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Assessment of the Clash of Civilizations Debate

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Technical Report

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Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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Throughout history, man has attempted to understand world events and the relationships between countries in order to craft foreign policy as well as predict future interactions. The end of the Cold War was no different. As the Berlin Wall fell and the USSRs communist ideology dissolved, the United States no longer viewed the Russians as its enemy. Capitalism and liberal democracy had triumphed over communism. US foreign policy makers and academia grappled with what the new world political stage would look like. Who was the USs new enemy and how would the world respond to this new unipolar world Many researchers developed theories to answer that very question. Three notable theories included Francis Fukuyamas end of history, the Democratic Peace theory, and the Commercial Peace theory. The end of history theory did not, as it sounds, believe that the end of the Cold War signaled Armageddon, but that the defeat of communism was the end point of mankinds ideological evolution and the universalization of western liberal democracy would be the final form of human government. Democracy had triumphed over Communism and would now be the only form of government found throughout the world. The democratic peace theorys fundamental belief was that democracies nevergo to war with one another. Thus, democratic countries should democratize the world. Every state that is converted to a democratic form of government would increase the security of the world. Basically, to enlarge the number of democracies is to enlarge the zone of peace. Instead of democracy, the Commercial Peace theory recognized a relationship between economic independence and the spread of peace.

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