The Decline of American Power

Ronald E. Yates is an author of award-winning historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

When I think of America’s failed financial policies, its weak political leadership in Congress, and its feeble foreign policy I am reminded of an interesting Thai phrase:

“Maa du khreuang bin tok.” Translated it means “A dog watching an airplane crash.”

The phrase describes an event that is entirely beyond the spectator’s comprehension. It seems apropos to what is happening today in the United States.

I believe we are obliviously witnessing a historical eclipse of American power in the world. It has been ongoing for at least three decades, but it has accelerated dramatically in just the past decade. One might argue that the decline of U.S. power began with the nation’s ignominious withdrawal from Vietnam back in 1975—an event that I personally witnessed and experienced.

For all of our military might—and it is considerable—America often seems like some helpless leviathan. Now, with the country burdened by a $20 trillion national debt and a $685 billion federal budget deficit we are at the mercy of those who would love to see the U.S. crash and burn. (Check out the US Debt Clock:

Think about it. Do you seriously believe that China cares an iota about the health of the U.S. economy other than as a market for its products? Or that Muslim nations such as Pakistan feel any allegiance to Washington’s political ambitions?

No amount of American pressure or veiled threats could persuade the Chinese government to revalue its currency, nor induce the Pakistani government to cut links between its intelligence services and the Taliban.

The same goes for many other nations–all of which have eagerly accepted billions and billions of dollars in American aid, loans, and other economic entitlements. Do these countries need to be forever grateful for American (read U.S. taxpayer) largess? No, but given the