Charles Krauthammer was not happy with Fukuyama’s retraction of support for the Iraq war and the neoconservative project which found import with the Bush administration. At a speech he gave, Krauthammer asserts he had not said the war was:
” ‘an unqualified success’ “
as Fukuyama claimed…but rather that the event was:
“…a fairly theoretical critique of the four schools of American foreign policy: isolationism, liberal internationalism, realism and neoconservatism. The only successes I attributed to the Iraq war were two, and both self-evident: (1) that it had deposed Saddam Hussein and (2) that this had made other dictators think twice about the price of acquiring nuclear weapons…”
According to the Krauthammer of 2006, there is a case for moral realism, and advocating the use of American military force against radical Islam in Iraq. Fukuyama was overlooking this position in his retreat from the war, and using Krauthammer as a foil.
“My argument then, as now, was the necessity of this undertaking, never its ensured success”
Necessity? Currently that’s a tough case to make, even for Krauthammer. It will also likely be harder to defend steely eyed realism (moral and otherwise) now as it’s been conflated with the Bush administration’s failures in Iraq. What good may come there will still be mixed with the familiar arrogance, over-reach, and narrow idealism the administration has brought to the middle-east.
Of course,the current liberal resurgence will potentially have its own narrow idealism, definitions of freedom, and visions of the wider world.
See Also: Francis Fukuyama At The Washington Post: They Can Only Go So Far, and what I think are potential dangers of the Nietzschean influence behind some of Fukuyama’s and other neoconservative thinking: A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche Connection.