Monday, June 9, 2008
No Solutions, No Problem
The funny thing for me about Robert Kagan is that I very rarely ever disagree with his analysis of the problem. It's his solutions that I usually have trouble with. So I really liked this Globalist interview, which is limited to one-sentence responses to analytical questions. I'm having trouble deciding which of these two I like the most. On whether a Barack Obama presidency would fundamentally change American foreign policy:
So long as U.S. power in all its forms is sufficient to shape the behavior of others, the broad direction of U.S. foreign policy is unlikely to change.
And on what the "crux" is for China (whatever that means):
The Chinese have learned that -- while it is possible to have capitalism without political liberalization -- it is much harder to have capitalism without cultural liberalization.
That last point is what I was trying to express in this post about what will happen to China's rise when it exhausts "copy & paste" capitalism and finds itself in desperate need of innovation. But I'm not Kagan, so it took me four paragraphs.
Meanwhile, how funny is it that not only does Kagan live in Brussels, but his wife, Victoria Nuland, is the U.S. ambassador to NATO? (The one who's been touting EU defense recently.) Think he makes her job more difficult from time to time? For that matter, think he needs a royal taster when he goes out to eat? Classic.
Cross-posted to World Politics Review.