Superpower – Three Choices for America’s Role In The World
By Ian Bremmer
Portfolio/Penguin – £14.99

The crux, if not the most jarring component of Ian Bremmer’s geopolitical dissertation, Superpower – Three Choices for America’s Role In The World, rears its repetitive, somewhat convoluted head throughout much of the fourth chapter.

Entitled ‘Moneyball America – To Protect and Promote American Value,’ the author appears to inadvertently back himself into an undeniable corner of self-inflicted stasis by professing one thing, yet advocating another. With regards Saudi Arabia and Iran for instance, he writes: ”Building mutually profitable commercial and investment relationships with both of these countries will give Iranians the chance for prosperity they want, make it more difficult for their government to isolate them from the rest of the world, and give the Saudis the confidence they need to avoid a conflict with Iran that could ignite the entire Middle East.”

Well unless Bremmer has been living in isolation with a platoon of pygmies for the last two years, he may have noticed that the Middle East has already ignited. If not, then how many more harrowing deaths and futile beheadings amid the abattoirs of ISIS warped sense of humanity is it going to take, for Bremmer to ascertain that acute ignition has already taken place? And even if Saudi Arabia’s utter disregard for human rights is deplorable – a nation with whom both the U.S. and the UK readily do blood splattered business – it, along with Iran, really isn’t the only nation state in the region worth monitoring. Surely Syria has long since surpassed even its own record of sublime human cruelty?

But returning to ‘Moneyball America,’ Bremmer continues:”[…] America should help bolster the security of Israel, the only reliable U.S. ally in the region, but Washington need not back every Israeli action against Palestinians. The Israelis have every right to kill those who threaten their citizens, but Israel’s willingness to inflict mass casualties on Palestinian civilians does not serve U.S. Interests. Americans need a stable balance of power in the Middle East, and only America can support one.”

Can it?
Can only America support a stable balance of power in the Middle East?
How about the aforementioned two nations which Bremmer (rather confusingly) writes about, whom so desperately need to strike a balance of mutual understanding and dialogue: Saudi Arabia and Iran?

Or have I missed something here?

As for ”Israel’s willingness to inflict mass casualties on Palestinian civilians does not serve U.S interests;” why(?) why(?) why(?) is U.S. interests, always, always, always; of such ultimate, paramount importance?

I’m fully aware of the second part of the book’s title (Three Choices for America’s Role In The World), but the varied discrepancies throughout this particular chapter (if not much of the book’s 204 pages as a whole), is tantamount to a staid, somewhat solipsistic, one-sided argument. An argument, which, coming from the author of The End Of The Free Market, is disappointing top say the least.

David Marx


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