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Robert Kagan: America's Dangerous Aversion to Conflict


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robert-kagan-why-the-u-s-wants-to-avoid-conflict-1409942201WSJ:

The U.S. increasingly yearns to escape the harsh realities of war, but as recent events make clear, raw force remains a key element in international politics

Robert Kagan

Sept. 5, 2014

 

First it was the Europeans who sought an escape from the tragic realities of power that had bloodied their 20th century. At the end of the Cold War, they began to disarm themselves in the hopeful belief that arms and traditional measures of power no longer mattered. A new international system of laws and institutions would replace the old system of power; the world would model itself on the European Union—and if not, the U.S. would still be there to provide security the old-fashioned way.

 

But now, in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is the U.S. that seems to be yearning for an escape from the burdens of power and a reprieve from the tragic realities of human existence.

 

Until recent events at least, a majority of Americans (and of the American political and intellectual classes) seem to have come close to concluding not only that war is horrible but also that it is ineffective in our modern, globalized world. "There is an evolving international order with new global norms making war and conquest increasingly rare," wrote Fareed Zakaria of CNN, borrowing from Steven Pinker of Harvard, practically on the eve of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the Islamic State's march across Syria and Iraq. Best-selling histories of World War I teach that nations don't willingly go to war but only "sleepwalk" into them due to tragic miscalculations or downright silliness.

 

(Snip)

 

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This evil old silly Neo-Con has some very bad news for our friends on the Left and the isolationist Right. The world is not going to go away and leave you alone...no matter how much you may want it to.

 

 

 

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