Does Libya Represent a New Wilsonism?

Mini Teaser

Three leading thinkers respond to the bold thesis of Nikolas K. Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh.

Issue: Mar-Apr 2012

In the last issue of The National Interest, we ran a cover story by Nikolas K. Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh positing that America’s military role in helping bring down Libyan president Muammar el-Qaddafi represented a significant new era in the country’s foreign policy—the ascendancy of a doctrine that placed far greater emphasis on humanitarian considerations as a rationale for military interventions overseas. This was a provocative thesis, and the authors’ probing analysis and tight argumentation rendered it one that we were proud to display prominently in our journal. But it occurred to us that it certainly didn’t represent the last word on the subject of the future of American foreign policy. And so we invited three prominent international-relations thinkers—Leslie H. Gelb, Patrick J. Buchanan and Marc Lynch—to weigh in with their own thoughts on the subject. Their musings follow, along with a final response from Gvosdev and Takeyh, who get the last word as a reward for introducing the subject in the first place.

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