Has the United States lost its role as world leader?

Barack Obama, United States No Longer World Leaders, Says Former Polish President

Barack Obama and the United States aren’t doing enough as world leaders, according to former President of Poland and Novel Peace Laureate Lech Walesa.

Walesa had scathing remarks for the United States, suggesting that Poland would make a better world leader if President Barack Obama doesn’t want to do it. Walesa had this to say, according to an AP report:

“The world is disorganized and the superpower is not taking the lead. I am displeased. The point is not in having the States fix problems for us or fight somewhere, no. The States should organize us, encourage us and offer programs, while we, the world, should do the rest. This kind of leadership is needed. I will say: Either you want to be a superpower and guide us, or you should give the superpower to Poland and we will know what to do with it. Amen.”

Walesa’s comments come in advance of a planned visit by President Barack Obama to Poland in June. According to a report in the Quincy Herald-Whig, President Obama is planning his visit to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Poland’s departure from communism and one-party rule. Former President Lech Walesa played the leading role in Poland’s transition from communist one-party rule towards democracy. The former Polish president has stated his intention to encourage Barack Obama to lead the United States into taking a more active role as the world leader.

Former President Walesa didn’t specify what steps the United States should take as the world leader or how Barack Obama should implement those steps. He didn’t even specify which problems he felt the United States should address as world leader. It’s possible he was referring to the chaotic situation that has continued to fester in Eastern Europe between the Russian Federation and her neighbors, the Ukraine – particularly the situation in Crimea – and Romania – where Russia has made military moves that are difficult not to interpret as provocative.

What do you think? Do you agree with Lech Walesa that the United States is no longer the world leader – and if so, is that President Barack Obama’s fault? What – if anything – do you think the United States should do to address the problems faced by Poland and other Eastern European nations in the wake of the overthrow of Ukraine’s government? Should the United States and Barack Obama be world leaders in dealing with the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin?