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  The West isn't declining. Here are four world powers enjoying an astonishing renaissance.
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ContributorForwardista 
Last EditedForwardista  May 22, 2012 12:41pm
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CategoryAnalysis
News DateThursday, May 17, 2012 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionFriday's G-8 summit at Camp David may seem something of an oddity -- an archaic reminder of a time before the rise of the BRICs and the supposed decline of the Western powers. But the West is still very much alive and kicking -- and, driven by its most dynamic members, has a chance of remaining on the top of the heap for the foreseeable future.

he West is not in decline, at least not in its entirety. Rather, the financial crisis has created a two-speed West. Four large countries -- Germany, South Korea, Turkey, and the United States -- are actually increasing their international influence, while the others are stuck in a rut.

Ironically, America's obituary as a great power has repeatedly been written over the past three years even as it has grown stronger on multiple fronts. U.S. influence in Asia has risen at a rapid clip since 2008, driven largely by regional anxiety about Chinese assertiveness. The United States deepened its traditional alliances with Australia, Japan, and South Korea. It developed strategic partnerships, including with the Philippines, Vietnam, and others in ways that were previously unthinkable. Paradoxically, Chinese economic growth has weakened its own geopolitical position and benefited the United States. Such are the ways of world politics.
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