Abstract

All Measures Short of War champions what has become the standard Brookings line: the idea that the United States' primary global mission must be to defend the "liberal international order" that has supposedly defined geopolitics since 1945. "For seventy years," Wright argues, "the United States built and led a liberal international order characterized by alliances, an open economy, multilateral cooperation, democracy, and human rights." It's a curious argument: just ask the people of Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and several other countries about the United States' commitment to democracy and human rights and see what they have to say about the matter. Undeterred by history, Wright insists that this order enabled the United States to both achieve its goals and serve as a global moral leader.

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