The postwar era should have ended in 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell or when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. This is what Pat Buchanan campaigned on in the 1990s. Instead, it went into overdrive once it was liberated from all external constraints.
“Thirty years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the end of the Cold War. Where there had been two superpowers locked in a dangerous decades-long post-World War II rivalry, only one remained. A global order commonly but misleadingly referred to as bipolar gave way to a new era even more misleadingly referred to as unipolar.
The onset of this unipolar order induced in Washington a mood of sheer giddiness. Leading members of the foreign policy establishment persuaded themselves that a period of unprecedented promise now beckoned, with not only the United States but the world at large sure to benefit. The way ahead seemed clear. All that was needed to ensure the fulfillment of these happy expectations was for America to demonstrate the requisite level of leadership.
After all, leadership had enabled the United States to prevail in the Cold War. Through more of the same, the U.S. would now reap the benefits of victory for itself and for others. After all, who was there to say nay? Who would dare challenge the aims and aspirations of the world’s “indispensable nation”? …
As for what requisite American leadership meant, the answer was more of the same: The United States should perpetuate the commitments, priorities, habits and especially the military posture that had evolved since 1945. The fundamentals of U.S. national security policy — our role as global policeman — would remain unchanged …”
It is going to end in a different way now.
China will surpass the West in the 2020s and 2030s while it implodes due to smoldering resentment and internal divisions over decades of multiculturalism and mass immigration. The postwar era will be bookended by something truly awful and wrenching like the sudden collapse of colonialism in Africa rather than a ticker tape victory parade.