Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Grand Strategy of the Western Alliance

I should write something intelligent, supportive, and enthusiastic about Blake Hounshell's "The Old New World Order."

Assume I have done so [here] and go read his piece:

American Prospect Online - The Old New World Order: A revival of pragmatic liberal internationalism is what the world, and America, need now. By Blake Hounshell. Web Exclusive: 11.03.06

Remember Vietnam? It has been over thirty years since the last Marines made their ignominious helicopter exit from the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in a Saigon on the verge of collapse. Last week, with barely any Americans noticing, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced that after nearly twelve years of grueling negotiations and reforms, our former communist enemy had completed the necessary steps to go to the WTO's General Council on November 7 for an up-or-down vote on membership....

What should we think of Vietnam's journey? The country is by nobody's definition a democracy, though its abysmal record on human rights has improved somewhat in recent years. But its rapid growth (second only to China in Asia) has bettered the lives of millions of Vietnamese....

Recently here on TAP Online, Shadi Hamid and Spencer Ackerman debated what should serve as the lodestar of a progressive foreign policy vision. Hamid argued that the United States should make the promotion of democracy the centerpiece of its foreign policy, while Ackerman advocated that human rights take that role. Such questions will very likely become more relevant after Tuesday, if Democrats gain more power in Congress. But neither Hamid nor Ackerman offered the correct answer. As the small example of Vietnam helps to illustrate, the United States ought to be redirecting its energies toward renewing its strength and expanding the postwar liberal world order. Do that, and the rest -- democracy, human rights, liberal reforms -- will eventually follow...

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