|By Bill Reinsch - October 15, 2014|
During the Cold War, we all got used to the idea of a bipolar world – two great powers competing for influence in the rest of the world. When the Soviet Union imploded nearly 25 years ago, it became fashionable to argue that bipolarism was dead and that we were moving into a unipolar world with the United States as the paramount power. Then, looking at the rise of China, people began to speculate about a G-2. More recently, we have begun to understand how widely both those ideas miss the mark, particularly in political terms, as countries in varied parts of the world simply refuse to follow the U.S. preferred order of things that maintains our status as the paramount power. We are learning once again through painful experience that just because we’re the most powerful country on earth, we can’t always get our way – in Afghanistan, in the Middle East and North Africa, in Asia, and even at the World Trade Organization (WTO).