„Americans, in foreign policy, are torn to the point of schizophrenia. They are reluctant, than aggressive; asleep at the switch, then quick on the trigger; indifferent, then obsessed, then indifferent again. They act out of a sense of responsibility and then resent and fear the burden of responsibility they have taken on themselves. Their effect on the world, not surprisingly, is often the opposite of what they intend. Americans say they want stability in the international system, but they are often the greates disrupters of stability. They extol the virtues of international laws and institutions but then violate and ignore them with barley a second thought. They are recolutionary power but think they are a status quo power. They want to be left alone but can't seem to leave anyone else alone. They are continually surprising the world with their behavior, but not nearly as much as they are continually surprising themselves.“

— Robert Kagan

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