Do you agree with Zbigniew Brzezinski’s ideas about future global leadership?

America’s global supremacy is over, according to Brzesinski but he adds that the US still has an extremely important twin role to play. Watch him tell Chrystia Freeland why Vladimir Putin’s election will reverse political evolution in Russia and how the US should handle Syria:

Few individuals have had as much influence as Brzezinski when it comes to shaping US global policy and hence the world today. Since Jimmy Carter was president the ideas outlined in his book “The Grand Chessboard” have been like a bible for US administrations.

One nation can no longer dominate the world 

The days when one nation, or even one region could dominate the world the way Rome did 2,000 years ago, the Ottoman empire 500 years ago or the British empire a century ago, are, according to long-time national security expert Zbigniew Brzezinski, over. It’s simply no longer possible.  

Americans have to get used to sharing power

“The world is now much more diversified”, he says. “There is a new east in Asia and a global population that is awakened politically”. “America have to get used to the new world, in which their relative influence may decline”

He firmly believes a strong West is needed as a counterbalance to rising developing nations. The US should, in his opinion act as “promoter and guarantor of a greater and broader West”.

Enlarge the sphere of capitalist democratic nations

America should, according to Brezezinski, take a lead in enlarging the sphere of capitalist, democratic nations in North America and Europe by integrating Turkey and Russia. 

Avoid conflicts with China and Iran

Brezezinski believes it is crucial that America understands that it needs to avoid conflicts with China. “We have to accept their economic and political rise and that there is nothing the US can do to stop it”.

US role in Asia is, in his opinion, as a “balancer and conciliator between major powers in Asia”. America should learn from Britain in the 19th century when it stood aloof from conflicts in Europe and just tried to mediate. Instead of entering into a formal alliance against any major power in Asia i.e. China, Japan, India and South Korea, the US aim should be to mitigate conflict and promote cooperation and conciliation.

Western military action against Iran would in his opinion be seen as external intrusion and a cause for war in the Middle East and should hence be avoided.

Do you agree with Brzezinski that America will no longer be the one and only super power? Should the US take a lead in developing a greater and broader West by integrating Russia and Turkey? Should America mediate between Asian powers and avoid military action against Iran? Should the US listen to Turkey and Saudi Arabia when it comes to handling Syria? Or maybe you are of the opinion that he is wrong and America will remain the one and only super power? 

Video: ReutersTV – You Tube

32 responses

  1. Catarina, Rather than answer your questions, I’d like to share my thoughts on what resonated with me the most watching this video and it pertains to some of the statements about American voters in general. As someone who is very concerned about the future of the U.S. and someone who watches media other than mainstream TV it saddens me to see the perception of American voters wanting to be a super power. Most of would prefer that we address our own issues at home and take care of ourselves first. I agree with Brzezinski’s statements that “The American public is abysmally ignorant about the world” and that “encourages our politicians…” “either to pander to these sentiments or to share that ignorance in a fashion that is truly embarrassing”. Unfortunately, you won’t see this video in the U.S. on the majority of the television stations.
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  2. America should be the most prominent nation as we make half the world's stuff with 1/4 of the world's fuel and we are the only country that had a Constitution that protected the people from the government until 1913 when we took a turn to the left that has brought us to where we are today. We have to turn back to freedom, the rule of the people and kick out all the Communists like Brzenzinski. If you want to see the purest form of socialism on the planet go to any of our Indian reservations and see what it does to the people or come to The Two Minute Conservative at
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  3. I agree with Sherryl that most Americans would prefer that we look inward and address our many problems at home. I personally don't feel that most Americans have the need to dominate the world. To the contrary, in my point of view, it's time for our western allies in Europe to take on their fair share of protecting our democracies. Their military budgets, for example, are a fraction by percentage of what we spend in the U.S. For too long they have looked to us to be the world's policemen. Yet they have closer proximity to the hot spots in the Middle East than does the U.S. We can no longer take on this financial burden and continue to put our military in harm's way. When the U.N. sends a peace-keeping force to a country, most times it's Americans with a smattering of help from other nations.

    I think the real fear is that the U.S. will draw back from its involvement in world affairs. People in other countries may say they resent our power, but they also fear what might happen if we allow other countries to take a leading role.
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    • Good points Jeannette. Agree with you that the US can not take care of all problems in the world, which actually is what Zbig is saying. The world nowadays is too diversified to have one super power.

  4. I agree that the days of America's global supremacy are over (apart from anything else, it can no longer afford to play this role as it needs to reduce its over-spending). I also agree that global leadership will be more of a shared role going forward, and that it would be beneficial to integrate Turkey into Europe, although I cannot see Russia being integrated into Europe for the foreseeable future as it would want to dominate the bloc (Putin's not demonstrated a desire to share power).

    I can see no benefit at all in military conflict with Iran – it will simply provide even more excuse for radical action against the West; conversely, the West should disengage from the region completely as soon as possible.

  5. Zbig's views on the future role of America seem well placed. Throughout history, nations' influence rise and fall with changing times. The U.S., while it sees itself as being unique in terms of its national character and identity – the global tides of political, social, economic and environmental change impact it. The reality of its relatively waning economic hegemony argues that it take a more supportive role, shaping the policies and actions of others while protecting its self-interest in an enlightened manner.
    Even if its relative economic power wasn't changing – it would be well-served to act as though it were. After all, its military power, at least for the foreseeable future when used wisely, is the iron fist in the velvet glove. It can help others understand "What is the right thing to do?"

  6. I agree with him and I think or hope those in the US start to realise they do not have to be seen as the most powerful to still be important. Regarding Asia and perhaps like the middle east you can't be a mediator unless you understand the culture etc of those countries and I am not sure they fully do yet, although that role versus policeman will serve us all better in the future.
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  7. Rebecca, the US is still, in a way, the only superpower. But that's changing. The point you bring up if the American ego can handle playing a supporting role is interesting. Personally believe some Americans can and others cannot.

  8. Hi Catarina,

    In my lifetime, I never really thought of the US as the only superpower. Most of my life, the US has been the dominant of the three superpowers, partly because of economic reasons. As the economies of the world shift, the division of the power will probably shift. I think that when these shifts sort themselves out, none of the Big Three will be nearly as powerful as they once were.

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  9. The only power that did not want to be a super power is the USA. Maybe it is because the roots of most people go back to lands where conflicts has been the norm. As long as people want & are allowed to come into the USA, it will remain a super power

  10. Yes. I agree with Brzezinski views on US super power status; the US should not involve in anymore wars in the world, the US is already paying price for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which cost their exchequer for about 1.5 trillion dollors, and it is already suffering with debt burden. Rise and Fall of empire is part of nature and we should accept gracefully and reconcile with it.My sincere appeal to american thinkers and policy makers is that they should not either repeat or make some more mistakes. US should really only on multilateral and UN diplomacy to resolve the issues.

  11. Well… Catarina… I believe the US will do whatever it can to hang onto it's control. I can't see them taking this lightly. I feel there will be lots of trouble to come against anyone who tries to take the spot light. I have a feeling the future will be interesting to say the least.

    I'm not sure to be honest. I think it will remain a super power for a very long time and won't take it laying down if things shift.
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  12. I believe that being a leader is hard and as far as i am concern i think he will try hard to fix things and be a better leader.
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  13. The problem is that the US doesn't have a choice. Unfortunately, when other nations feel weakness, they try to take advantage. If the US will stop its external policies, other countries will fill the void, and will eventually throw the US of the power.

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  14. I agree with Brez in everything . Democracy and freedom values are in dangers . The global leadership have to be multilateral and as large as possible . Clashes will be inside many nations , between opposite values . Huntington was not wrong . Sadok

  15. Yes I do and with Sherryl, nothing in the US seems to galvanize people into action any more, there are no hot debates, no heckling, nothing like the debates in the UK, money talks in politics and the news coverage is extremely selective censoring so much of the stories in the world, I saw a video once that a cameraman shot whilst covering the Serbian/Croatian war, not a conflict, a war it was distressing to see, people shot at, the horrors of it all but considered too much for public view. Unless censorship is loosened in the US, the people will always have a narrow view point on the world. Sorry for venting but in short, Yes, I agree

  16. Claire, seems you Sherryl and Jeannette are all of the same opinion regarding the average American. The worst thing about it is how politicians are catering to their ignorance of what goes on in the world. Remember once when I worked in DC for LA Times for a couple of month. Thankfully I had CNN, if not television programs in DC was mainly about local, not even national, news and issues. No wonder some Americans have no idea what the world is like outside the United States, or even the city they live in.

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