Under the Influence: The Measure of American Power

Under the Influence: The Measure of American Power

Editor's note: As noted below, this will be the final "Under the Influence" column at World Politics Review. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Bast for his contributions to WPR over the past 10 months. It's been a pleasure working with him, and we wish him the best of success in all his endeavors.

As this will be the final "Under the Influence" column here at World Politics Review, it seems only fitting to tackle what Charles Krauthammer, the iconic commentator, recently had to say about the question this column has been exploring for the last 10 months: Is American power waxing or waning? Writing in the Weekly Standard -- on whose cover figures a Nobel-wearing President Barack Obama, his right hand proudly resting on a bust of former President Jimmy Carter -- Krauthammer surveyed the vigorous debate over American power. It's a debate that has reached a fever pitch in the last few years, with the disastrous war in Iraq, the muddling through in Afghanistan, and the publication of popular studies like Fareed Zakaria's "The Post-American World."

Krauthammer wrote that, "For America today, decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice."

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