By Frederick Kempe
Oct 26 2019
You could feel the unmistakable rumble of a geopolitical earthquake this week.
Though the tremors have long been evident, it’s growing clearer with each day that we’re experiencing a seismic shift that is threatening the political and economic world the United States did so much to create.
What’s also clear is that those countries challenging American leadership most – China most profoundly and Russia with increasing intensity – see new opportunities to accelerate their gains in the face of a polarized and distracted Washington through November 2020 elections – and beyond.
From Syria to Ukraine, and from Afghanistan to Africa, the tectonic plates are shifting in a manner that threatens not only the credibility and durability of US global leadership but also the democratic values, the Western institutions and the alliance structures that it has inspired for the past seventy years and since World War II.
You could feel the tremors in President Trump’s decision to advance troop withdrawal from Syria and his abandonment of Kurdish allies in Syria. That was followed by Russian, Turkish, Iranian and Syrian actions to translate US decisions into their gains. Moscow emerged as the fastest rising Mideast power broker.