Essay: Going It Alone

The bombing attack against Libya is the most dramatic example to date of an important theme in the foreign policy of the Reagan Administration: a determination to use American military power against enemies anywhere in the world, regardless of whether the U.S. has the support of its allies. Being a superpower often means not having to say either please or sorry.

Pundits and political scientists have a fancy, almost tongue-tying bit of jargon for this tendency: global unilateralism. That phrase has been bandied about by both admirers and critics of the Administration, as well as by others who are ambivalent about...

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