From a recent address by Peter F. Krogh, dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service:
It is fashionable to speak of a multipolar world as the heir apparent to the superpower world. That I believe will be some time in coming. For now, there is only one country with the combined moral, political, economic and military assets required to lead the world, and that is the United States. If any evidence of this fact were needed, the Gulf crisis has provided it. The United States has led the response to Iraqi aggression, it has mobilized the international coalition to oppose it, and frankly speaking, the United States is the only country that could, single-handedly, remove Iraq from Kuwait and clip Saddam Hussein's wings.
If anything, the Gulf crisis has revealed how far we are from a united Europe outside of Europe or from a Japan that can flex anything other than its economic muscles. To be sure there is multipolarity in economic terms, but the panoply of resources required to exercise world leadership resides today, and for the foreseeable future, only in the United States.
For what purposes and how are we likely to exercise this power? We will exercise it to maintain and, if possible, expand a free and secure world to which we have unfettered access. And we will do this by seeking to enlarge the area where collective security -- arguably the most important geopolitical invention of all time -- is applied and by broadening and deepening the collective management of an open world economy.
There are strong strains of isolationism and of unilateralism in this country. There always will be. But these strains are trumped by our experience with collective security and with international economic institutions and agreements.