Get Crisis in the West: American Leadership and the Global PDF

By Lionel Gelber

ISBN-10: 1349024643

ISBN-13: 9781349024643

ISBN-10: 134902466X

ISBN-13: 9781349024667

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Extra resources for Crisis in the West: American Leadership and the Global Balance

Sample text

Twenty years after Versailles, humanity was convulsed once more. Why, then, did the peace of Vienna, despite its suppression of popular impulses, last a century? Why, at any rate, did Europe's local wars which followed Vienna not grow into continental or general wars? So long as no other Power could match Britain's world-wide sea power {and that exempted the Crimean War), a general war was ruled out. But 30 The European Balance Comes to an End why did none attempt to challenge seriously the European order on which her world status revolved?

The risk of world war, how- Risk and Paradox 37 ever, is diminished by the prospect of furies which span the earth. The East, superior in land-air power, able to shuttle back and forth within interior territorial lines, can bog down if it overreaches itself. The West, having to stretch around the Sino-Soviet perimeter, compensates through emphasis on sea-air power, through a supporting ring of transoceanic alliances and scattered dependencies, through a comparative mobility. By themselves, the cities of Western Europe could be considered open to surprise air attack.

Was the answering riposte from Thomas Carlyle. But, as far as the modern world is concerned, these two had left no room for progress or improvement. With the latter, it seemed after World War II, a realistic American leadership of the West must be correlated. As far as the eighteenth century could discern the nature of a moral order in public affairs, the United States was, by her fundamental documents, dedicated to one. But that their free order at home relied upon a free order abroad, the Founding Fathers realized better than many of their twentieth century descendants.

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Crisis in the West: American Leadership and the Global Balance by Lionel Gelber


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