In 2018, Loss Of U.S. Influence Makes International Crisis More Likely

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"Weak institutions, they say, heighten unpredictability as they act as the guardrails for policy-making and the future."

An unpredictable president, the weakening of non-partisan institutions, and 'America First' policies are among the factors causing an increasingly downward trend of U.S. global influence, according to a new report.

“The decline of US influence in the world will accelerate in 2018,” reads the study released Tuesday by Eurasia Group, a consultancy that advises hedge funds and multinational corporations about how politics will impact business.

“With little sense of strategic direction from the Trump White House, U.S. global power, used too aggressively by George W. Bush, then too timidly by Barack Obama, is sputtering to a stall,” the report finds.

Eurasia Group’s President Ian Bremmer and Chairman Cliff Kupchan, authors of the report, say America's time as world leader has "eroded":

“We now see more clearly a world without leadership,” Bremmer and Kupchan note, pointing out that no other country or set of countries appears ready to step in and rebuild it. All this is “significantly increasing global risk,” they write.

“In the 20 years since we started Eurasia Group, the global environment has had its ups and downs. But if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis—the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown—it feels like 2018. Sorry.”

The report predicts a bleak future for both the United States and the world, noting that a U.S. fall from power will create a vacuum where conflict more easily flourishes, at home and abroad.

“Strong courts and media lessen dependence for stability on powerful (sometimes erratic) individuals,” Bremmer and Kupchan write. Without them, conflict “will become more frequent, decision-making degraded, and internal chaos common.”