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America didn't come to rule the world over night.

Henry Kissinger is often thought of as the originator of realpolitik–political action dictated by circumstance and pragmatism rather than ideologies or ethics–but this couldn't be further from the truth. From Sun Tzu to Machiavelli to Thomas Hobbes, philosophers and political theorists alike have been advocating for a more practical politics for thousands of years, and their edicts have had profound effects on the way in which global alliances have shifted throughout history. Inasmuch as it takes a powerful nation to create powerful enemies, it's worth examining America's rise to alliance breaker/maker, a rise that's rooted in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A story:

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