What is the role of our nation is the argument of the four articles? The realist would argue to continue its dominance of the world and only be involved in world affairs when it deals directly with national interest. However, idealist would say it is in our best interest to be involved, to help others in need and to keep the world secure.
Krauthammer's view In "Unipolar Moment" seems to come from a realist point of view, he states we are in abnormal times, with conflicts with Iraq and other states trying to obtain nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, it is the greatest threat to the world security today. Also, the enemy could be anyone, Iraq today, North Korea or Libya tomorrow. Further, Krauthammer states with an unstable period ahead of us, the best hope for peace is the American strength and will, making the rules for the world and enforcing them when broken.
The U.S. is by far the only major power leading in toward the 21st century, rather we want that burden is another question. By living in an unipolar world, other nations will look to us to deal with all conflicts or look to us for economic support. The main argument in the article is rather the U.S. can support its unipolar status and from all indications it may very well can if by getting domestic support. America in general have to change their attitudes towards foreign policy, it is just as important if not more important then domestic policy. Another argument I agree with is that by withdrawing troops from certain parts of the world or not to give economic aid to other nations it will not translate to eradicating America's economic problems. In fact, our involvement abroad is essential to our economy, we need a stable world environment especially now with global trading and multi-national corporations doing business in other nation's.
There are many disadvantages by being the only big kid in the block. Although the cold war is now over, I feel there is far greater danger ahead in the 21st century. There are numerous nations trying to gather weapons of mass destruction and there has been an increase in nations with biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons. The U.S. has seemed to have alienated some of these nations and the people have blamed the west, especially the U.S., for there misfortunes and that alone puts us in an awkward position. An example would be Iraq, we have bombed them, imposed sanctions to try to destroy there weapons of mass destruction but in the course of acting we have fueled the fire of extremist in that part of the world to act against us. For now we have to embrace our unipolar status, act when our interests are threatened and get support from allies when conflicts arise.
In "Preparing for the 21st Century", Paul Kennedy discusses how the economically developed countries hold all the cards, and will prosper in a more technologic era. Latin America, Middle East, countries in Asia, and especially Africa are in social, political and economical disarray. Kennedy looks to the Far East as an illustration on how to improve economic...