美国势力与2004年竞选活动

美国的总统竞选活动日趋白热化,随之升温的是关于美国势力的辩论。一年以前,在仅持续四周的伊拉克战争取得闪电般胜利之后,许多人都认为问题解决了。但后来美国在伊拉克,以及在更为广泛的对外关系方面遇到的困难,又使这个话题成为竞选活动的中心议题。

回想起来或许有点困难,但就在十多年前,美国内外的舆论共识一致认为它正在衰落。1992年,新罕布什尔州初选的胜利者宣称"冷战结束-日本获胜。"当我在1990年出版Bound to Lead一书时,就预测美国势力将会继续增长。但今天我认为挑战新的舆论共识同样重要。现今的舆论似乎认为美国是不可战胜的,且"新单边主义"应成为美国对外政策的指南。

在苏联瓦解之后,一些分析家将当时的世界描述为单极化,并表示几乎看不到制衡美国势力的因素。这样的观点具有误导性。在全球化的信息时代,势力在国家间的分配方式就像一种复杂的三维象棋游戏。

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