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America in retreat : the new isolationism and the coming global disorder

Author: Bret Stephens
Publisher: New York : Sentinel, 2014.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"'A world in which the leading liberal-democratic nation does not assume its role as world policeman will become a world in which dictatorships contend, or unite, to fill the breach. Americans seeking a return to an isolationist garden of Eden--alone and undisturbed in the world, knowing neither good nor evil--will soon find themselves living within shooting range of global pandemonium"--The Introduction; In a
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Bret Stephens
ISBN: 9781591846628 1591846625
OCLC Number: 894183546
Description: xvi, 269 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Come Home, America --
Pax Americana and Its Critics --
The Overdose of Ideals --
The Retreat Doctrine --
Republicans in Retreat --
Decline, and Retreat --
The Coming Global Disorder (Theory and History) --
The Coming Global Disorder (Practice and Present) --
A Scenario for Global Disorder --
A Way Forward.
Responsibility: Bret Stephens.
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Abstract:

"'A world in which the leading liberal-democratic nation does not assume its role as world policeman will become a world in which dictatorships contend, or unite, to fill the breach. Americans seeking a return to an isolationist garden of Eden--alone and undisturbed in the world, knowing neither good nor evil--will soon find themselves living within shooting range of global pandemonium"--The Introduction; In a brilliant book that will elevate foreign policy in the national conversation, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Bret Stephens makes a powerful case for American intervention abroad. In December 2011 the last American soldier left Iraq. 'We're leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, ' boasted President Obama. He was proved devastatingly wrong less than three years later as jihadists seized the Iraqi city of Mosul. The event cast another dark shadow over the future of global order--a shadow, which, Bret Stephens argues, we ignore at our peril. America in Retreat identifies a profound crisis on the global horizon. As Americans seek to withdraw from the world to tend to domestic problems, America's adversaries spy opportunity. Vladimir Putin's ambitions to restore the glory of the czarist empire go effectively unchecked, as do China's attempts to expand its maritime claims in the South China Sea, as do Iran's efforts to develop nuclear capabilities. Civil war in Syria displaces millions throughout the Middle East while turbocharging the forces of radical Islam. Long-time allies such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, doubting the credibility of American security guarantees, are tempted to freelance their foreign policy, irrespective of U.S. interests. Deploying his characteristic stylistic flair and intellectual prowess, Stephens argues for American reengagement abroad. He explains how military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was the right course of action, foolishly executed. He traces the intellectual continuity between anti-interventionist statesmen such as Henry Wallace and Robert Taft in the late 1940s and Barack Obama and Rand Paul today. And he makes an unapologetic case for Pax Americana, 'a world in which English is the default language of business, diplomacy, tourism, and technology; in which markets are global, capital is mobile, and trade is increasingly free; in which values of openness and tolerance are, when not the norm, often the aspiration.' In a terrifying chapter imagining the world of 2019, Stephens shows what could lie in store if Americans continue on their current course. Yet we are not doomed to this future. Stephens makes a passionate rejoinder to those who argue that America is in decline, a process that is often beyond the reach of political cures. Instead, we are in retreat--the result of faulty, but reversible, policy choices. By embracing its historic responsibility as the world's policeman, America can safeguard not only greater peace in the world but also greater prosperity at home. At once lively and sobering, America in Retreat offers trenchant analysis of the gravest threat to global order, from a rising star of political commentary"--

"Americans are weary of acting as the world's policeman, especially in the face of our unending economic troubles at home. President Obama stands for cutting defense budgets, leaving Afghanistan, abandoning Iraq, appeasing Russia, and offering premature declarations of victory over al Qaeda. Meanwhile, some Republicans now also argue for a far smaller and less expensive American footprint abroad. Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens rejects this view. As he sees it, retreating from our global responsibilities will ultimately exact a devastating price to our security and prosperity. In the 1930s, it was the weakness and vacillation of the democracies that led to war and genocide. Today the regimes in Tehran, Damascus, Beijing, and Moscow continue to test America's will. Americans have often been tempted to turn our backs on a world that fails to live up to our idealism and doesn't easily bend. But succumbing to that temptation always leads to tragedy. The mantle of global leadership is a responsibility we must shoulder for the sake of our freedom, our prosperity, and our safety"--

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