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12 May 2003
The disintegration of the Soviet bloc permitted American unilateralism on a scale the modern world has never seen. But with its war against Iraq the United States for the first time openly massed its military power and then invaded another nation, justifying the war in the name of the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and "regime change." At the same time, it staked the very future of its existing alliances—NATO above all—but also the United Nations. NATO’s demise is a major outcome of the war against Iraq.