Since George W. Bush and Barack Obama have taken office at the White House, over the years, the exceptionalist behavior of the United States towards the international systems in International Relations and to foreign world leaders have changed to a greater degree than previously thought. the theory of American exceptionalism is based on the idea that the United States views its nation as inherently different and apart from others nations around the world. For the most part it is viewed as individualistic, democratic, with liberal values, and a mostly laissez-faire economy, which are at the epitome of the U.S international message to the rest of the world. The hegemonic power of the United States as being the number one world leader both economically and militarily has been shifted to other emerging and redoubtable powers such as Russia and China.
Since President Obama took on the office at the White House in 2008, there have been some major concerns by thinkers and theorists in diplomacy and international relations that the power politics of the United States is declining rapidly. As a result of this unprecedented decline due to weaker foreign policies, military budget cuts, national defense system reductions, liberalization reforms, open-door policy on immigration, and the outsourcing of major U.S. companies shipped abroad are just a fraction of why the hegemonic power of the U.S. is losing both on its national sovereignty and legitimacy to the rest of the world. According to Rob de Wijk (2015) and his acclaimed book on “Power Politics”, the author explicitly examined the intricacy of the world order and its ideal of reshaping its system of influences away from the U.S leadership in the world. He noted, “Upcoming powers are demanding their place in the sun and are gaining more and more influences at the shaping of the world order, which is becoming less and less “Western” as a result.” (p. 9). More qualified foreign policy makers are in a state of urgency in order to engage in more bilateral relations and power politics favoring these two emerging powers. The multi-polarization of world leaders is being restricted to bi-polarization instead.
China and Russia would ultimately regain their powerful statures on the international stage. We have seen evidence of the Russia’s aggressive annexation of Ukraine, Crimea, and in the Baltic Seas. China’s recent building up of the controversial South China Sea is an example of geopolitical moves and strategic advantages against the United States’s military bases of imperialistic nature, control, and ascendancy for militaristic dominance. The American exceptionalism vision continues to steer China and Russia away from the U.S. alliances with lesser visible strength on world partnerships. Wijk has written, “Researchers such as Kenneth Waltz and Christopher Layne argued that it was only a matter of time. Russia’s attempt to recover elements of the old Soviet Union and China’s new assertiveness could appear to support this proposition.” (p. 93). Since Putin came to power in 1999, his grandiose vision of reclaiming what was lost after the fall of communism in 1991 and along with the old Soviet bloc would indeed be rightfully reconstituted.
Wijk has been writing on a very concerning issue of the Western influence being depolarized from China and Russia and he noted, “Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini call this a ‘G-zero world’. The term refers to declining Western power and the development of fragmented system of new centres of power.” (p. 184). Russia has been effectively steering away from the West and more focused on creating its own political potent powerhouse even though the European sanctions and the oil prices have been affecting the Russian economy and its population. Even though the rubble has fallen, Vladimir Putin keeps on making new world leaders’ partnerships to secure its place on the international stage and cautiously fiddle with the West without angering the United States too much in its wake. China has been making deals with Russia on security objectives, foreign policy, arms dealing, and a host of others promising agreements.
From the same author, “According to this concept, developed by the Kremlin ideologue Vladislov Surkov, Russia is developing its own form of democracy, free from foreign influence and normative pressure.” (p. 182). We have been noticing that this new form of democratic’s moderate aggressiveness came to light in major news media when Russia came to the rescue of the dictator, Bashar-al Assad. The civil war in Syria since 2011 has been on the forefront of Putin’s goals to reassert Russia’s military might, leadership, and image as a world leader to be reckoned with. Since Putin intervened in Syria on September 31st, 2015, his objectives have been to deter the United States from intervening into the civil war striking Syria. Ever since Obama’s investiture at the White House, world leaders have seen Obama as a weaker player in foreign policy which has in turn opened the door for China and Russia to lead the way in reshaping the paradigm of world politics, world order, and their own economic dynamic to their own advantages.
According to (WPR) World Politics Review, the author, Richard Witz, has pointed out the dangerously political rapprochement of Russia and China. He has written, “While Moscow’s relations with other strategically important countries are troubled, there have been remarkable strengthening of Russia and Chinese security, economic and ideological ties since Putin took charge of the Kremlin in 1999.” (WPR, 21 June 2016).