RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 40ISSUE 10members only

Regaining the Initiative: Can the US Lead Again?


Restoring US leadership in global affairs will require a number of strategic shifts to change the trajectory set by the Trump administration. These substantial choices have to be made quickly by the new Biden team, which faces daunting domestic and political obstacles to its more internationalist approach.

Today, many analysts see an America in relative decline. The study of the rise and fall of great powers goes back to Edward Gibbon’s classical study of the Roman Empire. A few decades ago, in his The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, Paul Kennedy emphasised the importance of economic strength as the foundation of great powers. The analysis of rising and declining great powers was renewed by Graham Allison, in his much debated Thucydides Trap. Other scholars including Joseph Nye

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WRITTEN BY

Dr Frank Hoffman

Senior Associate Fellow

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