14.05.2024 Author: Veniamin Popov

The U.S. deep crisis through the eyes of the RAND Corporation

the RAND Corporation

A series of reports by the RAND Corporation, America’s largest think tank, commissioned by the Pentagon, are expected to be released on 30 April.

An American newspaper obtained a copy of the document and gave a summary of its contents. The essence of the RAND Corporation study is that the US is approaching a decline from which few major powers have ever recovered.

The decline in US credibility is attributed to the problems at hand: ‘Their competitive position is under threat, both internally (in terms of slowing productivity growth, an aging population, a polarised political system and an increasingly corrupt information environment) and externally (in terms of a growing direct challenge from China and declining respect for US power from dozens of developing countries).

The study warns that this decline is “accelerating”. The RAND authors cite triggers that are all too familiar in 2024: “addiction to luxury and decadence, failure to keep pace with technological demands”, “ossified” bureaucracy, “loss of civic virtue, military overstretch, self-serving and warring elites, unsustainable environmental practices”.

The conclusion drawn by the authors of the aforementioned report is obvious: America is on a downward spiral that could prove fatal: if the US does not find new leaders and agree on solutions that work for everyone, it will fail.

This resonates strikingly with America’s woes, which have been described very recently by Russian political analysts, notably in New Eastern Outlook in the articles “The Ghost of Civil War in the U.S.” and “The U.S. is headed for even greater isolation in the world”, as well as a number of other similar pieces.

It is noteworthy that at the same time, the Washington Post published a major piece by Anne-Marie Slaughter, who worked as director of policy planning at the State Department and Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, which contains a harsh criticism of the Middle East policy of the US administration: the author demands that the Biden government do everything possible to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, not just protect the Israelis.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, she says, is acting to maintain his power by continuing and even expanding the war he has declared against Hamas but is waging against all Gazans. This policy dramatically weakens support for Israel in the United States and Europe, possibly for years to come, and returns it to pariah status throughout the Arab and Muslim world, endangering the lives of the 7 million Jews living in the territory.

The American media pay much attention to student unrest in support of Palestine – tents have been pitched on the campuses of already 50 universities in various regions of the United States, in addition, the problems of migrants on the southern border in the Texas area are widely discussed.

Newspapers loyal to the Democratic Party are advertising as a success of the US administration the allocation of $61bn in aid to Ukraine, although according to Bloomberg on 27 April “this new batch of weapons represents a stay of execution for Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his European allies, but is unlikely to turn the tide against numerically superior Russian forces”.

France’s Le Monde notes that the hypocrisy of Western policy is leading to a growing division among the publics of Western European states, “increasing tensions between the pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian camps”.

Today, it is safe to say that America is going through the most difficult period of its history – attempts to explain its miscalculations and mistakes by the actions of other powers (first Russia was accused of interfering in the internal affairs of the United States, now China) do not stand up to criticism: sober-minded Americans consider it simply a desire of the ruling circles to avoid responsibility.


Veniamin POPOV, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Candidate of Historical Sciences, especially for online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

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