A lively debate was recently resumed on the purported decline of the United States. Those who argue that the American hegemony won’t last for long base their claim on economic consid-erations. In military terms, however, evidence suggest different conclusions: compared to other major powers, the US has more and better capabilities – enough to protract the unipolar moment for a long time.
To support this argument the paper aims to make an assessment of the capabilities gap between the US and its potential competitors (like China) and explain its causes. Quantitative indica-tors and an overview of the American defence policy suggest that the Ameri-can superiority is there to stay, and will hardly be affected by the deep cuts recently announced by the Pentagon. Accordingly, even if its economic base is eroding, no competitor is likely to challenge the US for years to come.