By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
Hundreds of you have submitted very thoughtful questions for me through Facebook, Twitter and my blog. Over the next few days, I am going to post my text and video responses to some of the most common questions and a few others that caught my eye.
How do we make sure that America continues to thrive in a post-American world?
It strikes me there are two ways:
First, the United States has to fix its economy by revitalizing its dynamic and productive sectors. This does not mean using credit bubbles and excess consumption. Instead, we need to revive American manufacturing, build on some of our strengths and invest in education so that middle-class Americans with moderate skills can upgrade their skills to compete in the world market.
By investing in American growth and American economic vitality, we will be able to take advantage of what I call "the rise of the rest" - we will be able to take take advantage of the fact that we're living in a more dynamic, larger global economy. We've done this before when Europe rose after World War II. The rise of France and Germany in the 1950s was actually something that helped American growth.
The second piece is that the U.S. needs to adjust geopolitically. As the rest of the world rises, the United States has to transition from a dominant, hegemonic role to one in which the U.S. is a catalyst, a coordinator and an agenda setter.
I have to say that on this front I give the Obama administration pretty good marks. They have been able to recognize this new world and adjust to it. If you look at the Libyan mission, what was sometimes called "leading from behind", I would call, actually, just "leading very smartly in a new world". America forced the Europeans to take responsibility and insisted that the Arab League endorse the intervention.
This is a template for America's geopolitical role in a new world. We work with regional players; we burden share; we don't bear all the costs; and in this way the U.S. stays relevant - indeed, pivotal - in this post-American world.