Partisan Squabbles Raise Questions Over U.S. Global Influence
The U.S. performance on the global stage has looked a little rocky in the past few weeks.
The Obama administration had to let Russia take a lead in managing the security challenge in Syria. The United States was also embarrassed when allies like Germany, France and Brazil reacted angrily to the news that the National Security Agency had monitored their leaders’ communications.
Finally, the government shutdown and the congressional fight over the debt ceiling prompted critical comments about U.S. political dysfunction.
«There is no doubt the reputation, prestige, and allure of the United States has taken a hit,» says Moises Naim of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
In the past, the United States has been accustomed to lecturing other countries on how to be more democratic or run their economies more efficiently.
But when the International Monetary Fund met in Washington earlier this month, it was the U.S. on the hot seat. The prevailing view among the finance officials in attendance was that Washington was threatening the whole global economy by flirting with default on its debts. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in the midst of the debt crisis, IMF Director Christine Lagarde took a scolding tone:
«If there is that lack of certainty, that lack of trust in the U.S. signature,» she said, «it would mean massive disruption the world over.»… MORE