Manual American Power, the New World Order and the Japanese Challenge

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Now Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are in chaos, Syria is engulfed in civil war, and Iran is public enemy number one. Obviously, Israel has been blessed by—perhaps God? Which is precisely the reason why US intelligence should fund operations designed to build democracy from the ground up. Iran is a classic example.

The youth of Iran are predominately Western educated and will have a natural affinity with a more global identity broadly speaking, Americanised than with Ayatollah Khomeini and his regime of oppression and thuggery.

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Both of those alternatives have proven to be wrong. Mitch, astroturfing Iran into the modern age sounds great and all but are there any historical examples of it working?

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The only examples of forcible liberalisation I can think of are South Korea and Japan and those involved fairly lengthy occupations by the US military. The short answer to your question is no. There are no examples of the astroturphing working. There is a marked difference between building up a push for democracy with no local support astroturphing and then actually supporting a genuine push for democracy which is predominately localised.

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Japan was recovering from WW2 and the end of shitoist nationalism. A dangerous ideology akin to Nazism and I think the US led rejuvenation is what led to democracy flourishing in Japan. South Korea is an interesting example too. Anyone else go through that experience? Sounds like a good read. It would provide an antidote to some of the regressives who call for the end of US hegemony.

What does it take to destroy a world order?

The same antidote can be administered to the hard right who see the film Team America: World Police as an instruction manual for international diplomacy. This is a question also worth asking the Clintonians who lost the election. I firmly believe that the election was lost by Clinton, not won by Trump. The effects of the trade war with China are yet to be seen, but tariffs will undermine the strength of the liberal world order.


It will fall upon the rest of the democratic world to ensure that it can be maintained — if of course the liberal world order is to continue into the rest of the 21st Century. I commend Trump on his stance towards Iran. It is too much of a slippery slope. The world is a safer place when the US and Russia get along, or at least when they appear to be doing so.

We have to accept an Assad-run Syria. The airstrikes against the Syrians in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons was a good idea, or else the precedent for chemical weapons is left unquestioned. The liberal world order is our last guarantor of international security in an age of international insecurity. But I think I might know. I think that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are equally as problematic as Iran.

The greatest threat to democracy in any of the three countries here is a bottom up push for theocratic rule — not top down. Saudi Arabia is theocratic too. It is a slippery slope when you let countries like these enrich uranium. Kagan is an unreliable narrator of the US led Liberal World Order, meaning he claims to be speaking for it and to represent its historical development and current interest accurately but his argument unwinds once you start to see his hidden motivation wriggling under the bed sheets.

If the blow back kills 95 concert goers in Paris 2 years later, so be it. The US led Liberal World Order has come into question because the decisions its leadership have made since the end of the Cold War academic, military, intelligence and political have been poor decisions, ones that get Western citizens killed at home and abroad. Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, maybe even Yugoslavia and Ukraine — have all been poor decisions with negative effects that Western publics dislike. The people of the Western world have not gone illiberal, the have turned to the electoral more right far right is a misnomer for most of these parties to resolve a problem democratically and change the decision making of the elites that run Western nations.

Kagan slanders the people of the West by labeling them as illiberal. The attitudinal surveys do not back him up. Why would Kagan put forward such an analysis?

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He puts it forth because he has a cause that transcends morality and truth, that transcends honesty and honor, that cause is the survival and flourishing of the nation of Israel and Kagan firmly believes that if the USA is not present and willing to intervene in conflicts at a moments notice, if the USA is not the World hegemon, that Israel will be isolated and alone in facing its enemies when a major crisis comes; and he may very well be right. I also say this as someone who thinks the solution to the Arab Israeli conflict is for all Palestinians to find new homes and lives in the greater Arab world.

There is a further paradox in all this in that as western nations are becoming more nationalist and national minded they are simply following the example of Israel which is the most perfect expression of the 19th century nation state ideal in the world today. How can the supporters of Israel deny to Europeans or anyone , national self preservation, which they give to themselves by any means necessary.

It is not, it is about democracy and holding elites responsible for bad choices. Say hello to Sovereign Countries making their own choices and figuring out their own paths.

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Say hello to fair and reciprocal trade. Know what this sounds like? Returning to our roots. As far as U. Kagan gets the details OK but the fundamental reasoning is wrong, which leads to very serious errors in understanding and dealing with the post-Cold War era including the present. The US did not set out to create and enforce a liberal order, its goals were more modest: avoid another world war and contain the Soviet Union within its immediate post-War space.

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Given the failure of the League of Nations, that was all FDR expected or hoped for from his United Nations, and Churchill was skeptical even that was attainable—certainly not a proto-world government. We did many of the things Kagan says but the motivation was quite different. The US accepted its responsibilities to NATO because of the need to resist Soviet expansion and nobody else was in a position to do so, and to avoid proliferation of nuclear powers in Europe. That all went by the boards ca.

Robert Kagan. Sooner or later, sea levels might rise by a full foot thanks to nothing but the thermal expansion of existing waters. In sum, an ever-escalating tempo of climate change over the coming decades is likely to produce massive damage to the infrastructure that sustains human life. Seven hundred years later, humanity could be facing another catastrophe on the scale of the Black Death, one that might, once again, set the world in motion.

This means that the threat of devastating drought is going to be brought to a historically dry region bordered by sprawling deserts in North Africa and the Middle East. Anti-immigrant parties soon gained in popularity and power across the continent while Britain voted for its own chaotic Brexit. Just last month, the U. If we translate those sparse words into a future scenario, sometime before when average global warming is likely to reach that dangerous 1. Such intense heat will produce protracted droughts far worse than the one that destroyed those Bronze Age civilizations, potentially devastating agriculture and sparking water wars among the nations that share the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, while sending yet more millions of refugees fleeing toward Europe.

Under such unprecedented pressure, far-right parties might take power across the continent and the EU could rupture as every nation seals its borders. As tensions rise on both sides of the Atlantic, the U. In a distinctly ironic twist, a rising China has defied the long-standing doctrine of open seas, now sanctioned under a U. More broadly, Beijing is building an alternative international system quite separate from established institutions. By shedding current ideals of human rights and the rule of law, such a future world order would likely be governed by the raw realpolitik of commercial advantage and national self-interest.

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