Michiko Kakutani calls Fukuyama's new book "tough-minded and edifying."
In "America at the Crossroads," Mr. Fukuyama questions the assertion made by the prominent neoconservatives Mr. Kristol and Robert Kagan in their 2000 book "Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy" that other nations "find they have less to fear" from the daunting power of the United States because "American foreign policy is infused with an unusually high degree of morality." The problem with this doctrine of "benevolent hegemony," Mr. Fukuyama points out, is that "it is not sufficient that Americans believe in their own good intentions; non-Americans must be convinced of them as well."
That's where the General Memetics Corporation comes into the picture.
"Bureaucratic tribalism exists in all administrations, but it rose to poisonous levels in Bush's first term. Team loyalty trumped open-minded discussion, and was directly responsible for the administration's failure to plan adequately for the period after the end of active combat."
Fukuyama is getting hell from people for what they perceive as him changing his mind. First, I'm not sure that's completely the case. I was happy to see Saddam go down as well, even though I thought our timing and approach was way off. I also do not think its contradictory to be anti-war and applaud the downfall of Saddam at the same time. You can be happy about ends and still think that means suck. You can also want a particular end, but have a different set of means in mind to get there. However, all these things involve complex arguments. Most people don't like complex arguments that actually require a few levels of thinking. Meaningful ideas are like onions, they must grow a few layers before they are edible and taste good. The outer layers don't have as much flavor, but they can also easily be peeled off.
Since I've followed Fukuyama's works, I'm looking forward to reading his new book and seeing where he goes with it. I don't always agree with him, but I consistently find some great insight in his writings.
This interview is also worth a read. Dare I say it ends on a note that makes Fukuyama look like an intellectual snob?
NYT Review of 'America at the Crossroads,' by Francis Fukuyama