The seductions of decline - by Mark Steyn

An excerpt:

American decline will not be like France’s or Austria’s. For one thing, we don’t appreciate how unusual the last transfer of power was. If you’re not quite sure when that took place, the British historian Andrew Roberts likes to pinpoint it to the middle of 1943: One month, the British had more men under arms than the Americans. The next month, the Americans had more men under arms than the British. The baton of global leadership had been passed. And, if it didn’t seem that way at the time, that’s because it was as near a seamless transition as could be devised – although it was hardly “devised” at all. Yet we live with the benefits of that transition to this day: To take a minor but not inconsequential example, one of the critical links in the Afghan campaign was the British Indian Ocean Territory. As its name would suggest, that’s a British dependency but it has a US military base – just one of many pinpricks on the map where the Royal Navy’s Pax Britannica evolved into Washington’s Pax Americana with nary a thought: From US naval bases in Bermuda to the ANZUS alliance Down Under to NORAD close to home, London’s military ties with its empire were assumed by the United States. Britain’s eclipse by its transatlantic progeny is one of the smoothest transfers of power in history – and unlikely to be repeated.

Read the rest. It's damned prescient!

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