The America Issue

The America Issue

Just How Special Is America Hillary What Ails America

As the 2012 U.S. presidential election gets under way, FP’s America Issue looks at the state of the union, at home and abroad. In this special section, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton argues that the future of U.S. foreign policy points toward Asia, while FP columnist James Traub takes the measure of the Republican candidates vying for Barack Obama’s job. Meanwhile, six writers from around the globe put the world’s ailing superpower on the couch, telling FP what America gets wrong — from imperial hubris to energy gluttony — and Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum, and Steven M. Walt ponder the question that no presidential candidate can afford to ask: Just how special is America, anyway?


  • What Ails America?

    What Ails America: Imperial Hubris
    By Ian Buruma

  • The Presidency

    What Ails America: The Presidency
    By Sunil Khilnani

  • Gluttony

    What Ails America: Gluttony
    By Vaclav Smil

  • The Fed

    What Ails America: The Fed
    By Heleen Mees

  • The Dollar

    What Ails America: The Dollar
    By Fan Gang

  • Education

    What Ails America: Education
    By Mishaal Al Gergawi

  • America’s Pacific Century
    By Hillary Clinton

  • The Myth of American Exceptionalism
    By Stephen M. Walt

  • America Really Was That Great
    By Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum


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What are the GOP candidates saying about the world?


FP asked a panel of writers from around the world to tell us what the U.S. is doing wrong.