Despite President Obama’s bold rhetoric against and aerial bombing of IS, US foreign policy from Syria to Ukraine appears rudderless. The American political class appears at an impasse. Recovery from the recession has been weak. China looks likely to take over from the US in GDP by the end of the decade. Is the US facing replacement as the world’s leading power? Or is the declinist view overly pessimistic? In this gripping debate produced by the New York Salon and filmed at the Battle of ideas panellists argue the case, providing us with great insights.