The Return of History and the End of Dreams, By Robert Kagan

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The Independent Culture

This reply to Francis Fukuyama's The End of History, which had heralded the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the US as the world's only super-power, isn't quite as pessimistic as the title would suggest.

We may be seeing an end to US dreams of supremacy, what with the disastrous and expensive Iraq war, China's seemingly unstoppable industrial and commercial rise, Russia's new-found nationalism and India's nuclear development. Plenty of other nations are dreaming of being top dog, and feel perfectly entitled to indulge such dreams, too. Yet, in this powerful and possibly much-needed reminder of his native country's benefit to the world, Robert Kagan argues forcefully that "a reliable and dominant America" can still have a "stabilizing and pacific effect".

Ten years ago, such an argument would have been inconceivable. I can't imagine many Americans feeling the need to make a case for their continued partnership with Europe, for instance. But the US is in a different place now. This is a conservative, but provocative, analysis of it.

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