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Monday, July 13, 2015

Taking Down Kissinger's "World Order"

Angelo Codevilla crushes HK's World Order book, which came out last year to some hoopla.  (Did HK write it?   I saw him in an airport three years ago, then wheelchair-bound, frail, and looking out-of-it.)  Here's the link to the review:  the-courage-of-kissingers-contradictions

I post it because it sums up nicely many of the reservations and criticisms pro-Reagan conservative writers have had of Kissinger's work and thought over the years.  In short, "world order" supposedly is something nations strive for, and what US foreign policy should strive for, but it is never defined.  It seems to be some sort of great power balance.

Codevilla points out this quest for balance drove Kissinger to seek accommodations with the Soviet Union, treating it as a great power with similar goals and aspirations as the US had.  Then came the invasion of Afghanistan, which blew up that theory.  Realists like Kissinger didn't want to break up the Soviet Union.   We might also note Kissinger lavish recent praise for the way China manages things.

I read World Order and also grabbled with the vagueness and lack of clear definitions.  I took issue with HK's views that the world is somehow more disorderly than in the past.  (How do you judge that?) It strikes me as being just the opposite.

In essence,  can't any foreign policy objective be defined as pursuing world order?  Wasn't Bush arguing, in effect, that the invasion of Iraq was an attempt to maintain world order?   Of course it was, just like the earlier Gulf war had been.  Was world order served?

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