In This Review

America Adrift: A Strategic Assessment
America Adrift: A Strategic Assessment
By Peter W. Rodman
Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom, 1996, 89 pp

This muscular pamphlet is a bid to reassert the contours of a conservative internationalism against resurgent isolationists among the Republicans and "assertive multilateralists" among the Democrats. It is of interest not only for its clear-eyed concentration on strategic essentials but also because the national security doctrine it formulates would in all probability be very close to that of a Dole administration. Its centerpiece is the conviction that America's alliances with Europe and Japan are not "Cold War relics" but should remain the foundation of U.S. strategy. Rodman sharply criticizes the Clinton administration for loosening alliance loyalties, worshipping the United Nations, eroding U.S. military power, and pursuing trade disputes at the expense of Western security ties. The analysis, though often astute, has a partisan flavor: the distance between the author and the administration is not as large as Rodman's strong criticism might suggest. The faint of heart may also wish to suggest certain reservations and provisos to the expansive doctrine Rodman advocates in Central Europe, East Asia, and the Persian Gulf, even if it is accepted that a pivotal U.S. role is necessary in all three regions.