Foreign Policy & War

TGIF: The “Boomerang Effect”: How Foreign Policy Changes Domestic Policy

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The late Chalmers Johnson, the great analyst of the American empire, warned that if Americans didn’t give up the empire, they would come to live under it. We’ve had many reasons to take his warning seriously; indeed, several important thinkers have furnished sound theoretical and empirical evidence for the proposition. Now come two scholars who advance our understanding of how ... [click for more]

Will American Ground Troops Be Sent to Fight ISIS?

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With the United States dropping bombs on yet another Muslim country, we might benefit from a close look at President Obama’s anti–Islamic State strategy. Obama and his spokespeople are always quick to make two points: first, that no American ground forces will be sent into combat against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and second, that the United ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Antimilitarist Libertarian Heritage

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With the United States on the verge of another war in the Middle East — or is it merely the continuation of a decades-long war? — we libertarians need to reacquaint ourselves with our intellectual heritage of peace, antimilitarism, and anti-imperialism. This rich heritage is too often overlooked and frequently not appreciated at all. That is tragic. Libertarianism, to ... [click for more]

Is the Foreign-Policy Elite Clueless?

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The American foreign-policy elite seems to have no idea what it’s doing. Americans may believe the government — especially the foreign-policy side — is at least minimally competent, but when one surveys decisions from the last few decades, one has to wonder. The current crop of policymakers, like earlier ones, know what they want to do: make the world safe for ... [click for more]

TGIF: Does Freedom Require Empire?

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In a startling article, Daniel McCarthy, the admirable editor of The American Conservative magazine (TAC), writes, “Successive British and American empires created and upheld the world order in which liberalism could flourish.” In other words, as he writes in “Why Liberalism Means Empire,” “Liberalism and ... [click for more]

Let’s Have Candor from the NATO Summit

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Don’t hold your breath, but it would be refreshing if NATO leaders meeting in Wales this week spoke candidly for once about Ukraine. They could start by embracing this observation by John Mearsheimer, the distinguished foreign-policy scholar at the University of Chicago: According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on ... [click for more]

Broken

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They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars — The Untold Story by Ann Jones. (Haymarket Books/Dispatch Books 2013), 191 pages. Members of the American armed forces are props. They wave from convertibles as Independence Day parades make their way down Main Street U.S.A. They are trotted out at football games to bless the proceedings as some ... [click for more]

TGIF: The 100th Anniversary of the Great State Crime

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This week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the four-year bloody nightmare that claimed 16 million lives — 7 million of them noncombatants — and wounded over 20 million people. That would have been bad enough, but the conflict was merely Act One in a much bigger war. The “peace” settlement vindictively branded Germany uniquely ... [click for more]

The U.S. Government Still Tries to Subvert Cuba

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When I saw the headline about the U.S. government and Cuba in my newspaper the other day, I thought I’d awoken in 1961. It was a Twilight Zone moment for sure: “U.S. program aimed to stir dissent in Cuba.” I expected Rod Serling to welcome me to “another dimension.” But it was 2014. The AP news report said ... [click for more]

In Foreign Affairs, Not Doing Anything Is the Thing to Do

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The heartbreaking violence in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere carries many messages, but here’s one Americans shouldn’t miss: The United States — no matter who the president is — cannot manage world conflict. The corollary is that when a president tries to manage it, things will usually get worse. Foresight is always defective, and tragic unintended consequences will ... [click for more]
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