The next president of the United States will inherit a world that is significantly more chaotic and insecure than at any point in recent history. The primary cause of the global disorder is the lack of American leadership at home and abroad.
For more than six decades, the world has enjoyed relative peace and prosperity thanks to the Pax Americana, a global network of military alliances led by the United States. Since the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States, with a preponderance of economic and military power, served as a global policeman to guarantee world order. The Pax Americana successfully prevented nuclear war, and kept open the global sea lines of communication, the primary maritime passageways used for world trade.
The Pax Americana is now disintegrating, and with nothing to replace it, chaos is ensuing in all corners of the world. Indeed, a series of fateful decisions over the past eight years to reduce American military influence abroad has created numerous geopolitical power vacuums that are being filled by countries and ideologies that are innately hostile to US interests and values.
China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and radical Islam — among many others — have all been emboldened to challenge the United States and its allies with impunity. Instability is everywhere, and so is the growing threat of war.
Feckless American policies have encouraged China to challenge the United States and its allies in unprecedented ways in Asia, a region whose stability is crucial to world trade. Russia has become increasingly antagonistic toward the West and is preparing its citizens for nuclear war. American missteps have also allowed Russia to become the dominant geopolitical actor in the Middle East, a major global source of fossil fuels, the foundation of all modern economies.
Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and a threshold nuclear weapons state, has emerged as a regional hegemon that poses an existential threat to Israel. North Korea, which continues to develop nuclear weapons and inter-continental ballistic missiles, has warned of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the United States. Meanwhile, radical Islam is proliferating across the globe at breakneck pace and jihadi terrorism is now a fact of life everywhere.
None of the candidates for president of the United States have offered substantive responses to the many foreign policy challenges facing our nation and the world today. This raises the question: How can voters gauge a candidate’s likely approach to foreign policymaking?
The answer lies in the question of where one stands on the worldview debate over Americanism versus globalism. Americanism holds that the United States is a sovereign nation, governed by the American people, who control their own affairs, according to the U.S. Constitution. It emphasizes the importance of national sovereignty, national boundaries and the protection of national interests.
By contrast, globalism is a secular humanistic ideology that seeks to limit national sovereignty in favor of open borders and the promotion of “progressive” global values and standards. The ultimate objective of globalism is to establish a system of global government.
The globalist program has been significantly advanced by U.S. President Barack Obama, who recently signed the United Nations 2030 Agenda, a 15-year-plan which has been described as “a roadmap to global socialism.”
Much of the geopolitical chaos in the world today is due, in large measure, to the Obama administration’s relentless pursuit of globalism at the expense of American sovereignty and protecting the national interest at home and abroad.
The 2016 presidential election may be one of the most consequential in American history. This is because the presidential candidates offer a clear choice between two competing visions of global order: Americanism or globalism. America has reached a fork in the road with huge implications for the future direction of the country and the world.
[Soeren Kern](http://www.soerenkern.com/) is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the New York-based [Gatestone Institute](http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/). He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on [Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/Soeren.Kern) and on [Twitter](http://twitter.com/SoerenKern).