The End of Optimism: Global Order in an Age of Paralysis

On Sept. 11, 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush, in an address before a joint session of Congress, outlined his vision of a “new world order,” arguing that the end of the Cold War and the imminent launching of a multilateral military operation to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi forces offered the nations of the world “a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation.” Events over the next several years seemed to validate his prediction: The ensuing First Gulf War offered a model for rules-based multilateral military interventions; the Madrid Peace conference raised the tantalizing hope that […]

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