Or not according to the American Conservative. The piece is an intemperate attack on neoconservatives around Giuliani, but it also includes some sharp details. Here's one:

Giuliani’s senior defense advisor is my old colleague from Harvard’s Olin Institute of 20071221magcoverlg Strategic Studies, Stephen Peter Rosen. He qualifies as a movement neocon, having signed many of the Project for a New American Century’s ukases, such as the Sept. 21, 2001 letter arguing, “even if the evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq” and the April 3, 2002 letter baldly declaring, “Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight.” Not surprisingly, given his experience on the National Security Council during the early years of the Reagan military build-up, Rosen supports increased defense spending and the expansion of our ground forces. He is also an unabashed advocate of American primacy, arguing in a recent piece in The National Interest, “successful imperial governance must focus on maintaining and increasing, if possible, the initial advantage in the ability to generate military power.”

But Rosen’s view of international politics goes beyond renascent Reagan-era hawkishness and embraces a social Darwinistic framework for understanding hegemonic America’s challenges. Rejecting Bush’s pre-9/11 argument that America needed a “humble foreign policy,” Rosen wrote:

Humility is always a virtue, but the dominant male atop any social hierarchy, human or otherwise, never managed to rule simply by being nice. Human evolutionary history has produced a species that both creates hierarchies and harbors the desire among subordinates to challenge its dominant member. Those challenges never disappear. The dominant member can never do everything that subordinates desire, and so it is blamed for what it does not do as much as for what it does.

One response to being an unloved global hegemon, I suppose, is to focus on "successful imperial governance." I admire the honesty of the phrase. Another is to do less and allow other great powers some field of influence, and to stop the economic and moral hollowing out from within. At some point, on current trends, the US may be forced to do so - if only because its accumulated debt will demand it. Perhaps it's better to let go a little while you're ahead. Call it - oh, I don't know - prudence?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.