Erudite, Itself Out of Balance, Secoond Tier Reading
January 8, 2010
Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth
This is one of three books I bought to reflect on the same generic topic, the other two are Power & Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threat and To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine, which I will read and review this week-end.
It is a substantive contribution, important, but second tier in terms of clarity and utlity and comprehensiveness.
The authors do a fine job of setting the stage for why this book matters in relation to policy, putting forth three overarching questions worth quoting:
1. Can the United States sustain an expansive range of security commitments around the globe?
2. Is the United States well positioned to reshape the international system to better advance its security interests?
3. What are the general costs of unilateralism?
I have mixed feelings about this book for three reasons: