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Eurasia Group: Trump Leads America into Most Dangerous World Since World War II

Bloomberg report leads me to the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm that advises investors how politics will affect business, and its report on the Top Risks of 2017. The Eurasia Group says the election of Donald Trump caps a movement toward a leaderless world and the most dangerous geopolitical world since World War II:

It’s been six years since we first wrote about the coming G-Zero world—a world with no global leader. The underlying shifts in the geopolitical environment have been clear: a US with less interest in assuming leadership responsibilities; US allies, particularly in Europe, that are weaker and looking to hedge bets on US intentions; and two frenemies, Russia and China, seeking to assert themselves as (limited) alternatives to the US—Russia primarily on the security front in its extended backyard, and China primarily on the economic front regionally, and, increasingly, globally.

…But with the shock election of Donald Trump as president of the US, the G-Zero world is now fully upon us. The triumph of “America first” as the primary driver of foreign policy in the world’s only superpower marks a break with decades of US exceptionalism and belief in the indispensability of US leadership, however flawed and uneven. With it ends a 70-year geopolitical era of Pax Americana, one in which globalization and Americanization were tightly linked, and American hegemony in security, trade, and promotion of values provided guardrails for the global economy.

In 2017 we enter a period of geopolitical recession [“Top Risks 2017: The Geopolitical Recession,” Eurasia Group, 2017.01.03].

Eurasia Group notes the problem isn’t just a U.S. withdrawal from global leadership; they say Trump will be more hawkish than Obama about projecting U.S. power, but will only do so for selfish interests, not for the sake of preserving global order. If China continues to step into the role of world leader, other nations will align with China, and an “America First” policy overseas will have to fight an ever-growing pro-China alliance. Fewer European friends will turn out for our side of that fight, since Trump will be cozying up to the Russian dictator who makes their lives difficult.

Other top risks for 2017 include Chinese overreaction, weaker Germany, no progress on economic reform, Middle East instability exacerbated by technology, politicization of central banks, tension between Trump and Silicon Valley, Ergodan’s authoritarianism in Turkey, North Korean nuttiness, and (a completely new problem on my radar!) political instability in South Africa.

12 Comments

  1. Steve Hickey 2017-01-03

    Phoeey on all that. Fear mongering. A global leader. No thanks. More hawkish, than who? Our peace prize president or Hillary? baha. From my overseas vantage point the world doesn’t know what it wants from America – they resent our involvement and intervention in everything and then resent when we do nothing. There is resentment when we put American interests first, and resentment when we throw our weight around outside our borders.

  2. Timoteo 2017-01-03

    A diminished “world cop” role for the United States would be a huge improvement.

  3. Richard Schriever 2017-01-03

    From My overseas perspective, Mr. Hickey, the world wants an example (you may misread an underlying envy as resentment – dig deeper). A self-centric dictatorial bully is not a good example to provide. Would you not prefer to hold Christ out as an example – vs Nero?

  4. Rorschach 2017-01-03

    Add another nutball world leader to your list – Rodrigo Duterte. The Philippines is a country of almost 100 million people.

  5. Steve Hickey 2017-01-03

    The world wants an example? I’m pretty sure a desire to emulate the US isn’t what the world is looking for. The world wants a) money, help, arms and allies or b) they want us to butt out of their business and elections or, c) the elites in the shadows of world power want the US to yield its sovereignty in action and law to the UN so they can police and dominate the world.

  6. Rorschach 2017-01-03

    What the world wants is for Trump to invite his friend Kim Jong Un for a state visit and hug him so hard he pops like a balloon.

  7. Donald Pay 2017-01-03

    There are different kinds of leadership. Just by virtue of the size and influence of the US economy, this country is going to be a global leader. Same with China. Every nation puts its interests first. But how nations define those interests and how they lead others is important.

    Do you lead based primarily on accepted norms and values? How much do norms and values play into leadership? How much do you sacrifice of your interests in one area to secure gains in your interest elsewhere? Do you sacrifice or compromise values and norms for stability? Do you act rationally under the assumption that other countries will respond rationally?

    “America First” is a slogan, not a leadership strategy, unless it’s our version of the North Korean agenda. Anyone really think that’s the way to go?

    TPP is an example. It involves some sacrifice of our economic growth in certain sectors of the economy for setting the economic rules that will govern trade in the Pacific region and not letting China dominate future economic policy there. What is in our interests?

  8. Timoteo 2017-01-03

    @Richard Schriever: No one. Why does the world need a world cop? Local problems need more of a local (i.e. national) jurisdiction.

    Russia and China would probably be unable to do it anyway. It would be funny to see Russia try. They couldn’t hold the Soviet Union together. They couldn’t invade Afghanistan. China is even worse. They can only barely control tiny Tibet.

  9. mike from iowa 2017-01-04

    Drumpf just appointed veteran Goldman Sachs lawyer as chair of the Securities and Exchange Communists. Smooth move Ex-Lax. Another fox in charge of another chicken coop. These chicken coops will be the one part of a Drump/wingnut world where the door will be wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2017-01-04

    As Donald Pay says, there are kinds of leadership the United States has successfully shown that the world benefits from. Donald Trump seems inclined to abandon the kinds of leadership that have served American and global interests best and butt in where America’s intrusions are least wanted and least effective.

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