A former German vice chancellor says the United States is losing its status as “a global hegemon.”
In an article published on Monday, Joschka Fischer said the decline was due to the disintegration of Pax Americana.
The Latin term, which is translated as American Peace, is used by some to refer to a certain pattern of global order that Washington has been administering since 1945 through its influence.
The erosion of Pax Americana was most notably visible “in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula,” wrote Fischer.
He was referring to the unraveling of stability in the two regions caused by the US attempts to aggressively increase its influence throughout the past two decades.
Those plans came to the fore with the administration of former US President George W. Bush’s initiation of what is referred to in some US circles as the “Greater Middle East Project.”
“The US may still be the world’s strongest power, but it is no longer able or willing to play the role of the world’s policeman,” Fischer said.
Given Washington’s declining influence, Fischer said, “Indeed, overseeing the end of Pax Americana is likely to dominate the tenure of America’s next president – whoever that might be.”
“Will the decline of Pax Americana, which has served for seven decades as a guarantor of Europe’s internal liberal order, unavoidably lead to crisis, if not conflict?” he asked.
‘Europe may come apart’
Fischer said the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe is “fomenting a toxic tide of nationalism, which threatens to tear the European Union apart.”
“The bleak prospect of European suicide is no longer unthinkable,” he said.
“What will happen if German Chancellor Angela Merkel is brought down by her refugee policy, if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, or if the French populist Marine Le Pen captures the presidency?” he asked.
“A plunge into the abyss is the most dangerous outcome imaginable, if not the likeliest.”
Fischer said, “The international order forged in the fires of the twentieth century seems to be disappearing, and we have not had even the faintest glimpse of what will replace it.”
Chinese order ruled out
He wrote off a Chinese-led order, saying China “will remain self-absorbed, focused on internal stability and development, and its ambitions are likely to be narrowed to control of its immediate neighborhood and the surrounding seas.”
“Furthermore, China lacks, in nearly every respect, the soft power that would be indispensable if it were to try to become a force for global order,” he said.