Nothing to Miss about the Cold War

A good response to Robert Kaplan’s recent pining for the comforts of ideological clarity of the Cold War is published on RCW’s Compass blog.

Today’s international environment, as Kaplan eludes to, is quite different. American power is waning in large part because other powers are growing. That is a combustible mix, to be sure, and it might presage a more violent age than the one that past. But trying to sustain a Cold War sense of imperial mission is not going to fix that, and it would likely lead the U.S. into future costly conflicts that would only serve to hasten her relative decline. In fact, I suspect much of what lies behind this Cold War nostalgia is a pining for an intellectual coherence to American strategy that has been largely missing since the Soviet Union collapsed.