|Picture Credit: Intelligence2|
Since the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the US has dominated the globe politically, economically and, above all, militarily. However, analysts increasingly point at a number of challenges to US global preponderance. Geopolitical competitors are rising. China, enjoying unrivalled economic growth, is pursuing diplomatic offensives in Africa and South America and has modernized its military forces. India and Russia, both with rapidly growing economies, are bolstering their geopolitical clout. The European Union, an economic juggernaut, rivals the US with its single currency and seeks to forge a common foreign and security policy to gain more international influence.
The economic base on which the US system rests is beginning to show serious weaknesses. Above all, the US suffers from huge trade and budget deficits, which could lead to a dramatic fall of the dollar. The very expensive occupation of Iraq puts further strains on the economy. Therefore the US could face what historian Paul Kennedy termed "imperial overstretch." Another challenge to the unilateral stance of the US arises from people all around the world; NGOs, peoples movements and grassroots political groups raise their voice against US military intervention and global hegemony.