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Has America’s Political Dysfunction Undermined Its Position as the World’s Remaining Superpower?

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Has America’s Political Dysfunction Undermined Its Position as the World’s Remaining Superpower?

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When Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating, it blamed Washington’s political discord and dysfunction for many of America’s current woes – and it is not alone. Following the debt limit debate and the stock market plunge, Americans are questioning the strength of leadership at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and the ability of the White House and Congress to put partisanship aside for the overall good of the country. China, Russia, and even a number of U.S. allies are questioning whether the United States is a superpower in decline. Has U.S. domestic political and economic dysfunction damaged America’s standing abroad? Is the U.S. a fading superpower?

On August 16, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted a panel discussion examining the impact of the U.S. domestic political discord on America’s foreign policy strength and its overall standing abroad. Panelists included Brookings Senior Fellows Robert Kagan, Fiona Hill, Thomas Mann, Kenneth Lieberthal and Mauricio Cárdenas. Martin Indyk, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, moderated the discussion.

After the program, the panelists took audience questions.

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