The US came into being within an empire, alongside other empires, and found its place in a world order rooted in European-Atlantic expansion — so, while President Obama has changed the tone and emphasis of foreign policy, his overall goal remains to ensure US power and authority. John Mearsheimer on Imperial by Design: Like his two most recent predecessors, President Obama is embarking on a foreign policy bent on global domination, which only intensifies America's terrorism problem and fails to prepare for a rising China. America is still the richest and most powerful country on earth thanks to geography says historian Ian Morris, but if history is any guide then China will be next — and things could get violent. What if US influence goes into retreat? A review of Washington Rules by Andrew Bacevich, How Wars End by Gideon Rose, and The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-strapped Era by Michael Mandelbaum. After Hegemony: A review of Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope by Chalmers Johnson, and The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas by Steven Weber and Bruce W. Jentleson. The United States has quietly asked allies like Yemen and Pakistan for some extraordinary favors in its war on terrorism — is it really so terrible if WikiLeaks forces them to explain those demands? An interview with John Lewis Gaddis on the history of international relations.

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