August 1, 2007
This is a great piece of work, and I found it very worthwhile. The author has studied two liberal democracies, the USA and the UK, and tried to correlate the rising or waning power of specific economic blocks with US foreign policy.
He finds that material intersts consistently trump cultural or ideological interests, and that humanitarianism can play a surprisingly strong role in some cases (of course, today, we are ignoring not just Darfur but 15+ other genocides, poverty, infectuous disease, and so on).
The author concludes the the fortunes to be made on the periphery will continue to encourage America as a nation of varied interests, to pursue the fortunes on the periphery, and he therefore anticipates that spending on the military, and the use of the military, will continue into the future.
He ends rather delicately by pointing out that no theory can explain the manner in which Bush-Cheney took America to war in Iraq–this is no doubt his elegant way of saying that when you have thieves and liars in the White House, all bets are off.
I will also be reading in the near future:
The Domestic Bases of Grand Strategy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)
Among other books helpful to me that I have reviewed here at Amazon:
Wilson’s Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century
Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System