AbstractWhat are the possibilities for peaceful coexistence of divergent capitalisms, of the West with the Islamic world, of rich and poor regions in the global system? The central proposition of this paper is that only by reinforcing multilateralism can the international community hope to maximise the chances for peace. The paper examines the ‘new’ US ‘imperialism’ as articulated by the Bush administration over the past three years, particularly through an analysis of the National Security Strategy. It considers the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions as a decisive victory for the US military. It then briefly considers the economic basis of the US imperial project to suggest that its supremacy may prove ephemeral. In the third section of the paper, the author examines the political and economic motivations for the US-Anglo invasion and occupation of Iraq. Finally, in the last section, a return is made to an evaluation of the prospects for challenging the imperial project and the basis on which this might be pursued.