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Press Release
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2011
Is the US a Super Power in Decline?

Media has been buzzing for months with stories about decline in the US economy with over 7 million unemployed at a time when not only Greece but Spain, Portugal & Italy in Europe seem in dire need of financial bailout. To have a serious, objective and dispassionate analysis and assessment of decline in the US the IAFA organized a panel discussion on: Is the US a Super Power in Decline? If so, it’s GlobalImpact? on Aug 30th at India International New Delhi at 18.00 hrs. While the former MOS (EA) & MP DrShashiTharoor presided, the Panel included Lord Meghnad Desai, Professor Emeritus LSE, Shri HK Dua, MP; Amb.KanwalSibal former Foreign Secretary, Dr Rajiv Kumar Secretary General FICCI; Prof Vijayalakshmi, Head American, Latin & Canadian Studies,JNU & Gautam Rana Counsellor (POL) at the US Embassy in New Delhi.

In his introductory remarks Amb.Surendra Kumar stressed that with her infrastructure still intact, cutting edge technology, innovative spirit, an environment which encouraged competition & excellence, under inspiring leadership and with imaginative and realistic policies, the US was likely to bounce back and remain the leading Super Power of the world for years to come.

FICCI SG Rajiv Kumar felt that speaking of US’s decline is premature; even if it were trueit will be relative and there wasn’t any clarity on what will replace her; may be for a time, world might be under the influence of the US & China and it would be more bound bythe rules than dominated by a single Power

According to Professor Vijayalakshmi, the US has an amazing ability to adapt to any situation which should not be underestimated. Referring to Prof. Joseph Nye’s idea of power diffusion and not only power transmission, she thought world might be in for a period of power diffusion.

GautamRana Political Counsellor, USEmbassy in India presented the US perspective and maintained that his country is still the superpower and quoted the ranking of US Universities and record of innovations. Strongly defendingthe policies of President Obama, Ranafelt that from the political, military, economic and cultural perspective the US was still leading the world.

GautamRana Political Counsellor, USEmbassy in India presented the US perspective and maintained that his country is still the superpower and quoted the ranking of US Universities and record of innovations. Strongly defendingthe policies of President Obama, Ranafelt that from the political, military, economic and cultural perspective the US was still leading the world.

Former Information Advisor to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, HKDua was of the opinion that the confidence of an average American has been shaken on account of economic down turn. He felt that the US ought to re-invent her value system and get over an apparent psychological setback.

Lord Meghnad Desai in his characteristic tongue in cheek manner said that decline is enjoyable and advisedAmericans to learn from their British friends who have not only coped with their country’s decline as a Super Power but have rather been enjoying thedeclined position! ‘”The Americans have been brought up to believe that they are special so they should realize that with the affluence of others, decline is still a relative term” he maintained. According to him, Undersaving was the main problem in the Western world compounded by their declining demographics. He agreed that the center of economic power was shifting to the East.

Dr. Tharoor referredto FareedZakaria’s Post-American World and felt that it wasn’t so much the fall of the West, as the rise of the rest. He added that the US has a great capacity for renewal and innovation; Steve Jobs and Bill Gates could only be American- the DNA of the US system is such- the American dream, the Obama story- it’s all still alive.

‘Dr. Tharoor maintained that the US can still feel its supreme self and remain a serious contender for the title of a superpower, with the highest spending on Defense in the world, and its soft power symbols being global icons but in a much more multipolar world.