American Foreign Policy and the “Zeitenwende”

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American Foreign Policy and the “Zeitenwende”

“Great Power Competition” is an expression which for the past few decades had fallen out of wide use. Talk of “Great Powers” was reminiscent of 19th-century contests over territory and resources but not something suitable for the 21st-century conditions of technologically advanced societies and international law. In today’s anxious circumstances, it is necessary to look at the current state of international affairs as it is, not merely as we wish it to be. Strategic competition among contemporary states, large and small, has returned to the fore. This is not only because of changes in atmosphere or because of any specific single but because of a change in the underlying correlation for forces on a global level. This essay analyzes American foreign policy in terms of the turning point in events in Europe and suggests what can be expected from American foreign policy in the period ahead. The paper focuses on what European refer to as today’s Zeitenwende—“turning point”—in international affairs.

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