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From Berlin to Baghdad: America's Search for Purpose in the Post-Cold War World

by Hal Brands

Availablecloth$60.00 978-0-8131-2462-9
440 pages  Pubdate: 01/04/2008  6 x 9  

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Containing Communism was the primary goal of American foreign policy for four decades, allowing generations of political leaders to build consensus atop a universally accepted foundation. From Berlin to Baghdad dissects numerous attempts, after communism’s collapse, to devise a new grand strategy that could match containment’s moral clarity and political efficacy. In the 1990s, the Bush and Clinton administrations eventually acknowledged that they could not reduce America’s multifaceted post–Cold War objectives to a single fundamental precept. After 9/11, George W. Bush promoted the war on terror as America’s new global mission, but this potential successor to containment lost much of its strength as conflicts in the Middle East weakened public morale. From Berlin to Baghdad sheds new light on America’s search for purpose in the politically volatile new world of the twenty-first century.

A comprehensive study, From Berlin to Baghdad fills a major gap in literature. -- Professor Michael Cox, Professor of International Relations and Director of the

From Berlin to Baghdad is beautifully written, balanced, and based on nearly all available primary source documents bolstered by the relevant secondary literature. -- Steven Metz, author of Armed Conflict in the 21st Century

Surveys various attempts to devise a new grand strategy following communism’s collapse. -- Publisher's Weekly

Brands presents a nuanced and balanced analysis of the difficulties with developing American national security doctrine, and he sets the foundation for future study of how presidents in the post-9/11 world can grapple effectively with diverse U.S. interests in world affairs. -- Meena Bose -- H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews

Diplomatic historians will welcome this excellent new study of American foreign policy since the fall of the Berlin Wall. -- J. Garry Clifford -- Journal of American History

[A]rgues that our alliances in Europe and Asia are anachronistic, a burden rather than an asset to the United States and doomed to fail... [From Berlin to Baghdad is] a sign that there is another intellectual and policy debate to be waged as we struggle to find the right answers to these questions. -- International History Reviw

Hal Brands has written an excellent overview of US foreign policy from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Iraq War. His study centers on the search for a coherent, overarching US strategy to replace the concept of containment that had dominated US doctrine throughout the Cold War. -- Journal of American Studies