Book of the Week – Making War to Keep Peace (Jeane Kirkpatrick)

Making War to Keep Peace
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick

When Jeane J. Kirkpatrick died in December 2006, she left behind more than her legacy as a “heroine of conservatives.” She had just completed work on this extraordinary survey of American foreign policy in the post–Cold War age: a bold and revisionist assessment of two decades of American interventions abroad—a troubled period of small successes, tragic failures, and important lessons for our future.

Since the end of the Cold War, Kirkpatrick argues, America’s relationship with the world has been especially compromised by its mutual distrust with the United Nations, and by continuing uncertainty over U.S. involvement in conflicts among rogue nations overseas. In Making War to Keep Peace, Kirkpatrick offers a tightly observed chronicle of the result: a period in which the United States has increasingly used force around the world—to mixed and often challenging results. Tracing the course of diplomatic initiatives and armed conflict in Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, she illuminates the shift from the first Bush administration’s ambitious vision of a New World Order to the overambitious nation-building efforts of the Clinton administration. Kirkpatrick offers a strong critique of Clinton’s foreign policy, arguing that his administration went beyond Bush’s interest in building international consensus and turned it into a risky reliance on the United Nations. But she also questions when, how, and why the United States should resort to military solutions—especially in light of the challenging war in Iraq, about which Kirkpatrick shares her “grave reservations” here for the first time.

With the powerful words that have marked her long and distinguished career, Kirkpatrick explores where we have gone wrong—and raises lingering questions about what perils tomorrow might hold.  (Commentary Source: Google Books)

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