09/02/2011 04:38 pm ET Updated Nov 02, 2011

America’s Decade Of Disaster

On Sept. 10, 2001, the United States of America stood at the pinnacle of its power and prestige. Even Rome, in its heyday, did not have the economic and military dominance over rival nations that America possessed. “Nothing has ever existed like this disparity of power,” Paul Kennedy, the historian from Yale (who a decade before had predicted a declining United States) wrote around that time. “The Pax Britannica was run on the cheap. Britain’s army was much smaller than European armies, and even the Royal Navy was equal only to the next two navies—right now all the other navies in the world combined could not dent American maritime supremacy. Charlemagne’s empire was merely western European in its reach. The Roman Empire stretched farther afield, but there was another great empire in Persia, and a larger one in China. There is, therefore, no comparison.”

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