While espousing globalisation, Washington has been able to defend a traditional view of national sovereignty that has emphasised its ability to shape events without paying too much attention to the opinion of others. The new Bush administration reasserted the tradition of unilateralism in foreign policy, reminding other countries that the United States needs them less than they need it.
The extension of us power around the globe may have made enemies, but foreign states have been powerless to protest. One by one hostile states have been forced to recognise its overwhelming military, political and economic power. And unlike the Roman Empire 1500 years ago, Washington has not faced barbarous hordes intent on destroying it. On the contrary, it is confronted by millions of economic migrants with a desire only to share the fruits of globalisation.