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Unformatted text preview: OUGHOUT HISTORY, peace and stability have been great benefits of an era where there was a dominant
power--Rome, Britain or the United States today. Scholars and statesmen have long recognized the irenic effect of power on
the anarchic world of international politics. Everything we think of when we consider the current international
order--free trade, a robust monetary regime, increasing respect for human rights, growing democratization--is directly linked
to U.S. power. Retrenchment proponents seem to think that the current system can be maintained without the current
amount of U.S. power behind it. In that they are dead wrong and need to be reminded of one of history's most significant lessons: Appalling things happen when international orders collapse. The Dark Ages followed Rome's collapse. Hitler
succeeded the order established at Versailles. Without U.S. power, the liberal order created by the United States will end just as
assuredly. As country and western great Ral Donner sang: "You don't know what you've got (until you lose i...
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