Get the Story Right: Time for Stories of Fading U.S. Interest to Fade
It gets tiresome hearing the constant assertions by reporters and analysts that U.S. influence in the Americas is ebbing. Not only are they wrong—let alone trite, by now—they miss the actual complexity (and yes, maturity) of U.S. diplomacy in the region today. Ironically, much of evidence cited for “declining U.S. power” is rooted in the success of our diplomacy and policies.
A recent example was a Reuters piece, Obama faces Latin America revolt over drugs, trade (November 9, 2012) that led with the claim “Washington’s ability to influence events in Latin America has arguably never been lower.”
The trope is the same, only the reason differs. The DEA gets booted from a country? The sidelining of a military training program with the United States for a program with the Chinese? The breathless conclusion is that U.S. influence is dangerously on the wane. Throw in a visit here or there by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or a summit of an acronym that doesn’t include the U.S., and it’s time to pull the fire alarm.
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