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After Iraq

The Imperiled American Imperium

Charles W. Kegley, Jr. and Gregory A. Raymond

Publication Date - 12 September 2006

ISBN: 9780195177022

176 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Written by two seasoned scholars, After Iraq conducts a sweeping survey of America's present position in the global arena.


As the year 2001 unfolded, the United States stood at the apex of global power, possessing unrivalled military capabilities, a vibrant economy, and--most of all--great self-confidence about its security. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 shattered America's prevailing illusions of invulnerability, prompting the world's sole superpower to embark on a revolutionary national strategy that led to a preventive war against Iraq. Will the United States be safer and more secure as a result? This book shows why America's new assertively unilateral foreign policy will actually create perils for the next generation of Americans.

Written by two seasoned scholars, After Iraq conducts a sweeping survey of America's present position in the global arena and identifies the opportunities and risks that the United States will likely face once the war in Iraq draws to a close. Kegley and Raymond provide an insightful overview of the U.S. response to the unconventional threats posed by global terrorism as well as a searching assessment of the challenges created by the rise of China and other emerging competitors. They argue that the current course of American foreign policy will harm the country by setting dangerous precedents that undermine the moral and legal restraints--which were built painstakingly over the past century--on when and how states may use force. Drawing upon a rich array of historical parallels and empirical evidence, the book illuminates instances in which previous great powers embarked on similar self-defeating strategies. Like the U.S. today, these states once stood at the pinnacle of world power. But due to misperceptions about what they could accomplish with unilateral, preventive uses of military force, they made short-run decisions that undermined their long-term strategic interests. With Americans facing questions about how to combat global terrorism, how to diffuse the nuclear threats of Iran and North Korea, how to adjust to the growing power of China and India, and how to repair relations with traditional allies, After Iraq charts a path for restoring America's reputation and leadership in the world to strengthen both U.S. and international security in the turbulent decades ahead.

About the Author(s)

Charles W. Kegley, Jr. is Pearce Professor of International Relations at the University of South Carolina.

Gregory A. Raymond is Frank Church Professor of International Relations at Boise State University.


"One of the great strengths of this manuscript is that it remains scholarly, even while arguing a point of view. The analysis is dispassionate, well documented, and thoughtful. . . . The prose is smooth and enjoyable to read--an increasing rarity among political scientists!"--Loch Johnson, University of Georgia

"This is an excellent manuscript. . . . First, it is forward-looking rather than simply a criticism of past policies. Second, it employs both historical and quantitative-empirical data. Finally, it makes historical comparisons that none of the competing books make."--Dan Caldwell, Pepperdine University

"...a must read for students of American Foreign Policy today and tomorrow. All the taboo issues in Post-Cold War Foreign Policy are discussed diligently."--Harry Mokeba, Louisiana State University

Table of Contents

    About the Authors
    1. America and the Global Future
    2. Imperial Temptations
    3. An American Imperium
    4. American Preponderance and Military Peril
    5. The Changing Purposes of American Military Power
    6. America's Strategic Choices and their International Consequences
    7. Ideals in the Pursuit of National Security Interests