James Chace

Recent Articles

Wise After All

In the weeks preceding the U.S. attack on Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power, George W. Bush asserted that "a new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the world." What Bush preached was a kind of muscular dominance permitting the United States to impose its values, which Bush sees as universal, over other nations. In the post-Cold War era, characterized by new threats of terrorism and guerrilla warfare, America would once again be on a crusade to make the world safe for democracy. This is a stunning reversal of the policies practiced by the "wise men" who came to the fore during the Second World War and stayed on during the early years of the Cold War. They believed that the United States, working with its friends and allies, should take the lead in creating a multipolar world that would serve America's national interests precisely because the institutions that emerged would not be imposed on other countries. This cohort...