit in Phnom Penh to promote a US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership—that would exclude China. But no one was interested.
So, who’s in the new club? The Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus, are you ready, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
It sees that, as 3 billion Asians are prospering, no one really cares about playing with 300 million Americans, especially when we aren’t willing to take risks on new technologies. Since the 2008 economic crash no one really cares that our previous strength was our capacity to innovate—that’s just ancient history to the rest of the world. I know that we’re being told that all is well economically, but the rest of the world can see our debt–and they have serious doubts. Can you say “America in decline”?
And sequestration hasn’t hit yet—and America as a dominant military power will fade then, too. Sequestration doesn’t have to happen, but it will take leadership—and it seems the president is too busy campaigning to try that.