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The first decade of the 21st century could mark a double blow to US power. The Iraq conflict has illustrated the limits of US military power: it can win wars easily enough but it cannot win the peace without broad international co-operation. And if Niall Ferguson is right, US economic power may soon be on the slide too. Ferguson predicts that the dollar’s role as the world’s undisputed reserve currency – the symbol of that economic power – may be in the process of shifting to the euro. One of the shorter-term effects of such a shift would be to…

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