Sunday, June 8, 2014

Foreign Policy Reading: America in Decline?

Two great reads on foreign policy here.

Angelo Codevilla is a professor of international relations at Boston University (possibly emeritus by now). He has published numerous books and written op-eds for the Times and WSJ. In 2011, ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, his essay "The Lost Decade" took the conservative world by storm (and pissed off some powerful people).

It's a blistering indictment of American policy of the past ten years. It's sweeping enough that there's bound to be much room for argument. For example, I'm not sure how to reconcile the concept of a sweeping bipartisan political establishment with the current polarization of the parties. Even so, Codevilla asks all the right questions:

Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
"Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as 'the world's only superpower,' ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the 'new normal.' How did this happen?"

Fastforward three years and Robert Kagan writes another lengthy appreciation of American FP--continuing his assertion that America is in fact not in decline at all. The pieces read well together. Kagan provides an excellent historical background to the debate, and is defensive of American assertiveness where Codevilla is wary of it.

Called "Superpowers Don't Get to Retire", it is said to have influenced the President's recent speech at West Point.

Further reading here, here, and here.
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s
Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen? - See more at: http://www.claremont.org/index.php?act=crbArticle&id=319#.U5Ri6oUvn3s

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