New York Times columnist: US is no longer a world leader

Despite all the successes of US President Joe Biden, the Ukrainian conflict has become a strategic failure for Washington, writes The New York Times columnist Steven Wertheim. According to him, it is the first time since the Cold War that the United States looks so much like not a world leader, but the head of a coalition, acting only in defence of its preferred side.

America is no longer the leader of the world, historian Stephen Wertheim writes in an op-ed for The New York Times.

After four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, Joe Biden was supposed to return the United States to a position of world leadership, and by many conventional Washington standards, he succeeded. He foresaw the introduction of Russian troops into Ukraine and rallied NATO to confront Moscow. In Asia, he strengthened old alliances and created new ones, and “fanned economic headwinds against China.”

Yet, as the author notes, in the decades since the Cold War, this is the first time the US has looked so much like not a world leader, but the head of a coalition, concerned only with defending its preferred side against increasingly united adversaries. Meanwhile, much of the world is watching and wondering why the Americans still think they are in charge.

The Ukraine conflict has been a “strategic setback” for the US, the article notes. Now the United States has to contend with “an irate and unpredictable nuclear power.” Worse, China, Iran, and North Korea have converged to support Moscow’s military efforts and oppose what they call US global hegemony.

This “anti-American entente” has already proved strong enough to mitigate the effects of Western aid to Kiev. As a result, military superiority is now costing Washington more and more.