Daily Archives: May 14, 2008

Robert Kagan fires back at me over the League of Democracies in today’s FT.

He purports to be baffled that I should waste my time writing about the league when there are other more urgent issues to discuss – Georgia, Burma etc…Actually, I’ve written about both of these subjects in the past – and I’m sure I will again. But I think Kagan is too modest. His idea of a League of Democracies is being pushed hard by John McCain, who has a strong chance of being the next US president. So it is surely worth discussing?

Reading Kagan’s commentary today, I’m struck by how much we agree on. (There are also disagreements, which I’ll get onto in a moment.)

Both our columns ended on the same point. This is obviously not an idea that the US can impose. If European and Asian democracies are not attracted to the League of Democracies, then nothing is going to happen. Kagan also makes much of the fact that the idea of an alliance of democracies has got a lot of support among American liberals. Again, this is a point I made – in fact we cite some of the same names.

So let’s get onto the more interesting stuff: the disagreements. I think the most obvious dispute is over whether this is a potentially “dangerous” idea. Read more