From news article:
The rest of the world complains that American hegemony is reckless, arrogant, and insensitive. Just donâ€™t expect them to do anything about it. The worldâ€™s guilty secret is that it enjoys the security and stability the United States provides. The world wonâ€™t admit it, but they will miss the American empire when itâ€™s gone.
Everybody talks about the weather, Mark Twain once observed, but nobody does anything about it. The same is true of Americaâ€™s role in the world. The United States is the subject of endless commentary, most of it negative, some of it poisonously hostile. Statements by foreign leaders, street demonstrations in national capitals, and much-publicized opinion polls all seem to bespeak a worldwide conviction that the United States misuses its enormous power in ways that threaten the stability of the international system. That is hardly surprising. No one loves Goliath. What is surprising is the worldâ€™s failure to respond to the United States as it did to the Goliaths of the past.
Sovereign states as powerful as the United States, and as dangerous as its critics declare it to be, were historically subject to a check on their power. Other countries banded together to block them. Revolutionary and Napoleonic France in the late 18th and early 19th century, Germany during the two world wars, and the Soviet Union during the Cold War all inspired countervailing coalitions that ultimately defeated them. Yet no such anti-American alignment has formed or shows any sign of forming today. Widespread complaints about the United Statesâ€™ international role are met with an absence of concrete, effective measures to challenge, change, or restrict it.
The gap between what the world says about American power and what it fails to do about it is the single most striking feature of 21st-century international relations. The explanation for this gap is twofold. First, the charges most frequently leveled at America are false. The United States does not endanger other countries, nor does it invariably act without regard to the interests and wishes of others. Second, far from menacing the rest of the world, the United States plays a uniquely positive global role. The governments of most other countries understand that, although they have powerful reasons not to say so explicitly.