A far-reaching transformation of global politics has made the world a freer but messier place. The cold war was never tidy, yet superpower competition did impose a simplicity—often an unfortunate simplicity—on perceptions of events, if not on the events themselves. Today, virtually all the assumptions that governed international politics must be reconsidered.
George Bush proclaimed a “new world order,” but this only masked a new world flux that he was unwilling to address in a comprehensive manner. Fashioning the Gulf coalition as an exercise in American-led collective security was, finally, a moment, not a policy. Missing was a reconceptualization of America’s place in a changing world, of a proper balance b...
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