Cambodia, Pol Pot, and the United States: The Faustian Pact

Cambodia, Pol Pot, and the United States: The Faustian Pact

Cambodia, Pol Pot, and the United States: The Faustian Pact

Cambodia, Pol Pot, and the United States: The Faustian Pact

Synopsis

This provocative analysis of U.S. policy toward Cambodia illuminates issues that remain especially pertinent in the aftermath of the Cold War. Haas examines U.S. failures in Cambodia and traces them to a combination of an idealistic desire to remake the world in the American democratic image, a belief in U.S. omnipotence, and the realpolitik tradition of using power to advance U.S. interests whenever they seem to be threatened. Formulating a model of international relations based on democratic principles, Haas urges reflection on the lessons of Cambodia as policies are developed for the 1990s.

Excerpt

When I completed Genocide by Proxy: Cambodian Pawn on a Superpower Chessboard for Praeger, my focus was on the fate of the Cambodian people in a world that hitherto has treated small countries rather miserably. I was interested in demonstrating the absurdities that follow when several countries engage in realpolitik (geostrategic power politics).

In addresses and papers presented to audiences around the world, however, my main interest has been in the foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, some of my best papers were not incorporated into the book that I was writing.

This new book rectifies the situation by examining US foreign policy toward the Cambodian conflict. Some chapters are recast from Genocide by Proxy, but most are entirely new in this book.

Whereas Genocide by Proxy records historical fact, the aim of this book, an output from a US Institute of Peace grant, is more analytic. I use a technique known as options analysis, which is explained in Appendix A so that the more technical aspects of the book will not clutter the effort to show how US policymakers acted with certain objectives and preferences in mind.

Genocide by Proxy has only one or two uses of the term "Khmer Rouge," as I prefer there to identify more specifically the . . .

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