Iraqi forces pose for a picture with an upside down Islamic State flag in Mosul on July 8. Who will fill the spaces from which the jihadi group is driven? There is a clear effort by the new Iran-Hezbollah-Shiite militia-Russia coalition to reply: Such a development would cement an anti-American coalition in place, threaten Jordan and Israel, and leave Iran the dominant power in much of the region.
January 8,4: Why is a distinguished and well-known approach to foreign policy confined to the margins of public discourse, especially in the pages of our leading newspapers, when its recent track record is arguably superior to the main alternatives? I refer, of course, to realism.
This situation is surprising insofar as realism is a well-established tradition in the study of foreign affairs, and realists like George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, Walter Lippmann, and others said many smart things about U.
Realism also remains a foundational perspective in the academic study of international affairs and with good reason. Similarly, major media outlets have shown little inclination to give realists a prominent platform from which to disseminate their views. The results, alas, speak for themselves.
Fast forward to today. Relations with Russia and China are increasingly confrontational; democracy is in retreat in Eastern Europe and Turkey; and the entire Middle East is going from bad to worse.
The United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting in Afghanistan for 14 years, and the Taliban are holding their own and may even be winning. Two decades of U. Even the European Union — perhaps the clearest embodiment of liberal ideals on the planet — is facing unprecedented strains for which there is no easy remedy.
All of which raises the following counterfactual: Would the United States and the world be better off today if the last three presidents had followed the dictates of realism, instead of letting liberals and neocons run the show?
The answer is yes. Realists believe nationalism and other local identities are powerful and enduring; states are mostly selfish; altruism is rare; trust is hard to come by; and norms and institutions have a limited impact on what powerful states do.
In short, realists have a generally pessimistic view of international affairs and are wary of efforts to remake the world according to some ideological blueprint, no matter how appealing it might be in the abstract.
Had Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama been following the realist playbook, how would U. First, and most obviously, had Bush listened to Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell, or some other notable realistshe would not have invaded Iraq in Bush would have focused solely on eliminating al Qaeda, instead of getting bogged down in Iraq.
Thus, rejecting sound realist advice has cost the U. Realists understood that great powers are especially sensitive to configurations of power on or near their borders, and thus experts such as George Kennan warned that NATO expansion would inevitably poison relations with Russia.
This is a textbook combination of both hubris and bad geopolitics. Unfortunately, this sensible approach was abandoned in the idealistic rush to expand NATO, a decision reflecting liberal hopes that the security guarantees entailed by membership would never have to be honored.
Ukraine would still be a mess if realists had been in charge of U. Had Clinton, Bush, and Obama listened to realists, in short, relations with Russia would be significantly better and Eastern Europe would probably be more secure.
Instead of pledging to contain Iran and Iraq simultaneously, a realist would have taken advantage of their mutual rivalry and used each to balance the other. Dual containment committed the United States to opposing two countries that were bitter rivals, and it forced Washington to keep large ground and air forces in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.
A realist approach to Persian Gulf politics would have made that attack less likely, though of course not impossible. Had Obama listened to the realists, the United States would have cut its losses in Afghanistan a long time ago and the outcome would be no different than what we are going to get anyway.
Countless lives and vast sums of money would have been saved, and the United States would be in a stronger strategic position today.AP’s high school United States History course is a rigorous, college-level class that provides an opportunity to gain skills colleges recognize.
The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant.
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy - Kindle edition by John J.
Mearsheimer, Stephen M. Walt.
Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. The regulation of trade is constitutionally vested in the United States urbanagricultureinitiative.com the Great Depression, the country emerged as among the most significant global trade policy-makers, and it is now a partner to a number of international trade agreements, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade .
Foreign Affairs is the leading magazine for in-depth analysis of U.S. foreign policy, and relations with Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Europe. THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY John J. Mearsheimer Department of Political Science University of Chicago.