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The United States, the only ‘superpower’ left in the world following the end of the Soviet Union, has used the pretext of the ‘war on terrorism’ to impose a unipolar arrangement. It could be argued, however, that the American powerhouse achieved its moment of greatest splendour some time earlier. Frankel feels that the idea of the incipient decline of the United States of America – albeit not necessarily bound to happen – is conceivable. The twentieth century saw the collapse of other great powers: first of four empires, then of the European colonial empires, ultimately of the Soviet Union. And the United States has already passed through some of the stages on the road to possible decadence. In the transition from his first administration to his second, George W. Bush has sent out extremely ambiguous signals: the ones that conjure up new conflicts are relatively clear, whereas those that, according to the American media, ought to prelude to a US withdrawal are much fuzzier.