Many others accused them of providing potent ammunition for anti-Semites. In fact, Mearsheimer is best-known in the academy for his equally controversial views on China, and particularly for his magnum opus, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.
Mearsheimer sat me down in his office, overlooking the somber Collegiate Gothic structures of the University of Chicago, and talked for hours, over the course of several days, about Tragedy and his life.
One of five children in a family of German and Irish ancestry, and one of the three who went to service academies, Mearsheimer graduated from West Point in the bottom third of his class, even after he fell in love with political science in his junior year. I found out what I thought by what I was against. The environment is vaguely unfriendly to theories or bold ideas, Huntington being the grand exception that proves the rule.
After all, social-science theories are gross simplifications of reality; even the most brilliant theories can be right, say, only 75 percent of the time. So the truly ambitious tend to avoid constructing one. These iconoclasts have included Hans Morgenthau, as well as Leo Strauss, another German Jewish refugee, whom some link with neoconservatism. Realists especially have been outsiders in a profession dominated by liberal internationalists and others to the left.
But at Chicago, a realist like Mearsheimer, who loves teaching and never had ambitions for government service, can propound theories and unpopular ideas, and revel in the uproar they cause.
Whatever the latest group-think happens to be, Mearsheimer almost always instinctively wants to oppose it—especially if it emanates from Washington. The best grand theories tend to be written no earlier than middle age, when the writer has life experience and mistakes behind him to draw upon.
Mearsheimer began writing The Tragedy of Great Power Politics when he was in his mids, after working on it for a decade. Tragedy begins with a forceful denial of perpetual peace in favor of perpetual struggle, with great powers primed for offense, because they can never be sure how much military capacity they will need in order to survive over the long run.
Because every state is forever insecure, Mearsheimer counsels, the internal nature of a state is less important as a factor in its international behavior than we think. In other words, Mearsheimer is not one to be especially impressed by a state simply because it is a democracy. A democratic Egypt, for that matter, could create greater security challenges for the United States than an autocratic Egypt.
Mearsheimer is not making moral judgments. He is merely describing how states interact in an anarchic world. States take up human rights only if doing so does not contradict the pursuit of power.
Mearsheimer cares relatively little about what individual statesmen can achieve, for the state of anarchy in the international system simply guarantees insecurity. Compared with Mearsheimer, Henry Kissinger and the late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke—two men usually contrasted with each other—are one and the same: romantic figures who believe they can pivotally affect history through negotiation.
Kissinger and Holbrooke care deeply about the contingencies of each situation, and the personalities involved; Mearsheimer, who was always good at math and science in school, sees only schemata, even as his own historical analyses have helped to rescue political science from the purely quantitative studies favored by others in his field.
What was Manifest Destiny, Mearsheimer asks the reader, except offensive realism? To demonstrate that the anarchic structure of the international system, not the internal characteristics of states, determines behavior, he shows how Italy, during the eight decades that it was a great power, was equally aggressive under both liberal and fascist regimes: going after North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the southern Balkans, southwestern Turkey, and southern Austria-Hungary. Behind every assertion in this book is a wealth of historical data that helps explain why Tragedy continues, as Richard Betts predicted, to grow in influence.
This is an implausible argument on its face. The edgiest parts of Tragedy are when Mearsheimer presents full-bore rationales for the aggression of Wilhelmine Germany, Nazi Germany, and imperial Japan. The German decision to push for war in was not a case of wacky strategic ideas pushing a state to start a war it was sure to lose.
Mearsheimer and Dr. Walt, with officials citing the need to protect free expression. Ellwood, dean of the Kennedy School. Some ideas are controversial, some ideas are very controversial, some ideas are wrong. But the administration shouldn't be in the position of making a judgment on something like this.
Other scholars should be making those judgments, and ideas should rise and fall in the bright light of scholarly debate. Walt have entered the debate full-throated, including David R. Gergen, also at the Kennedy School and a former adviser to four presidents, and Alan M.
Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School, described in the paper as an apologist for Israel. The Kennedy School invited members of the Harvard faculty to post responses on the Web site, as long as they were scholarly and were not personal attacks.
Dershowitz posted a page response last week in which he attacked the authors' logic and facts. Money being fungible, that aid also pays for the very settlements that America opposes and that impede the peace process.
There will be no peace in the Middle East until the United States faces its responsibilities there in a much more convincing fashion than it does today, partly for reasons given in this depressing book. Kaplan 's "deification" of Mearsheimer in The Atlantic in January showed that the authors of The Israel Lobby were winning the argument.
Duke has said that "It is quite satisfying to see a body in the premier American university essentially come out and validate every major point I have been making since even before the war even started. However, he also says, paraphrasing a statement popularly misattributed to Samuel Johnson , that "what is original is not true and what is true is not original", and that the notion that the "Jewish tail wags the American dog But they are not personally anti-Semitic, nor are they motivated by animosity toward Israel.
He also challenges the view that Israel was a prime motivator in the invasion of Iraq, saying " There was simply no reason for Israel to risk alienating a large segment of the American people in order to push for this war and, in fact, they did not.
It was an American misadventure, and the Israeli involvement was by American request, not on their own impetus. As someone who has been facing the full brunt of their power for the last three years through their formidable influence on my own university and their attempts to get me fired, I answer with a resounding yes.
Are they primarily responsible for U. Absolutely not. The authors note this but often seem to forget it. This has the effect of making the Jews who read the paper feel unfairly singled out, and inspires much emotionally driven mishigas craziness in reaction. They conflate groups that are merely sympathetic to Israel with those that actively back the hard-line policies of the Likud. Despite their small numbers in the population less than 3 percent , they make large campaign donations to candidates from both parties.
In their formulation, the fact that a congressman is Jewish creates suspicion of dual loyalties. Prominent Israeli leaders and their American supporters pressed very hard for the invasion of Iraq; but the United States would probably be in Iraq today even if there had been no Israel lobby.
Finally, the normative assertions that the U.Global Why John J. And as good realists, we—the Chinese—want writer dominate Asia the way mearsheimer Americans have dominated the Essay Hemisphere. Walt, the Mearsheimer. Then he essay the uncertainty writer intentions and explains: the leaders of one great power in this anarchic jungle of a world can never know what the walt of a rival melatonin and the pineal gland essay writing power are thinking.
He argues in Why Leaders Lie Oxford University Press, that leaders lie to foreign audiences as well as their own people because they think it is good for their country. President Jimmy Carter, wrote: "Mearsheimer and Walt adduce a great deal of factual evidence that over the years Israel has been the beneficiary of privileged — indeed, highly preferential — financial assistance, out of all proportion to what the United States extends to any other country. But he asserts that he did not find the thesis of the paper very convincing. Even as Mearsheimer is attacked, whenever he publishes something—a recent book on why diplomats are forced to lie, or a recent essay decrying both liberal and neoconservative imperialism—he breaks new ground.
Yet their work is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written for the past two decades. Mearsheimer's definition of liberal hegemony includes a three-part designation of it as an extension of Woodrow Wilson's original initiatives to make a world safe by turning its governments into democracies, turning geopolitical economic initiatives towards open markets compatible with democratic governments, and thirdly opening up and promoting other democratically liberal international social and culture societies on a global scale of inclusion. Duke has said that "It is quite satisfying to see a body in the premier American university essentially come out and validate every major point I have been making since even before the war even started. China is increasing its submarine fleet from 62 to 77 and has tested a stealth fighter jet as part of a buildup also featuring surface warships, missiles, and cyber warfare. Mearsheimer said. Does that mean that, as the authors of The Israel Lobby claim, the bias is the work of that lobby?
Mearsheimer is not making moral judgments. Global Why John J. Foreign Policy", was highly controversial. But it is unclear that was the case. Specifically, Mearsheimer argues that the success of deterrence is determined by the strategy available to the potential attacker. States take up human rights only if doing so does not contradict the pursuit of power.
One might argue that Israel has killed more Palestinians than visa versa, but it doesn't change the role of spectacular Palestinian terrorism in shaping American attitudes toward Israel. Linking the dots, Mearsheimer and Walt suggest that the war was thus fought because of the lobby, but this does not necessarily follow. And Mearsheimer felt strongly that a new war was a bad idea. In a speech, Mearsheimer praised the British historian E. The German decision to push for war in was not a case of wacky strategic ideas pushing a state to start a war it was sure to lose.
Mearsheimer and Dr.
There appears to be a general assessment that Mearsheimer and Walt have gotten two things right: 1 You need to factor in interest group politics when you try to explain U. One of five children in a family of German and Irish ancestry, and one of the three who went to service academies, Mearsheimer graduated from West Point in the bottom third of his class, even after he fell in love with political science in his junior year. In their formulation, the fact that a congressman is Jewish creates suspicion of dual loyalties.
Realists especially have been outsiders in a profession dominated by liberal internationalists and others to the left. There will be no peace in the Middle East until the United States faces its responsibilities there in a much more convincing fashion than it does today, partly for reasons given in this depressing book.
Mearsheimer presented several possible scenarios for a post-Cold-War Europe from which American and Russian forces had departed. The mistake is astonishingly elementary, but it pervades the whole paper. A decade later, he described the "international anarchy" as having not changed with the end of the Cold War, "and there are few signs that such change is likely any time soon.
They were commissioned by the Atlantic Monthly to write an essay on the influence of the lobby, but when the piece was delivered the magazine thought better of it.
This book has now become part of its own story. Great navies and air forces can be built, and soldiers transported to beachheads and airstrips, but conquering great land powers across the seas is difficult. Order Reprints Today's Paper Subscribe. Walt said. In his view, either liberal internationalism or neoconservatism is more likely than offensive realism to lead to the spilling of American blood. Whatever the latest group-think happens to be, Mearsheimer almost always instinctively wants to oppose it—especially if it emanates from Washington.