Washington is Missing the Big Geopolitical Picture

There has been a deluge of bad news for U.S. foreign policy lately – from China’s provocations in Asia to the emergence of a jihadist caliphate in the Middle East and Russia’s predations against Ukraine.  Each of these developments contributes to the erosion of the post-Cold War international order that decidedly privileged America, and each has elicited plenty of discussion about the implications for U.S. engagement in the world and its capacity for global leadership.  So it is passing odd that news about the greatest challenge to U.S. national security – growing concerns about the long-term strength of its domestic economy – has passed in the last few weeks with so little comment.

Read the entire article on the National Interest‘s web site.

[UPDATE, June 25: According to revised Commerce Department data released today, GDP growth contracted a stunning 2.9 percentage points in the first quarter of 2014, far more one percent decline estimated last month.  Many observers blame a combination of one-off factors, such as terrible winter weather and shrinking business inventories, for these dismal results.  But as a New York Times commentator notes, “the fact that the economy as a whole could show such a sharply negative result thanks to a few combined idiosyncratic factors is also a reflection of an underlying weakness.”]

[UPDATE, July 11: The National Association of Business Economists now forecasts that GDP growth in 2014 will only be 1.6 percent, down from the 2.5-percent pace estimated just one month ago.]

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