Making War to Keep Peace

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9780061252945: Making War to Keep Peace

When Jeane J. Kirkpatrick died in December 2006, she left behind more than her legacy as a "heroine of conservatives." She had just completed work on this extraordinary survey of American foreign policy in the post–Cold War age: a bold and revisionist assessment of two decades of American interventions abroad—a troubled period of small successes, tragic failures, and important lessons for our future.

Since the end of the Cold War, Kirkpatrick argues, America's relationship with the world has been especially compromised by its mutual distrust with the United Nations, and by continuing uncertainty over U.S. involvement in conflicts among rogue nations overseas. In Making War to Keep Peace, Kirkpatrick offers a tightly observed chronicle of the result: a period in which the United States has increasingly used force around the world—to mixed and often challenging results. Tracing the course of diplomatic initiatives and armed conflict in Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, she illuminates the shift from the first Bush administration's ambitious vision of a New World Order to the overambitious nation-building efforts of the Clinton administration. Kirkpatrick offers a strong critique of Clinton's foreign policy, arguing that his administration went beyond Bush's interest in building international consensus and turned it into a risky reliance on the United Nations. But she also questions when, how, and why the United States should resort to military solutions—especially in light of the challenging war in Iraq, about which Kirkpatrick shares her "grave reservations" here for the first time.

With the powerful words that have marked her long and distinguished career, Kirkpatrick explores where we have gone wrong—and raises lingering questions about what perils tomorrow might hold.

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About the Author:

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1981 to 1985 and a member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration. She was a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the founder of Empower America, and a professor of government at Georgetown University. She died in December 2006.

From Booklist:

Just before her death in December 2006, Kirkpatrick completed this analysis of the geopolitical climate and American foreign policy in the post–cold war era. Kirkpatrick, U.S. ambassador to the UN from 1981 to 1985 and National Security Council member during the Reagan administration, had a reputation for toughness. In this unflinching analysis, she explores the long tension and mutual distrust between the U.S. and the UN, the creation of which was the "crown achievement" of efforts to constrain aggression through treaties and agreements. She notes that while UN diplomacy has not always worked, U.S. reliance on force has a spotty record as well. Kirkpatrick critiques diplomatic initiatives and armed conflicts in Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo and examines the foreign policies of the Clinton and both Bush administrations. She laments the lack of focus of a U.S. foreign policy that is "embroiled in peacekeeping and nationbuilding under the interventionist efforts of a world collective of nations" and the lack of adequate attention to national security. Kirkpatrick's admirers and detractors will appreciate her analysis of what we can learn from past conflicts. Bush, Vanessa
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