The Neoconservative Convergence
The post-cold-war era has seen a remarkable ideological experiment: over the last fifteen years, each of the three major American schools of foreign policy—realism, liberal internationalism, and neoconservatism—has taken its turn at running things. (A fourth school, isolationism, has a long pedigree, but has yet to recover from Pearl Harbor and probably never will; it remains a minor source of dissidence with no chance of becoming a governing ideology.) There is much to be learned from this unusual and unplanned experiment.
The era began with the senior George Bush and a classically realist approach. This was Kissingerism without Kissinger—although James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, and Kissinger’s disciple Brent Scowcroft filled in admirably. The very phrase the administration coined to describe its vision—the New World Order—captured the core idea: an orderly world with orderly rulers living in stable equilibrium.
About the Author
Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and an essayist for Time. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1987, and in 2003 was a recipient of the Bradley Prize. This essay, in somewhat different form, was delivered in New York City in May as COMMENTARY‘s first Norman Podhoretz Lecture.