Edward Luttwak in Prospect magazine:
"There is a longing in some quarters to yoke together Bush's perceived mismanagement of America's foreign policy with the diminishment of US power itself. More charitably, one might suggest that it shows a confusion between absolute and relative change. The economies of China and now India have been growing rapidly ever since their governments gave up self-destructive policies, and Brazil and many smaller countries from Israel to Singapore are doing the same. This has diminished the relative wealth of the US and Europe, while at the same time greatly enriching them. It is, after all, enriching to have new markets that import American and German technology and European luxuries, and in a different way it is enriching just to know that hundreds of millions have escaped utter misery and filth to move up into more decent lives, or even affluence. So the relative statistical decline of US and European income has no negative substantive meaning—unless it were true that today's economic capacity will become tomorrow's military capability aimed at the US, if not Europe. Implicit in this is an absurd assumption: that China, India and Brazil and the rest of the fast-growers will form a global alliance to confront the US and Europe—presumably encouraged by the blunders and bullying of Bush. Once again, wish-fulfilment. The opposite is far more likely: China has been the ally of the US over decades, and its enemy only between 1950 and 1953; India and the US had their moment of tension in 1971 during the Indo-Pakistan war, but have been slowly converging for two decades. The idea that China is another Wilhelmine Germany, just waiting to convert its new industrial wealth into military power, would make perfect sense if the Chinese were Prussians, supremely dedicated to the service of the state, and personally eager for the opportunity to send their brave sons to war. That describes everything that the Chinese are not, and have never been. The Chinese empire was aggressive and expansionist under the Yuan dynasty and again under the Qing. But one dynasty was established by horseriding Mongols, the other by horseriding Manchus, both the products of foreign warrior cultures. The Han Chinese prefer other pursuits. Perhaps they will change, as cultures sometimes do. But if so, they will confront all the other newly rich allies of the US."