Letters

The New Carthage?

SIR: I enjoyed Dr Bendle’s absorbing commentary (May 2008) which well illustrates the enduring fascination of the Roman empire’s rise and demise. The apparent contention of Cullen Murphy’s The New Rome? that US military power is increasingly reliant on mercenaries seems dubious. Nonetheless, were this point conceded it would actually further suggest that the USA—given the whiff of plutocracy in its political culture and the salience of commercial imperatives in its national life—is more Carthage than Rome. The “New Romers” have seized on the wrong parallel. The US does not “make a desolation and call it peace”. Washington does, however,…

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