Courtesy Reuters

Foreign Affairs: Your article is about the likelihood of great-power competition in Europe and Northeast Asia over the next 10 years or so. Should the United States withdraw the forces it has maintained in those regions for more than fifty years, especially since you argue that they have had a pacifying effect in each region? Also, you argue that Europe is bipolar now with Russia and the United States as the reigning great powers, but that if the United States withdraws Europe is likely to become multipolar with Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia as the great powers. Indeed, you argue that Germany would be a "potential hegemon" in a multipolar Europe. Is multipolarity always unstable? And what characterizes a "potential hegemon"?

John J. Mearsheimer: I argue that U.S. troops will and should remain in Europe and Northeast Asia only if there is a potential hegemon in those regions that

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  • John J. Mearsheimer is R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. This article is adapted from his forthcoming book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.
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