Τετάρτη, 29 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Grading Mearsheimer

by Steven A. Cook

When I was at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, I enrolled in a seminar on the revolutions in Eastern and Central Europe with Professor Michael Mandelbaum.  The Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and Czecholsolvakia were not quite my thing, but the course was an interesting diversion from the Middle East and it was topical (this was 1994).  When Mandelbaum—who is now a friend and mentor—returned my first paper, he scratched along the bottom of the last page, “Your conclusions are surely correct, but you make a series of dubious assertions along the way.”  I had the same reaction when I read John J. Mearsheimer’s recent contribution to The National Interest, “America Unhinged.”
Without spoiling the plot for those who intend to read the piece, Mearsheimer argues that because the United States is so strong and that its margin for error so great, nothing constrains the country’s national security elites from pursuing a reckless foreign policy.  Despite this strength and apparently wide margin for error, this misguided foreign policy—based on the idea of American exceptionalism—has serious consequences: for Washington’s standing in the world, for the U.S. economy, for the young men and women who have fought two misbegotten wars in the Middle East, and for a liberal-democratic system.  Mearsheimer prefers an approach to the world that focuses solely on securing America’s interests—the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, ensuring that China that does not dominate Asia and the pacific, and preventing another great power from establishing hegemony over Europe .  Everything else is an unnecessary distraction that, given Washington’s penchant for neo-conservatism and liberal interventionism, just gets the United States into trouble.
Read more http://blogs.cfr.org/cook/2014/01/27/grading-mearsheimer/

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