How America Wasted Its Unipolar Moment

How America Wasted Its Unipolar Moment
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The war on terror improved neither the nation’s standing nor the nation itself

WHEN, IN 1998, President Bill Clinton fired cruise missiles at terrorist bases in Afghanistan and Sudan, a reporter asked the secretary of defence if there wasn’t a “striking resemblance” to the plot of “Wag the Dog”, a film in which a White House consultant confects a faraway war to distract from a presidential sex scandal. Popular culture and sex scandals loomed large in American society during the 1990s; foreign affairs did not. Abroad was where the impediments to Ross and Rachel’s predestined coupledom came from in “Friends”.

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