Primacy or World Order: American Foreign Policy since the Cold War

Primacy or World Order: American Foreign Policy since the Cold War

Primacy or World Order: American Foreign Policy since the Cold War

Primacy or World Order: American Foreign Policy since the Cold War

Excerpt

Thirty years ago the United States emerged from the Second World War as the most powerful nation on earth. Its leaders had postponed the solution of the troublesome issues of world politics until after victory was achieved. The disintegration of the wartime alliance compelled the United States to play a major, steady, and absorbing role on a world stage which it had, in the past, either shunned or merely visited. For thirty years, America's involvement in world affairs has been profound and passionate, a source both of pride and of controversy at home, of relief and of revulsion abroad.

Just as the scarred and sobered America of the Bicentennial year was not the somewhat shrill and naïve America of 1946, the world outside is no more the simple world in which, it seemed, only two great antagonistic powers mattered. The purpose of this essay is to ask a series of questions: What have we learned, or rather what should we have learned from our experience? What kind of world are we facing today? What policy does it make sense for the United States to follow, and what are our assets and handicaps? In other words, where are we, and where should we go from here?

This is an essay, not a thorough analysis of the many complex issues our leaders must confront. It is the work of a citizen rather than of a scholar -- or rather, it is the effort of a professional student of international affairs to . . .

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