Sanctions on Iran

Trump issues “hard-hitting” Iran sanctions

The evidence suggests the Trump administration casting the widest net in terms of foreign policy policing and influence ever, even more so than George W. Bush or Teddy Roosevelt. So many countries are caught in the web now: Mexico, Turkey, Venezuela, China, Syria, Iran, Russia, etc…all within 2 years. Either play ball or get hit with sanctions or tariffs. Securing the release of the pastor Andrew Brunson was a major win though, and evidence that economic intervention can lead to bloodless resolutions.

Some argue that America is analogous to Rome and cannot indefinitely extend such a wide swath of influence and power, but I disagree. The problem with these historical analogs is that there are subtle distinctions that can render them invalid or of poor predictive value. Although America is possibly the most extended it has ever been, there is no foreign power of comparable strength and ambition to keep America’s power in check or challenge it, as discussed in No coming collapse of America, and the difficulty of using history to predict the future:

Vox could be right and it would be remiss to completely discount that possibility, but I don’t see that happening. Although the Spanish Empire was once the most powerful in the world, it lost wars and influence to Great Britain, America, and France; for example, the Treaty of Paris of 1898. However, there are no comparable challengers to the US hegemony today, except perhaps China, but China and America are more interested in trading and appropriating each other’s cultures than conquering each other. America is an exceptionally good position in that all its 18-20th century rivals are not only much weaker, but have no ambition to change that.

The end the Cold War, almost three decades ago cemented America’s lone, unchallenged rule from the top.