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Japan, Turkey, and Poland will each be facing a United States even more confident than it was after the second fall of the Soviet Union.

Source: The Next 100 Years by George Friedman

I used to see a definite article - "the" with "United States". Even more peculiar it makes that fact that "States" is a plural noun and plural nouns don't take an "a" article.

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    United States isn't plural, it is a proper noun describing one country. It's like the Marshal Islands or the Netherlands - it may end in an 's' but it's sill just one country. – ColleenV parted ways Jul 29 '16 at 16:56
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    Related: a humanity that has come of age – CowperKettle Jul 29 '16 at 17:02
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    Just replace "United States" with the word country; that's how it's intended to be read – Japan, Turkey, and Poland will each be facing a country even more confident than it was before. It's an interesting construct, but you do see it from time to time. – J.R. Jul 29 '16 at 17:09
  • OK. Let's assume that a United States is one of a set of versions of possible future [the] US. Will it be a mistake to use an article - "the" in this context ? – Dirty Hippy Jul 29 '16 at 17:22
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The source is correct, even though I could see how it would seem strange.

Think about it this way: When mentioning the U.S, the source is talking about a specific "version" of the country: A "version" that is more confident than your every-day United States.

Japan, Turkey, and Poland will each be facing a version of the United States even more confident than it was...

It's not super common, but you will see that technique used every once in a while.

Also, as Colleen mentioned, "United States" is not plural because it is the name of a single country.

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