奥巴马和其它国家的崛起

纽约——美国大选总能创造出一种短暂的欣快情绪,一种公众新鲜感、一种对未来机会的期盼,作用有点类似于注射肾上腺素。可是今年,人们所能感受到的轻松和祝贺将不再那么强烈,因为人们普遍认为美国的各个领域都出现了问题。

经济数据几乎清一色地非常黯淡,而且要想好转也绝不可能只需一朝一夕,同时尽管国家安全问题在金融危机的衬托下显得不那么紧迫,但考虑到阿富汗和巴基斯坦的微妙局势和伊拉克及北朝鲜悬而未决的问题,这些棘手的困难也都没有消失。此外,美国总统和国家权力近些年来发生了戏剧性的变化,我们的时代已经与早年的形势迥异,目前的世界变化不断,而新一任的美国总统面临着深重的危机。

直到不久前,我们还有可能在谈论“其它国家的崛起”时不预测美国实力将会降低。而现在,随着美国在伊拉克和阿富汗触到了军事行动极限以及美国财政地位的逐步衰落,我们现在已经不得不面对真正的选择。新一届美国总统对这样一种状况并不熟悉。即便在20世纪70年代末和80年代初越战之后的黑暗年代,人们仍然感到美国不需要征求世界其它国家的意见就可以在经济上做出选择。这就是拥有规模最大、活力最旺盛的经济所带来的特权——美国当时扮演了全世界债主的角色。但这种情况已经一去不复返了。

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