The end of bin Laden marked an opportunity for the US to rethink its policy priorities and consider whether it is wise to continue the 'war economy' based on the decade-old war on terrorism, which in essence has replaced the Cold War. Yet, the only discussion on the part of both Republicans and Democrats is how to 'win the war on terror', as though it is winnable like a conventional war.
With unemployment just under 8% and poverty at 14%, the UK is in serious economic trouble. Unlike the US that continues to play cowboy diplomacy, the UK does not have the luxury of placing all its cards on neo-Cold War imperialist policies under the guise of 'the war on terrorism'. While the US government and media are still discussing what hand-written memos bin Laden left behind, what TV programs he watched, and how great the Navy SEAL operations are worthy of perpetual praise, the UK is creating a parallel path to the 'dead past' because they know from experience that you can only beat a dead horse so much before the public begins to demand something more substantial that directly impacts their lives.
Are the measures that Hague announced on 11 May 2011 sufficient to help UK with its ailing economy? They are a start and a realization that the government did not really have a choice but to craft a foreign policy that reflects the new world order. What would be truly revolutionary is an announcement that the UK completely abandons all foreign military interventions that are only bound to cost more than yield any benefits, cut defense by 50% and raise funding for education, health, environment, research and development. Wishful thinking, one may argue. However, upon closer examination this is the future that is waiting for the Brits, the Europeans, and the Americans to embrace. The alternative is more rapid decline of the West and rise of Asia.