Mr. Reagan was a simple man with simple straightforward ideas. But he pursued a subtle and complex foreign policy. Maybe we missed something. Where was the rest of him?
It took awhile--more than a dozen years, in point of fact--but the natural tendency in international politics for states to balance against the power of a hegemon has emerged. In western Europe, of all places.
The "soft" nature of America's international primacy has so far dissuaded other nations from forming a military coalition to balance against the United States. But the prospect is not unthinkable.
Germany, led by its generation of '68, has finally found itself comfortable with its allies, its power and even itself.
History counsels that defeat and victory are the two deadliest moments in the life of alliances.
Americans have never stopped asking themselves what sets them apart from the rest. Rightly so. America was different in its formative years, and it's different now.
What has really changed since last September 11? Not very much.
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