The Trump administration enters the White House as two great powers – Russia and China – are flexing their muscles. Russia is still smarting from the humiliation of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and, under President Putin, is determined to reclaim its great power status. China is a rising power, determined to claim its rightful status in the world.
All this as the Trump administration signals an intent to bear less of the burden of the democratic world than it has in the past, and to give primacy to America’s interests at home.
What does this mean for global security? Author Robert Kagan is worried. He sees two significant trend lines emerging. One is the increasing ambition and activism of Russia and China. The other is the declining confidence, capacity, and will of the United States to maintain its dominant position in the world. When these two lines cross, Kagan argues, the world descends into a phase of brutal anarchy. Kagan is the author of a provocative new article in Foreign Policy, Backing Into World War III.