With no nation or group of nation states capable or willing to assume the challenge of global leadership, it appears the world will continue to wobble woefully out of sync for the foreseeable future. The Europeans are haplessly and hopelessly winging it daily as they struggle to stay afloat on the backs of the Germans. The United States is dying of growing inequity in wealth distribution and sustained political paralysis, as it struggle to stay afloat on the back of its Federal Reserve.
While emerging nation states show tremendous promise if the right coalitions can be built and maintained, they are either not quite ready or are smartly wary of investing vast sums of treasure in defense. In order to run a world, one need be able to protect its interest against aggressive competitors. Note to China: As long as the West is a competitor, you can bet they'll be aggressive.
Going forward, the global experience will unlikely be hospitable to the sole superpower concept. Creative cooperatives among emerging nations will have the strongest chance in establishing fresh international priorities to address core issues plaguing the world. Population, natural resource and energy management all being at the heart of domestic and international conflicts are the challenges the West failed miserably under its governance.
As a collective, but primarily driven by US gunboat diplomacy, Western powers overextended themselves through overreaching and overreacting to non aggressive competition. Allowing corporate commerce to influence foreign policy at the expense of the individual nation state only compounded problems and accelerated the West's decline.
In the aftermath of its self inflicted demise, the West will struggle to find a respectable space to occupy on the world stage. Until they can evolve or adapt to new approaches in global management, the US and Western allies could prove to be dangerously disruptive.
Future and sustainable leadership will derive populace acceptance through grounding their global philosophies in universal egalitarian principals. Negotiating in good faith as opposed to relying upon positions strengthened by the power of force will inherently produce far more equitable, peaceful and lasting agreements.
Unfortunately, America missed a final opportunity to retain its position of "world leader". Pathetically, it only took a small contingent of tenaciously simpleminded, backward leaning, corrupt political hacks to tie the hands of its once globally appealing President. Although, one could also argue Barack Obama is partly responsible for his own reduction in world stature.
By failing to appreciate the depth of ill will coming from his domestic foes and an inexplicable willingness to compromise with foes whom have nothing but ill will to offer, he allowed their premeditated distractions to gain traction. After all, if one can't eradicate one's own home of a pack of rat bastards, it will be difficult to play Pide Piper for rest of the world.
In retrospect, boldly exposing the US Congress as merely paid flunkies for special interest, while consistently rolling out uncompromisingly principled initiatives structured to reinvest in "the individual" would have shown the world Barack Obama was in control. This dual track strategy had only one, but a very wide window of opportunity to engage. That strategy was not taken.
From day one, "the individual" was President Obama's mandate. The moment he walked through the doors of the White House, this uniquely positioned Commander-in-Chief was expected to remove Wall Street's stranglehold on the nation's economic fate, rebuild America's crumbling middle class and reignite positive relations with the international community.
Those were America's most and last optimistic expectations to date. Those expectations have yet to be met. Hence, the world is still waiting for someone or a cooperative of nation states to take the lead.