The main argument put forth by the two authors is that America’s decline has not started with Trump’s leadership but has been an ongoing situation. Indeed, America losing power has been a process of poor actions taken by leading teams. Although the decline of the US has been continuous since the 1980s, this time is different. The supporters of US hegemony in the world are still the ones behind the country’s resolution. Three forces supported the durability of hegemony in the US, including the defeat of communism, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and transnational activism, which promoted liberal values. America won control of international liberalism because the supporting teams accepted freedom.
Today, the dynamics which held to the hegemony of America have turned against it. A vicious cycle that erodes against the power of America has turned to disunite what it first reinforced. Other countries like China and Russia have grown strong, and their illiberalism and autocratic have made America a rival alongside the liberal global order. The illiberal and right-wing powers are growing stronger and outdoing the liberal order, which seemed so strong. According to Cooley and Nexon, the global leader in the US is not just retreating but unraveling. Indeed, the decline of American power is no longer cyclical but permanent.
After World War II and the Cold War, the US gained the hegemony due to many liberal supporters and formed a unipolar moment. Back then, America had power over all countries, both developed and developing. In the 1990s, the US military gave the country much power, but the country started to grow weak after 9/11. The US started to decrease the military funding, and the countries that relied on their military felt the inconvenience. Today, the US military that used to be in almost all countries is minimal. When the US defeated the Soviet Union, Russia and other autocratic countries decided to go against American liberalism. It is important to note that all countries used US-lend orders to control their people. However, when America started to lose the liberal powers and the unipolar powers, countries, including underdeveloped started to shed off US-lend powers.
The authors employ liberal theoretical perspectives to support their arguments. The first shows how liberalism won during World War II and Cold War. The US grew stronger because its supporters also supported liberalism. However, when these systems no longer supported liberalism, they brought autocrats and illiberal powers to fight liberals. The authors are effectively delivering their points home because they are providing empirical evidence for their arguments. For example, the authors provide that after defeating the Soviet Union, America had won the hegemony powers. However, Russia and other autocrats had to choose between following America and going against them. After choosing to ditch US power, Russia and China have grown stronger. Unlike today when governments receive support from countries like China, the US was the only source of support in the 1990s. Both developed and developing countries had to abide by American powers, or they would not have another support system.