Stanley's blog

The Financial Time’s review of Robert Kagan’s new book, “The Return of History and the End of Dreams” prompts me to comment on the Kagan thesis. He is the author of the John McCain proposal to set up a “league of democracies” that would be led by the US but would reassuringly “complement” rather than supplant the UN.

Kagan speaks for many in their fear of China, Russia and “Islamic terrorism”. However, he appears to see the world in black and white terms, and his solution reveals that he is wedded to traditional balance of power thinking.

Even given that the fear were justified, the proposed solution – a league of democracies – would merely confirm a self-fulfilling prophesy. Exclusion is consistently shown to be an unsuccessful policy: Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Myanmar…Only by practising international integration and showing its benefits can we hope to avoid returning to the hopelessness of the last century or so.

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