Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Neoconservative Recants

There is exciting news (if that is possible) from the world of American foreign policy intellectuals. Francis Fukuyama, long connected with the infamous neoconservatives, who were an important intellectual wellspring for the war in Iraq, has (more or less) recanted. In an essay in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine entitled After Neoconservatism Fukuyama criticized the war in Iraq, American foreign policy in general and the ideas that have come to be associated with the neoconservative movement. Fukuyama also proposed a series of steps to recalibrate American foreign policy for the post-September 11 world, including greater emphasis on political and diplomatic steps to combat terrorism (and corresponding de-emphasis on military action), more realistic but no less emphatic promotion of democracy and a wiser approach to engaging the United Nations and to multilateralism in general. It will be interesting to see how his neoconservative mates react to his loss of faith. Even more interesting, and more important, will be to see if Fukuyama’s sound prescriptions gain any traction with intellectuals and policy makers.

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