Debate: ‘Spheres of Influence’—a Reality to Be Faced or an Atavism to Be Rejected?

As competition among great powers intensifies, so, too, could debates about spheres of influence. Some U.S. policymakers have implied or said outright that the United States has its own sphere of influence that should be respected. Political analyst Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute has gone as far as to argue that, in order to avoid “needless conflict,” Washington should seek “a sensible agreement” with Moscow…

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