Springtime for Realism

Kaplan, Lawrence F.
June 2004
New Republic;6/21/2004, Vol. 230 Issue 23, p20
Claims that U.S. politicians are reacting to the deterioration of the occupation of Iraq by abandoning the idealistic notion of using foreign policy to spread democracy in favor of a policy based on realism. Background on the formation of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy in Washington; Assertion that U.S. President George W. Bush and presidential candidate John Kerry are in agreement that U.S. foreign policy should have a more humble focus; Background on the development of realism in the U.S. foreign policy community; Discussion of the differences between the foreign policy approaches of former President Bill Clinton and Kerry; Discussion of the evolution of Bush administration foreign policy from neoconservative idealism to realism; Argument that America's problems creating democracy in Iraq do not derive from failures of democracy, but from failures of security; Discussion of the controversy among foreign policy experts over whether the United States should impose its own political values on other countries.


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