Has the sun finally set on the American Empire? Or just a momentary lull in what? The reader looks to Mr. Kagan’s repetition of three sets of metaphors repeated with necessary variations on the themes:
return to normalcy
shouldering burden of global order, the question of US responsibility for global order , the end of the 70-year-old American world order, George HW Bush of New World Order, global involvement, internationalist , the world order business, What it does mean is a return to national solipsism, So what does the normal solipsistic superpower do?
Pat Buchanan rode “America First” (Willfully forgetting the pioneering work of Charles Lindbergh? SKMSD)
Mr Kagan’s screed is about the dashed hopes and dreams, more like schemes and machinations, of a triumphant Kagan/Nuland Foreign Policy, the might-have-been of a Clinton victory in 2016. Though Mr. Kagan can take solace in the balm of self-congratulation, that lards his polemic. Also thank the editors of The Financial Times, for curbing the Kagan penchant for intellectual verbosity, as servant to the imperative of Staussian obfuscation.
Perhaps, we should file this sentence under a Kagan ‘Note To Self’ : Note to American hawks: there will be no bombing of Iran under a Trump administration.
Mr. Kagan, in his final paragraph, dons the mantle of Tiresias:
How long can this new era last? Who knows? Americans after 1920 managed to avoid global responsibility for two decades. As the world collapsed around them, they told themselves it was not their problem. Americans will probably do the same today. And for a while they will be right. Because of their wealth, power and geography they will be the last to suffer the consequences of their own failures. Eventually they will discover, again, that there is no escape. The question is how much damage is done in the meantime and whether, unlike in the past, it will be too late to recover.