Vostok 2018 Russian and Chinese troops

The Open World

April 16, 2019
Mira Rapp-Hooper and Rebecca Friedman Lissner
This is a summary of an article originally published by Foreign Affairs with the subheading, "What America Can Achieve After Trump."

The authors write that America's days as the uncontested hegemon of the liberal international order are over, no matter who occupies the White House. While the U.S. has had no major geopolitical rivals in the last thirty years, it now has two: Russia and China. China is the "only real peer competitor," as Russia's slow economic growth and reliance on oil will contribute to the decline of its international power in the next decade. However, "Russian President Vladimir Putin has played a bad hand well." While Moscow cannot challenge Washington's dominance, it can play a role as a spoiler. Additionally, Russia "still has formidable military capabilities—particularly its nuclear arsenal. ... Even as U.S. relations with China and Russia become more adversarial, however, it would be a mistake to allow them to become completely zero-sum. The world is not entering a new Cold War pitting liberal democracies against authoritarian regimes: China and Russia are revisionist participants within the existing international order, not enemies standing outside of it.”

Read the full article at Foreign Affairs.


Mira Rapp-Hooper

Mira Rapp-Hooper is a senior fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center and a senior research scholar at Yale Law School.


Rebecca Friedman Lissner

Rebecca Friedman Lissner is an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

Photo by Kremlin.ru shared under a CC-BY-4.0 license.