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Lessons for an Unserious Superpower: The “Scoop” Jackson Legacy and US Foreign Policy
AEI
2024.04.05
Americans are less interested in, and seemingly less capable of, strategic thinking today than before the end of the Cold War. There are obvious reasons for this slackening of disposition and thought.
Neither the American public nor its elected representatives have needed the geopolitical acumen of their predecessors for quite some time. The victory of the US alliance in the Cold War was an event of such monumental significance as to result in a historically unprecedented preponderance of global power for the United States.
But our American holiday from history may be running its course. Increasingly, we will feel the consequences of our national actions―sometimes painfully. And so, Americans will have to relearn much of what they have unlearned about geopolitics and national security since the Berlin Wall came down.
As we try to regain our strategic bearings at a time when national security strategy promises once again to have more immediate impact on American life, we could do much worse than to reacquaint ourselves with the basic precepts of “Jacksonianism”―of the Scoop Jackson variety.