American Power in an Age of Disorder

Henry Kissinger’s most recent book was called, very simply, World Order. The title may be taken as ironic, for at present, Kissinger said, there is no such thing. “Our age is insistently, at times almost desperately, in pursuit of a concept of world order,” and unless the major powers, the United States and China in particular, but not them alone, manage to reach a new kind of accommodation about their roles on the global stage, “chaos threatens.” The outlines of that accommodation are not yet clear, and will require all the ingenuity and imagination of which statesmen are capable. But of one thing Kissinger was quite certain: “No single country, neither China nor the United States, is in a position to fill by itself the world leadership role of the sort that the United States occupied in the immediate post–Cold War period.”