Robert Kagan to America: The World Needs You

Feb 13, 2012 Read more: online.wsj.com

Topix Staff Feature

Robert Kagan, advocate for the notion of American "benevolent hegemony" and senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, had this to say in last Saturday's Wall Street Journal:

If and when American power declines, the institutions and norms that American power has supported will decline, too. Or more likely, if history is a guide, they may collapse altogether as we make a transition to another kind of world order, or to disorder. We may discover then that the U.S. was essential to keeping the present world order together and that the alternative to American power was not peace and harmony but chaos and catastrophe—which is what the world looked like right before the American order came into being.

But is it true that American might is necessary to impose a liberal order on the world? George Mason University professor Christopher Coyne has taken a skeptical eye to the claim that American intervention abroad has been, on average, a good thing. In a presentation to the libertarian CATO Institute in 2007 for his book After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy, Coyne argued that only about a third of America's foreign entanglements designed to either deliver or maintain democracy have actually done so.

On the other hand, how many people have heard of Christopher Coyne? Everybody's heard of Robert Kagan.

What do you think? Is Kagan on point with his idea of American power as a positive force in the world, or is US influence not necessary to bring peace and free markets to the globe? Read more

Since: Feb 12

Mountain View, CA

#3 Feb 13, 2012
What do you think? Is Kagan on point with his idea of American power as a positive force in the world, or is US influence not necessary to bring peace and free markets to the globe?

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