Power and Weakness By Robert Kagan

I got this one via Horst, cheers!

Bob Kagan with a very lenghty essay on US-EU relations. I don’t have time to read the whole thing now, but it looks great, I will get time tomorrow. It is from June 2002, so was written long before the fallout over the UN resolution.

Meanwhile in the current issue, Frederick Kagan has what looks like another excellent essay on a great topic. How technology has affected our perception of warfare and politics.

2 thoughts on “Power and Weakness By Robert Kagan”

  1. I read the book version of this essay which doesn’t seem to differ much. Much of what Kagan writes makes sense especially about Europe and the US’s outlook on the world but he is obsessed by military power as the most important attribute in foreign policy. There is an argument, of course, that you can get your way much more easily if you’ve more power, but my concern with his preoccupation with power is that it is, in medical terms, an imperfect cure and ignores ‘prevention’.

    My feeling is that whilst there most certainly are ‘bad’ people out there, many of the problems we see in the world are as a result of actions previously taken by European and US forces. Kagan’s obsession with further using military might as if the only outcome is a good one causes me great concern even though I recognise the need for military power to protect our democratic institutions. He doesn’t even consider the fact that militart intervention can cause upset in the world and actually encourage the forces that are against the ‘enlightened’ view of Americans.

    It is a thought-provoking essay and one which helps me understand a little more the US position on world affairs but leaves me feeling considerable disquiet.

  2. agreed…
    if you can find Mary Kaldor’s piece “American Power: from ‘compellance’ to cosmopolitanism,” i strongly recommend it. She consructs a more fundamentally human argument concerning the nature of power.

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