Power can corrupt a nation as surely as it corrupts an individual. To borrow from Lord Acton's dictum, power corrupts and superpower corrupts absolutely. When the Second World War ended, the military and economic supremacy of the USA was without parallel in history. American incomprehension of the outside world has been the chief problem in international affairs since the end of World War II. In America and the Imperialism of Ignorance, veteran political journalist Andrew Alexander constructs a meticulous case, including evidence gleaned from the steady opening up of Soviet archives, demonstrating why this is so. From starting the Cold War to revisiting unlearned lessons upon Cuba and Vietnam, the Middle East has latterly become the arena in which the American foreign policy approach proved wretchedly consistent. This has created six decades in which war was not the last resort of diplomacy but an early option, and where peace and order breaking out was thought to be the natural conclusion of military intervention.Alexander traces this 'shoot-first' tendency from 1945, arguing that on a grand scale the Cold War was a red herring in which the US and her proxies set out to counter a Soviet expansionism that never truly existed, and that by the time of the George W Bush era, the 'Industrial-Military- Complex' was in office offering little hope of a change in approach.
Andrew Alexander was a senior journalist for the Daily Mail. He died in 2015.
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