When, in January of 1974, Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho signed the Paris “Peace” Accords, I was a young professor on leave from Harvard Business School, working in Tehran at the newly formed Iran Center for Management Studies. Most of my American colleagues and friends were relieved—the war in Vietnam had torn American society apart and it had been clear for some time that, although a majority of Americans “supported” the war, there was not a majority in favor of the violence required to defeat North Vietnam militarily.
It’s interesting to me to see it from the perspective of competition. The Viet Cong was a fierce competitor not because of brute force but because it had persistence. It also had a very clear understanding of American vulnerabilities : Just as later in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Americans were not ready stay forever at a foreign land and sooner or later they will have to leave.
It is eshausting to maintain a world order. And that is true for whichever country on the top.
After that, the US elevated China to a superpower while Latin America lags support