What struck me most forcefully as I reread Incoherent Empire was that absolutely nothing has changed in the “incoherence” of U.S. imperialism. If I picked up the book for the first time today and didn’t know it was written 15 years ago, I could read nearly all of it as a perceptive critique of American imperialism exactly as it exists today.
In the intervening 15 years, U.S. policy failures have resulted in ever-spreading violence and chaos that affect hundreds of millions of people in at least a dozen countries. The U.S. has utterly failed to bring any of its neo-imperial wars to a stable or peaceful end. And yet the U.S. imperial project sails on, seemingly blind to its consistently catastrophic results.