League of Demagoguery

We live in a world where the failures of a botched freedom agenda are everpresent. Yet no one in the foreign-policy establishment of either party seems to understand the changing realities of international affairs—or articulate coherent policy alt

Issue: Sept-Oct 2008

Philip Bobbitt, Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), 688 pp., $35.00.

Robert Kagan, The Return of History and the End of Dreams (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), 128 pp., $19.95.

Forging a World of Liberty Under Law: U.S. Security in the 21st Century (Final report of the Princeton Project on National Security, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, 2006), G. John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter (codirectors).


WHICHEVER U.S. party forms the next administration will have to do so in circumstances where America's capacity for decisive action in the outside world has been greatly diminished, at least compared to the grandiose ambitions which the Bush administration nourished in its first three years in power. Most importantly, Iraq and Afghanistan have revealed the immense expenditure of troops and money required to fight even medium-size mass insurgencies-to the extent that America's ability to engage in any additional ground wars is in serious question.

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