The Most Important Foreign Policy Decision in 2021
Last year I concluded that covid-19 was “unlikely to have a transformational effect on the distribution of power. At best, the pandemic mildly reifies existing trends. The one wild card is whether one of the great powers develops an easily reproducible vaccine or therapeutic drug far earlier than any other actor.” A half-year later, has this held up?
If one looks at the material foundations of power, the answer remains unchanged. When it comes to soft power, however, there is no escaping the fact that the United States has performed, at best, fair to middlin’ when compared to China. As David Wallace-Wells observed recently