Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

The USA is no longer the preeminent superpower?

13 Jun 2024

For many many decades, the USA has been seen as the world's preeminent superpower.

It led the way in the development of industrialisation, technology, weaponry and its economy was the powerhouse of the Western world. It set a standard that all other democracies aspired to match.

Is that still the case today?

Well it appears not.

The USA is a superpower in decline and it is rapidly being outclassed in a number of areas by other nations that have risen from poverty and obscurity to demonstrate their superiority.

If we look at technology it's clear that the USA is still a leader in some fields but has definitely fallen behind in others.

When it comes to semiconductors and state-of-the-art fabrication technology the USA has slid from top position. Who would have thought, at the end of WW2 that a tiny country called Taiwan would eclipse the USA in terms of its ability to create the devices that power most modern computers?

Then there's the 21st century version of the space race, where China is rapidly demonstrating its credentials as a credible force. Yes, US companies such as SpaceX are demonstrating prowess and have truly delivered re-usable tech for boosting satellites (and astronauts) into earth orbit -- but China is scoring an increasing number of "firsts" in terms of lunar exploration and are expecting to build manned moonbases within the next decade or so.

One of the fields that truly cemented the USA as a superpower and the world's most powerful economy was the car industry.

When Henry Ford slashed the cost of cars through the use of assembly-line processes and clever design, the US economy responded very positively. Some say that the 20th century US economy was built on the back of the automobile. Readily available, affordable transport gave a huge boost to businesses and significantly hiked the standard of living for most US citizens.

Although the USA lost its crown as the world's best auto-maker to Japan many decades ago, it has now been dealt an even bigger blow by China and its lead in the manufacture of EVs.

The USA is now scrambling to defeat the threat of cheap Chinese made EVs by introducing huge tariffs on such imports. This move, from a nation that was a champion of globalisation and free trade, is surely an admission of defeat.

Even in the theatre of war, the USA is being embarrassed by much smaller nations.

The latest "must have" weapon is the FPV drone and Ukraine has clearly demonstrated that it leads the world in the building and use of these craft. Their innovative approach to repurposing a harmless recreational toy so as to become one of the most effective and feared battlefield weapons shows just how out of touch the USA has become.

Yes, the USA has a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons but, because of their effectiveness, these are unlikely to actually be used in a conflict. From that perspective, they are totally outclassed by these new generations of cheap, disposable and highly effective drones made by a small former Soviet state.

Once again, the USA's response to dealing with the fact that almost everyone on the planet makes better drones than themselves is to regulate. The US government is, as I type, pushing legislation through The House to ban drones made by Chinese manufacturer DJI. This legislation is tacked onto the 2025 National Defense Authorisation Act and although it's touted as a "security" measure, the reality is that it is the only way that domestic drone companies can get any sales in the face of vastly superior Chinese products being sold at a fraction the price of US-made alternatives.

So the USA really does seem to be very much a superpower in decline.

No empire lasts forever (just ask the Romans) and so it seems that the USA has "past its best-by date" already.

My commentary today is not a criticism of Americans. I have a great many US citizens amongst my circle of friends and they are wonderful people. However, I fear that the rise and fall of nations is part of a natural cycle. The best thing the USA can do right now is take a good look at itself, play to its remaining strengths, try to remove corruption within the halls of administration and do its best to slow this decline.

Remember, the only constant in this world is change.

Carpe Diem folks!

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

Is digital ID too risky?
Around the world, governments are rolling out digital ID systems for their citizens...

Speed limiters coming to NZ soon?
I've already written columns on the strange paradox that sees us driving cars which are capable of more than twice the legal speed limit...

Arming the Karens
There is a real discussion going on in the drone community right now...

How far has the media fallen?
Sadly, I believe the mainstream media as reached a new low...

Oh no, not again
Eggs used to be a staple of the Kiwi diet...

The Taiwan kill switch
There have been some interesting articles published recently with details of exactly how Taiwan's TSMC would respond to an attack by China...

Not a light, a train!
Yesterday I wrote about how the news industry seems to have totally lost its way and is struggling to survive in the age of the internet and social media...

Breaking news: Times are changing
I was having a think the other day, about what I'd be doing right now if I wasn't already crazy-busy...

Houston, we have a problem
We all know that the space immediately around Earth is becoming increasingly filled with space junk...

The world is getting smaller
The internet has made the world a much smaller place...