Barack Obama returns from G20
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Has the world order changed?

Have the events of September 2013 changed the way the world is run? For The Editors, a programme which sets out to ask challenging questions, BBC world affairs editor John Simpson decided to find out.

At the start of the month it seemed pretty certain that America would bomb the Assad regime in Syria as a punishment for using chemical weapons.

Then a number of wholly unexpected things happened. Britain's parliament voted not to join in a bombing campaign; President Obama decided he would have to put the issue to Congress before going ahead; and some clever diplomatic footwork by Russia resulted in an offer by Syria to destroy its chemical warfare arsenal.

The world looked like a distinctly different place by the end of the month. It was not simply that war had been averted, the United States seemed diminished, and its previously reliable ally, Britain, was shown to be irrelevant in an area of the world which it once dominated.

BBC News: The Editors features the BBC's on-air specialists asking questions which reveal deeper truths about their areas of expertise. Watch it on BBC One on Monday 30 Sept at 23.20 BST or catch it later on the BBC iPlayer or on BBC World News.

  • 30 Sep 2013
  • From the section World