June 20, 2008
“America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11”, by Derek Chollet and James Goldgeier, is an interesting read, in particular in highlighting the continuities of policies of the Clinton and George W Bush Administrations.
American exceptionalism is alive and well in both parties as can be seen from the speeches of both Senators McCain and Obama. The authors argue that President Clinton and Madeleine Albright, his Secretary of State, shared common ground on many policies with the Project for a New American Century, a neo-con organisation, including NATO enlargement and the Balkans. And both opposed any isolationist tendencies and the US turning its back on global problems. Both believe in the “indispensable nation” (a phrase coined by Albright) with a unique role to play in the world. Both believe in democracy promotion.
These conclusions no doubt upset many red and blue politicians but it is timely to express them. There is a danger in believing that all will be well after 4 November and EU-US relations will resume where they left off. However, this is not so. Deep foreign policy differences divide the Atlantic and we need to address these frankly together. The gulf in understanding between Americans and Europeans cannot be bridged if its width is underestimated.
Finally and frighteningly, the authors point out that from 1989 to 2001, the United States averaged one large-scale military intervention every 18 months.Author : Stanley Crossick