When speaking about the world’s “superpowers”, the U.S. is one of the countries that first come to mind. The term can be defined as any country with such a high level of political, economic and military power that it is capable of convincing nations from all over the world into doing something that otherwise wouldn’t even be considered. That being said, it becomes clear that simply by defining the U.S. as a “superpower” we are acknowledging the fact that it has a significant influence on world politics.
There was a time when the title of the world’s most powerful nation belonged not to the U.S., but to Great Britain. That all changed during the course of the Second World War, after which the American influence significantly outweighed the British. It wasn’t long, however, before another “superpower” – the Soviet Union – emerged from the background and started competing for dominance in a political standoff that is now commonly referred to as the Cold War. For the past couple of decades, the U.S. has been the only country considered to be worthy of the title, but some analysts claim that, especially considering China’s rapidly increasing economic influence, it is likely that it will have to share it once again.
Considering the fact that the global economy is in a state of constant change, how is it that experts agree that the U.S. won’t lose its power any time soon? To answer this, three key elements to earning the title of “superpower” – political influence, economics and military – have to be addressed.
When it comes to political influence, the U.S. is and will remain ranked highest, mostly thanks to its high financial involvement in foreign affairs. It has been estimated that in 2013, the U.S. spent $32.7 billion on foreign aid, while Great Britain doled out only $19 billion.
In the field of economics, although it can’t be denied that there are countries experiencing impressive growth, the U.S. is still far ahead when it comes to GDP per capita. The fact that financial transactions made in dollars make up over 80% of all transactions serves as sufficient proof for the claim that the U.S. economy is still the bedrock of the global economy.
Last but not least, the U.S. has the strongest military presence of all the countries that are considered to be politically and economically powerful. Although each of these three elements by itself can’t account for such power, when combined, they make a country with an enormous influence on the rest of the world.