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

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.