In his paper, Sullivan says that “the world is at a crossroads is true, but not in the way it is popularly understood.”
He states, “Peer competitors to the United States, such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC), talk about “changes not seen in a century” and describe this crossroad as an opportunity to change the nature of the international order. Their proposed order devolves power across multiple players and spheres of influence, with a new set of rules that enshrine power, rather than universal values, at the core of the system.
Sullivan argues that the world does sit at a crossroads, but one where the nature of power can be better understood in ways that strengthen the competitive position of the United States and western democracies.
“Much has been made of the rise of China, the return of Russia, and the potential for an alternative authoritarian model. These risks can be minimized, however, if the United States strategy recognizes and leans into the correct definition of the nature of power in the international system,” says Sullivan.
James Sullivan is a non-resident Visiting Scholar, Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies and Deputy Director, International Affairs Directorate of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not reflect those of DKI APCSS, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.”