When superpowers collapse, it often happens in just a few years. Historian Alfred W. McCoy in 2010 says the US empire started unraveling when Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 and may effectively be over by 2025, bankrupted by military overreach and hubris. Me, I think it’s obvious the American Empire is crumbling and the smartest thing to do would be to accept that and plan for a new future. Unfortunately, that probably won’t happen until events force it. And that means internally things could get quite tumultuous.
MCcoy speculates on what might happen.
Washington’s global dominion finally ends, there will be painful daily reminders of what such a loss of power means for Americans in every walk of life. As a half-dozen European nations have discovered, imperial decline tends to have a remarkably demoralizing impact on a society, regularly bringing at least a generation of economic privation. As the economy cools, political temperatures rise, often sparking serious domestic unrest.
After years of swelling deficits fed by incessant warfare in distant lands, in 2020, as long expected, the U.S. dollar finally loses its special status as the world’s reserve currency. Suddenly, the cost of imports soars. Unable to pay for swelling deficits by selling now-devalued Treasury notes abroad, Washington is finally forced to slash its bloated military budget. Under pressure at home and abroad, Washington slowly pulls U.S. forces back from hundreds of overseas bases to a continental perimeter. By now, however, it is far too late.
Riding a political tide of disillusionment and despair, a far-right patriot captures the presidency with thundering rhetoric, demanding respect for American authority and threatening military retaliation or economic reprisal. The world pays next to no attention as the American Century ends in silence.