In This Review

Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century
Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century
By Julia E. Sweig
PublicAffairs, 2006, 272 pp.

Studies of anti-Americanism have proliferated, for perhaps obvious reasons, over the past several years. What distinguishes Sweig's is that it focuses on traditional U.S. allies whose populations and leaders are turning against the United States rather than on long-standing critics. Accordingly, the book says little about Egypt or France and instead contains case studies of Germany, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The broad point is that "friendly fire" from these allies could prove more costly to U.S. interests than anti-Americanism during the Cold War ever did. Sweig, a Latin America specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations, acknowledges that the causes of this new anti-Americanism are partly structural: the end of the Cold War, the growth of U.S. power, and globalization have all created more resentment of, and less apparent need for, American hegemony than existed in decades past. But Sweig also sees the new anti-Americanism as the product of policy choices, "self-inflicted wounds deepened by the retreat of progressive values at home." Her recipe for fixing the problem -- a mixture of policy shifts on key issues and more polite, empathetic, and multilateral diplomacy -- is familiar. But it is also convincing.