This Fourth of July marks the 247th Independence Day of the United States of America. The country has come a long way since then, creating a new quintessence of groundbreaking achievements and breakthroughs for civilisations and mankind that have marked an unprecedented leap of progress for humanity.
This has not been seen since the dawn of civilisations, being made more revolutionary considering the relatively young history of the country as compared to other civilisations. Washington has predominantly been the force of good and stability to the world, bringing much needed scientific and social leaps of faith that have transformed the lives of human beings and in bringing peace and stability to the global order. From paving the way towards ending diseases and producing life saving medicines to spearheading the next frontier of scientific leaps for mankind through space exploration and pushing the limits of physics, the US has been leading the world in humanistic and global progress rooted in the spirit of freedom and innovation.
With its unrivalled might in military and security assurances, Washington has also been a stabilising and assuring force of global peace and stability, underscored by its proven track record in both creating peace and maintaining it. Its track record and legacy of being a force of good to the world and in tackling the world’s most pressing challenges from poverty and climate change, are being easily drowned out by the prevailing voices of anti US sentiments.
Decades of liberating changes and impact of Washington’s record and efforts have been bypassed, for the one sided narrative on its perceived negative detriments to the world. This is made worse by the increasing global soft power sway to discredit the role, purpose and impact of the US leadership in steering humanity and the course of global peace and achievement. To be a global leader, a country will need to have the merits, conviction of purpose and moral obligations, and the trust to drive and sustain norms, order and stability.
The US remains the only power that has both the moral and hard power capacity and legitimacy that are proven to maintain and protect the hard fought normative global order that is pillared on a rules based system. Merit based capacity and proven credentials provide the justifications for leadership and roles in creating norms and sustaining them. America’s role in global peace and progress is not born out of a sinister plot to dominate the world or to be the de facto world’s policeman. It is out of sheer natural progression and obligation of being the world’s most powerful nation to serve and protect, and to carry out responsible commitment and contributions.
No other power has the capacity and willingness to be a responsible global player in ensuring collective prosperity. It remains a world player out of necessity and pressing contextual reality, being forced to intervene in the great wars by events and necessities where America’s role has helped to end both the great wars and defeating forces of imperialism and Nazism.
Washington continues to provide a meaningful and credible opposition to the looming threat of communism, being the beacon and bastion of freedom and democracy and upholding the pillars of human rights and dignity. In defeating communism, followed by subduing pockets of terrorism in the post Cold War era, the US faces its most challenging threat in the modern era with rising power of autocracy and the forces that are challenging the rules based order. From the Ukraine invasion to sustained violations of the agreed international law and rules in various regions in the world, the US is forced to innovate and to strengthen trust and partnerships in existing networks of allies and in forging new forces to defend the global system and rules based order that have been so hardly fought for and won at the expense of millions of lives and sacrifices by various countries throughout the process since the Great War
America remains an indispensable force of moral conviction in standing up to injustices, aggressions and unchecked autocratic forces that will upend decades of progress and agreed norms.
The US could have chosen not to be restrained by the conduct of justice, honor and mutual respect that it created for the global order, but could instead have expanded its unrivaled might at the end of World War II and the Cold War. It did not: Washington chose to remain on the moral high road. With all the power America has at its disposal for now and for decades to come, it could have been so easily tempted to use the power to its own interests and to create total one sided world order under Washington’s orbit. It did not. It could have used this unmatched and newfound power dominance to dictate the world order and to rule with undemocratic conquests.
Instead, a power sharing consensus approach was formed to collectively create and share the responsibility to chart a new system based on law and one that is powered by norms of democracy and freedom. This includes an open and merit based financial and socio economic progress framework based on responsible capitalism that has driven countless countries and people out of the poverty trap and remains the most central model that is driving global economic progress until today.
Millions of lives have been saved and many millions more benefitted, from ending the great wars and defeating forces of aggressions, to lives saved from critical funding and support for health and disasters. The long term impact of these momentous global and life changing events have often been overlooked and taken for granted, drowned by the overwhelming counter-narratives and propagandistic fatalist view espoused by anti US players. Peace and stability in the world order created by the Americans, with the core essences of promoting and upholding freedom and rule of law, provide the ultimate backbone of civilisational progress and peace. Billions of dollars and unquantifiable amount of resources and focus given in fighting diseases, providing life saving aids, ending conflicts and creating new frontiers and breakthroughs in next level scientific and technological achievements, gave new hopes and changed lives of countless people across regions, countries, creed and religions.
These range from vaccine creation in fighting diseases including Covid and future cancer variations, to financial aid and support for governments in fighting for the values of freedom, democracy, gender equality, human rights and climate impact, among many others. More often than not, the US receives the backfiring fallout from these pursuits of noble values and civilisational progress on these parameters, as most nations prefer the easier way out of developmental approaches that favour easy and fast returns that can secure greater power concentration and regime survival.
They are thus more inclined to favour the easier option of no strings attached overtures and assurances of support from other powers that do not project these values as part of the moral high ground requirements. Billions of dollars have been spent on these values and implementation of these indicators, but the US has instead been the victim of its own values of promoting these causes in receiving the pushback and trapped in its moral responsibility of transparency and not resorting to other tactics as employed by other powers.
With great power, comes greater responsibility. Not all would have taken up the thankless role of executing these obligations. As the most powerful nation, America remains the only power able to provide security assurances and capacities to states facing threats, and the only power proven to restore order and democracies, from saving lives from brutal dictatorships to promoting good governance and democracy.
Decades of peace, stability and progress are being threatened by rising revisionist powers seeking to capitalise on their perceived victim cards. They do so with increasingly adaptive propaganda and disinformation campaigns in capturing the attention of younger generations.
The long peace that is allowed through America and other states who share the common yearning for values of freedom and democracy and rules-based engagement has been taken for granted.
America’s steadfast defence and protection of this system since the end of the Second World War has now been framed as unnecessary and futile, where appreciation to our current system that is guided by rules has been fast dwindling. It has created complacency around the world, and it has been strategically capitalized on by regimes that aim to capture power in the international order, pouncing on the dwindling resonance and ideals of the rules-based order that have guarded progress up to this point.
Younger people have little to no historical resonance or affiliation with past conflicts and do not relate to the relatively long peace that lasted for decades. In an ideal world, democracy should be the glue that binds us all together. Democratic nations are more likely to secure peace, prevent aggression, expand market access, promote economic development, uphold human rights, and protect global norms in the environment, health, and shared challenges.
The United States remains the only power that has both the moral and hard power capacity to carry out the obligations and duties of protecting and promoting human rights.
In its efforts to advance universal human rights, the U.S. has a range of tools at its disposal. Economic sanctions can be both a deterrence and soft power tool to try and coerce states to protect the human rights of their citizens.
Despite this, America remains unyielding in its purpose and commitment to upholding and protecting universal human rights values.
A high bar is set in trade and economic policies to ensure standards are adhered to, from labour standards to human rights adherence as part of the broader global policies and investment criteria. Strict indicators on environmental impact and spillover effects to the local community are considered, with the drive to enhance collective progress.
Human dignity is reimagined, with people given the liberty to select their own governments and to determine their security options. Differences in opinions and orientations of various kinds are accepted and welcomed, not brutalised and cracked down. Human beings are given full liberty to dictate and determine their path of progress and given the support to achieve their highest potential without the prying eyes and grip of the government. An open and merit based recognition of talent and patent protection, among others, appreciate and celebrate diversity and inclusivity where these rights are the symbol of pride that make America the centre of global talents and dreams.
Leadership policies and systems of governance are moulded based on the sanctity of government of, by and for the people, where instead of fearing the potential and voices of its own people, their credentials are cherished and given the space to blossom. Idealism and generation of new progressive ideas, values and inventions are made possible in a free and open systemic model.
Few would have dared to imagine the different outcome for the world should the US remain in its own periphery of obligations, shunning its roles at the global level and remaining isolated. The current international order of rules-based stability and progressive economic progress would not have been created, and we might still be suffering under the forces of imperialism and aggressions.
Mistakes were made, but the spirit of self-correction and self-realisation and freedom made it possible to recalibrate and to seek the best path forward.
The need for moral conviction and value-driven drive in leading the world in the recovery journey and standing up for global peace and collaboration, cements the importance of America’s role in continuing to maintain and shape the current order of freedom, peace, justice and respect of human rights.
America’s unyielding conviction in upholding the universal emblems of democracy, freedom, social justice, free and open economy and equitable prosperity will serve as the principal support in maintaining a free, fair and open trade and economic exchange.
America remains our single best hope in leading the future and progress of the world and civilisations, while continuing to help others along the process in an open,sincere and transparent way. Washington is our last hope in standing up to rising autocratic threats which will undermine the international order and threaten the long-held stability and peace.