A couple weeks ago, PINR put out an interesting article titled "The Coming World Realignment." The article begins with the premise that the U.S. attempt to establish world hegemony isn't practical and that the world system will devolve into a multi-polar arrangement. Some of the more interesting excerpts are quoted below in blue (emphasis added):
With the limits of its former military-based geostrategy revealed, Washington has emerged from an ensuing policy void and has begun to craft . . . a classic balancing strategy dependent upon partnering with regional allies against perceived or potential adversaries. The U.S. remains a genuine world power with global reach, but Washington no longer nurses the illusion that it can act alone, which accounts for its turn towards multilateral diplomacy in dealing with nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Japan, and its reluctance to exert decisive pressure against Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Major aims of Washington's current policy include partnering with Tokyo to contain Beijing, restoring its influence in South America in the face of resistance from Brasilia, stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan, encouraging further pro-Western movements in Russia's near abroad, and leaguing with the peripheral states in the E.U. to balance the Franco-German combine. None of those goals depends for its realization on further military interventions.
Having based its geostrategy on economic and cultural power, rather than military might, the E.U. has at least temporarily reached its limits of integration and, perhaps, expansion towards the east with the failure of referenda on the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands, and the cancellation of a referendum in Great Britain. The complex issues behind the constitution's rejection that primarily concern the future of the Western European welfare state demand that the European political class rethink its geostrategy of making the E.U. a power bloc balancing the U.S. and gaining greater leverage in negotiating with China. Adjustment to the E.U.'s loss of momentum towards consolidation and expansion does not spell its decline as a power center, but it does inhibit any bold and potentially destabilizing initiatives, handing an advantage to Washington and taking some pressure off Moscow.
The article continues with some more tentative long-term projections with interesting things to say about Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, and other countries with expanding populations and a growing need for resources.