The United States’ Flight from Realism and Rational Thought,

Anatol Lieven, Director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and a board member of the Simone Weil Center.

Lack of Realism and poor understanding of reality itself are innate to the basic program of the U.S. bipartisan foreign and security establishment, and to a considerable extent the U.S. political elites in general. This program is essentially that of the “Wolfowitz Doctrine” of 1992, drawn up at the very height of U.S. hubris after the end of the Cold War: permanent U.S. global hegemony, not just in the world as a whole but in every region of the world.

According to this doctrine, no state would ever — today or in future — enjoy any influence beyond its borders except that allowed by the United States. All states would have to change their domestic systems, or at least their domestic policies, in accordance with U.S. wishes. Widely mocked at the time for its megalomania, this doctrine has in effect become the standard operating procedure of all subsequent U.S. administrations, with only relatively minor tactical differences between them.

The unrealistic nature of this project should hardly need elaboration. Only one country in history has aimed at anything like this – the Soviet Union; and look what happened to it. The British Empire at its summit never dreamed of intervening unilaterally on the continent of Europe, or challenging America’s Monroe Doctrine. This project requires that the United States possess – for all foreseeable time – overwhelming economic dominance across the world, coupled with limitless military resources and a limitless willingness of the American public to sacrifice their taxes and their children’s lives in pursuit of global domination. Even in the 1990s, it should have been obvious that this idea was absurd. Läs artikel