At last a book that attacks the 'Blob' and holes it below the water line. Whether it can sink it is another matter ... Walt is as severe on his home country as any Harvard professor can be ... Proponents of Liberal Hegemony don’t believe that a liberal order arises spontaneously or sustains itself automatically. For them the goal has to be enforced when necessary ... Walt has an alternative, one that appears to resonate with the new millennial generation who perceive less foreign dangers, are less patriotic, and are decidedly less supportive of military solutions ... He defines it this way: Instead of trying to remake the world in America’s image, foreign policy should focus on the US’s position in the global balance of power. So it calls for the US to deploy its power abroad only when there are direct threats to US interests. As long as there’s no potential threatening hegemon in Europe, the Gulf or Northeast Asia, then there’s no need for a military interest. This is how it is at the moment.
Walt’s book offers a valuable contribution to the mounting debate about America’s purpose. But his diagnosis of America’s debilities is more persuasive than his prescriptions to remedy them ... Walt’s own zest for intellectual combat, though, can lead him into rhetorical overkill ... He also focuses excessively on several rather obscure academic projects that he believes epitomize the sterile moribundity of American strategic thought. It would have been more illuminating had he zeroed in on those few organizations that really do exercise outsize influence in Trump’s Washington, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is helping to shape Iran policy. Walt persuasively contends that Washington’s bungled interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya helped propel Trump, who has consistently derided foreign policy experts, to the presidency ... Walt also makes the easy assumption that America can remain a pre-eminent power, but the mounting national debt and Trump’s steady conversion of the country into what amounts to a rogue state could lead to a very different outcome.
Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, decries the American foreign policy of 'liberal hegemony' as an abject failure and advocates 'offshore balancing' in this thought-provoking work ... This excellent analysis is cogent, accessible, and well-argued.