Honorable Exit From Empire

From 1989 to 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and breakup of the U.S.S.R., America had an opportunity to lay down its global burden and become again what Jeane Kirkpatrick called "a normal country in a normal time."

We let the opportunity pass by, opting instead to use our wealth and power to convert the world to democratic capitalism. And we have reaped the reward of all the other empires that went before: A sinking currency, relative decline, universal enmity, a series of what Rudyard Kipling called "the savage wars of peace."

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