As the 100th anniversary of World War I approaches, historians continue to be haunted by the question of cause, examining the confluence of ideologies, ambitions and circumstances which led to one of the 20th century’s most brutal conflicts.
On November 7, the Brookings Institution hosted noted historian Margaret MacMillan, author of The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 (Random House, 2013) for a discussion to compare current tensions around the globe – rising tides of nationalism, economic pressures of globalization, sectarian strife, and the fading role of the United States as the world’s policeman – to the period preceding the Great War. Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Kagan joined MacMillan in conversation about modern conflict points and how world leaders must learn the lessons of 1914 and work together to build a more stable international order. Ted Piccone, acting vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks.
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[President Trump's counterparts fear that Americans] do not feel they need to lead the world anymore... The United States is still the dominant power out there – the Atlantic alliance is still alive. But [Trump's] foreign policy weakened some of the elements.