Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths
Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths

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5.7.2 The US administration in 2008 (ii)

An alternative view to both Krauthammer’s and Luttwak’s is presented in ‘Winners and Losers in the Post-9/11 Era’ by Professor Joseph Nye (Harvard University). Nye concludes that while the US won the first round of the post-9/11 conflict, it lost the second by invading Iraq without sufficient international support. Writing in 2006, he leaves the question of a third, or subsequent, rounds open although he does makes some suggestions as to the factors that might be decisive (Nye, 2006).

Activity 17 Winners and losers in the post-9/11 era

Read Nye’s article [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] now, and note what these factors are. You should also draw on any recent information to formulate your view on the current balance between ‘winners’ and ‘losers’.

Professor Francis Fukuyama acquired instant fame in 1989 when he proclaimed ‘the end of history’ and was later identified as a member of the neoconservative camp. In a 2007 article, ‘A self-defeating hegemony’, he spelt out ‘four key mistakes’ made by the Bush administration in its responses to 9/11. He also directs attention to the problematic nature of the global system that exists today and the absence of restraints on the imprudent exercise of power by the US.

Fukuyama takes Nye’s argument a little further and expresses strongly negative view of US foreign policy under Bush (although you may have recently seen other views and fresh evidence that support a different conclusion). His reference to the fundamental problem faced by the US in terms of ‘the lopsided distribution of power in the international system’ relates to other views presented this section about the position of the US as a global hegemon. (Nye, 2007)

Activity 18 A self-defeating hegemony

Read Fukuyama’s article now, and consider the full range of views presented this section in relation to his discussion of a ‘self-defeating hegemony’.

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