I think it is very serious because, as several American commentators have pointed out, it very often looks as though you’re left with a can-do economy, but a can’t-do politics given the importance of money in shaping candidatures and in making politics more extreme, whereas Americans in the past were exceptionally good at finding compromise and consensus across the aisle. And I don’t think that those things can be denounced as sort of lily-livered or an agenda for decline, because it’s the way you used to behave when you were more obviously the overwhelmingly potent force in the world.
The dilemma is this, that I don’t think the world can manage successfully without American leadership, but American leadership can’t on its own achieve what is necessary. America has to work with others. It’s much more difficult perhaps than it was in the past, but you’ve got to find ways in which you can make accommodations, for example, in order to deal with Iran and with China, above all. Russia I’m less concerned about. I think Russia just wants to make trouble wherever it can for the United States. It’s a rather tiresome international player.
But China, I think, and India really do matter, and I would like to see them brought much more into the diplomacy surrounding issues like Iran.