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Misreading Reagan's Legacy: A Truly Conservative Foreign Policy

Courtesy Reuters

William Kristol and Robert Kagan's vision of a Pax Americana helps further the ever unsettled debate over America's role in the post -Cold War world ("Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy," July/August 1996). But in attempting a conservative policy with a "moral clarity," they have offered an approach that is low on strategic clarity, and not very conservative to boot.

Kristol and Kagan are on target when they assert that conservatives need a foreign policy vision to achieve a lasting political realignment; no American political movement worth its name can succeed solely on domestic issues. Critics like us are sympathetic to their overriding purpose: to find an inspirational vision to sustain support for American engagement in world affairs.

Unlike some cheap-hawk conservatives, the authors advocate a much higher defense bill to make America a hegemonic power. They rightly worry that deep cuts in the military are putting the United States on

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