The U.S., in other words, should be willing to give up national sovereignty in favor of following the “new course in human evolution” modeled by the European Union, while, of course, maintaining its “special role” as “the guardian of international security”.
This move towards what has been termed elsewhere as “the New World Order” would demonstrate “enlightened wisdom”. Of course, since it’s a “selfish world”, in which other nations put their own perceived self-interest before the interests of the whole world (as defined by Washington), achieving this goal won’t be easy. Our only hope lies in “a renewed understanding of the importance of values” — no doubt the same “American values” the U.S. found fit to “promote” through military force through both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Kagan gives the last word to Madeleine Albright. The “democracies” of the world just need to recognize their “need” for the U.S. to maintain it’s “special role”. If the world can’t recognize this, it’s because they lack foresight; they can’t “see further into the future” as the U.S. can.
Of course, the U.S. must be more patient with the rest of the world when other nations demonstrate a “lack of seriousness” about the reasons given for the necessity to use force; because “we are America” and must therefore “promote American values” violently. Those who can’t see this are simply unenlightened.
The “war on terror” served to frighten Americans sufficiently. The 9/11 attacks were the “new Pearl Harbor” Kagan and his fellow neoconservatives openly said they needed in order for public opinion to swing less in opposition to the “transformation” of the U.S. military required for the U.S. to carry out its “special role” of global hegemon. 9/11 was an “opportunity” for the neoconservatives to push through their agenda, including the invasion of Iraq. This is why the “war on terror” was not a total failure.
But it is still inadequate because the rest of the world does not similarly fear the “threat” from terrorism. Europeans should be just as terrified as Americans. The “war on terror” is counterproductive, in fact, because people perceive that it serves only to increase the threat of terrorism by stirring the hornet’s nest. To engender more support for the U.S. “special role”, a paradigm like the Cold War, with the threat of communism serving as a pretext many more around the world were willing to accept, is preferable.
The corollary of Kagan’s argument is that policymakers should seek to implement a shift in paradigm away from the “war on terror” and more towards something like the emergence of a new global power that other nations can be convinced they need protecting from, which would more readily allow the U.S. to step into it’s “special role” without so much global opposition — a new and improved version of the Cold War.