Was bei Amerika schief gelaufen ist

Die letzte Veröffentlichung der globalen Pew-Meinungsumfrage zeigt, dass in 12 von 15 befragten Ländern das Ansehen der Vereinigten Staaten wieder gesunken ist, was den Image-Verlust des Landes auf traurige Weise widerspiegelt. Wie kann Amerika seine internationale Legitimität zurückgewinnen? Dies ist wahrscheinlich eine der wichtigsten Herausforderungen für die Welt von heute, denn Amerika besitzt nach wie vor eine einmalige Stärke, die als Kraft für das Gute eingesetzt – und wahrgenommen – werden sollte, wenn die weltweite Stabilität gewahrt bleiben soll.

Fast zwei Jahrzehnte nach dem Niedergang des Sowjetreichs tritt vor allem eines deutlich hervor: das vorherrschende Gefühl verpasster Gelegenheiten. Die USA hatten am Ende des Kalten Krieges die einmalige Gelegenheit, durch ihre wohlwollende und aufgeklärte Überlegenheit eine bessere internationale Ordnung zu etablieren. Doch aufgrund einer Kombination aus politischen und persönlichen Gründen hat Amerika in den zwei Amtszeiten von Präsident Bill Clinton Zeit verloren.

Wahrscheinlich spürte Clinton während dieser zwangsläufig kurzen und zerbrechlichen „unipolaren Phase“ tatsächlich intuitiv, was Amerikas neue Verpflichtungen sein sollten, doch gelang ihm die Umsetzung nicht. Die Niederlage der Demokraten bei den Wahlen in der Mitte seiner Amtszeit 1994, gefolgt von der Monica-Lewinsky-Affäre, behinderte einen der tatkräftigsten und talentiertesten Präsidenten Amerikas in seiner Effektivität.

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