Why the US “Rules-Based Order” Needs Rethinking

Over the past decade, the geopolitical landscape shifted beneath the feet of the United States. The end of the Cold War, the unipolar moment in which the US was the unquestioned hegemon of the world, is over. Thirty years later, that moment is a distant memory, as the dollar steadily declines as a share of global currency reserves, traditional US allies forge trade agreements with US adversaries, and a rising Global South seeks new rules for trade, development, and security.

To be sure, the bipartisan US political establishment aided and abetted the demise of the unipolar moment with reckless policies such as launching an unwinnable war in Afghanistan and an endless war in Iraq and engaging in irresponsible fiscal policies that have raised the US national debt by 520 percent since 2000, culminating with the 2008 financial crises. It is no wonder that now, as the US is intensely involved in fending off Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine alongside allies in Europe, middle powers such as Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, and Egypt collectively shrug.

Meanwhile, despite a US-led sanctions regime, countries like India and China continue to do business with Russia and refrain from reprimanding Moscow. Unfortunately, although not unexpectedly, many countries in the Global South believe it is the height of hypocrisy for the United States to criticize Russia for launching a reckless invasion when Washington has recently engaged in similar military adventurism.

Read the full piece in The Nation.