Magazine article Newsweek International

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Magazine article Newsweek International

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Article excerpt

When Robert Kagan first published his essay "Power and Weakness" last year in the small U.S. journal Policy Review, he stunned readers on both sides of the Atlantic with his assertion that America and Europe no longer share a world view. By now, that assessment--given a slightly more upbeat cast in "Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order" (103 pages. Knopf)--seems like common knowledge. But that doesn't make this slim volume any less compelling; in clear, reasoned prose, Kagan outlines what he sees as the cause of that divide--a power imbalance. Americans favor force because they are mighty, while Europeans prefer diplomacy because they aren't.

Both sides are happy with this arrangement on some level. Since its founding, America has believed that force is sometimes necessary in pursuing the "perfectibility" of the world. And Europe owes its current unified "paradise" to U.S. power, which allowed for the reintegration of Germany. …

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