Robert Kagan joins Jim Lindsay to discuss the state of the liberal international order. Kagan is the Stephen & Barbara Friedman senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post and the author of The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World, which was released on September 18. (This is a rebroadcast.)
The Trump administration is repeating the mistakes of America’s interwar isolationists, who believed that the nation could and should insulate itself from global troubles. To understand this attitude, we need to look to the past.
The turbulent aftermath of World War I informs our troubled times and reminds us of the potency of nationalism, the attraction of authoritarianism, the risks of economic fragmentation, the temptations of American isolationism, and the fragility of multilateralism.
With the perils of heedless innovation all too apparent, and with a new and potentially more transformative wave of technical advances in the pipeline, global movements to govern the next technological revolution are beginning to take shape.
U.S. competition with China continues to intensify, but rather than adopting a strategy of containment, the United States should respond by reinforcing its relationships with allies and leveraging China's desire for stability to discourage disruptive behavior.