The U.S. Becomes Isolationist: What Happens?

Suppose the United States becomes isolationist; what changes would happen in the world?

My belief is not much.

What does everyone else see? Major wars in the Middle East? …

How “isolationist” are we talking? Do we break off all ties with the outside world and not only provide nothing, but get nothing?

Then the entire world economy nosedives into the core of the earth for ten years. Including the US. After the world recovers, the US is still a shit hole and can’t get back to it’s previous power base…probably ever.

Do you mean just, like, militarily? Where we don’t use our forces to back anything?
Not much would change. We can use the threat of violence quite effectively and still remain a global power. As for actual deployments, there might be other countries, like France, that wouldn’t hesitate to throw some troops to the grinder.

Economically we would still be fully engaged with the world.

I would suggest Japan as a model of what the U.S. would be doing.

Islamic extremists over-run the Pakistani government, fire nukes at Israel, Israel fires back, and the world melts.

The world becomes significantly more peaceful and probably more free without America stirring up wars, arming factions right and left, bombing random people and propping up dictators.

Asia would certainly be shaken up. Assuming all US forces are withdrawn from Japan and South Korea.

  • japan would drastically increase its spending on military , and develop nuclear weapons, in order to feel safe against China.
  • China would be more aggressive in its claims in the South China Sea and the spratleys, stealing territory from the Philippines Vietnam and Malaysia in order to claim the natural gas fields there.
  • china would be considerably more aggressive in reunification with Taiwan. Although they probably couldn’t succeed in a direct invasion they could blockade Taiwan or use other more forceful methods.
  • South Korea would develop nuclear weapons in order to defend against the north.

Eventually a new balance of power would develop with japan and Korea working together to limit china but probably with some small scale wars along the way.

Ok. Japan relies on the US to protect it’s trade, as does Europe. Who do we rely on if we pull out of the world and turn isolationist?

Not that this is even remotely possible, since we’d be violating all sorts of treaties if we really turned isolationist.

Only in your fantasy world. Even with the US fully engaged China is becoming more and more externally aggressive and testing the limits they can push. With the US out of the way they would fully assert their own power both regionally and globally. They are already butting heads with Japan over some ridiculous islands, are ever pushing on Taiwan, and are attempting to extend their sea limits well beyond international levels…and they are doing that today. And that’s just China…there are several other powers out there who would assert their power in more direct ways if the US was out of the way.

You seriously need to give up this ridiculous blind hatred of the US…it makes you completely irrational and is pretty tiresome, to be honest.


Probably a serious shake up world wide, a definite downturn in the world economy while a new balance is found. If the US was really serious about this and, more importantly if other countries really believed we were, then it would cause quite a shake up.

And you base that one…?

The US is still the primary power that keeps the world shipping lanes open. Most countries can protect shipping close to home, but there’s only a handful of countries that have the ability to deploy and maintain ocean-going assets over long distances, and of those, the US (by a long mile) has the most assets to deploy.

Yes but most merchant ships are not US flagged. Why would an isolationist US protect Panamanian flagged ships going from China to Europe ? Why would they keep 11 carrier groups?

Good for you! Now see if you can reason out what happens if the US suddenly stops protecting that Panamanian ship on its way from China to Europe. And if you get that, see if you can reason out what happens to international shipping generally if the US stops protecting non-US flagged ships.

Come on. I’m sure you can do it.

Absolutely nothing happens, most likely.

“protecting”? overseeing or governing, perhaps.

Yes, protecting. The US is heavily involved in keeping ocean traffic safe from pirates or other criminals, in rescue operations from accidents or natural disasters, and in dissuading hostile nations from interfering with international shipping.

You know, what Britain use to do before they said “Bugger that” and went to sleep.

Yes but you are fighting the hypothetical of the OP. We are assuming the US is stepping down as the worlds policeman that’s the point if the OP. So no they wouldn’t feel obliged to protect a Panamanian flagged ship going from china to Europe. If they do then that’s not an isolationist US.

Oh, seriously. :rolleyes: I’m not fighting the OP’s hypothetical. I am pointing out that international shipping will likely be disrupted if the US takes an isolationist stance.

Estonia & Latvia will be military annexed by Russia, while NATO stands idle by, & does nothing but stammer & write Putin nasty notes (which he will discard, unread).

Yes, but will Putin be wearing a shirt when he discards the letters?

And what about Lithuania? Why don’t they get to join the invasion party? Although, it seems to me that Putin has a bigger thorn in his side with Georgia, so Georgia might also find itself on the lunchables menu.

Ah yes, the empire as ‘world policeman’; protecting the staus quo it created, and generally saving the world from itself.

It’s cute you can hang on to the childhood indoctrination.

Oh, please. It’s a fact that, for better or for worse, the US currently handles the lion’s share of protection for international shipping, and that very few countries possess the logistic capability to deploy assets far overseas. Your ignorance of current events doesn’t constitute childhood indoctrination on my part.

It is cute that you think your ignorance constitutes anything meaningful.