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Are We Doomed?

By Matthew Yglesias on January 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm

"Are We Doomed?"

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Justin Logan’s on leave from the high-stakes DC think tank blogging game to go to grad school, but along he comes chiming in with an IR theory question to mull over:

Under unipolarity, what constraints are acting, given that structure really isn’t, and is there any reason to believe that any of these constraints will start limiting American strategic options any time soon? If there are no binding constraints in sight, aren’t we very likely (destined?) to continue with the primacy strategy we’ve followed more or less since 1991?

When I was working on Heads in the Sand near the end of the book when I had to write my prescriptive, forward-looking ideas I became haunted by a similar fear. Not so much that it’s impossible for change, but that it might be impossible for us to actually follow wise policies in a sustained way or are we destined to flit from error to error until our national power is so badly compromised that we have few options left? As someone who likes to think of himself as involved, in a small way, in trying to get the country on a better course I don’t think I have any option other than to say the answer is “no.” But I’m not always sure I believe that.

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