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America: a superpower no more

Decline is occurring more rapidly than we think. It's time to embrace a new agenda.

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Two American icons, General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway, lost their triple-A credit ratings. Then China, America's largest creditor, called for a new global currency to replace the dollar just weeks after it demanded Washington guarantee the safety of Beijing's nearly $1 trillion debt holdings. And that was just in March.

These events are the latest warnings that our world is changing far more rapidly and profoundly than we – or our politicians – will admit. America's own triple-A rating, its superpower status, is being downgraded as rapidly as its economy.

President Obama's recent acknowledgement that the US is not winning in Afghanistan is but the most obvious recognition of this jarring new reality. What was the president telling Americans? As Milton Bearden, a former top CIA analyst on Afghanistan, recently put it, "If you aren't winning, you're losing."

The global landscape is littered with evidence that America's superpower status is fraying.

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