How I Learned to Love the American Empire

My graduate studies were focused on international relations, and when I started writing for a broader public I was mostly publishing essays and reports calling for a less interventionist US foreign policy. My first book was based in IR theory, but in a practical sense could be read as a call for taking a less militarized posture abroad.

In early 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, I thought that this had confirmed much of what I believed. I still think that the US should have been willing to take NATO membership off the table in order to try and avoid war. But once it happened, and it became clear that Ukraine could fight back and the US could help it do so effectively, I changed my mind on whether we should be involved in the conflict. By November, I had come around to the idea that support for Ukraine made sense. The month before, I had written “The Year of Fukuyama,” where I discussed how the events of 2022 belatedly converted me to the end of history theory. Whatever problems that democracies have, every tested alternative has clearly been much worse by any reasonable measure.

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