Foreign Policy & War

The Politicians Are Scaring You Again

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They are doing it again. “They” are the war-party politicians, Democrats and Republicans. “It” is scaring you into supporting another war in the Middle East. When will the American people learn? If in a republic the people are the ultimate check on government power, a gullible, easily frightened public is a disaster waiting to happen. Where is the derisive skepticism ... [click for more]

The Hegemony Builders

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  Who are these, obsequious fools Lickspittles drawing e'er near To the flames of power, but fulfilled By a moment in diadem's glare?   “To arms!” they cry – to all but they For what good is slavish applause If spent upon a battlefield – What then for Caesar's next cause?   Oh mighty lambs, lust for war! Heedless of misery and pain Lust for him who makes it so Suckle the breast ... [click for more]

TGIF: A Foreign Policy By and For Knaves

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David Hume (1711-1776) was no hardcore libertarian, but he was a provocative thinker and a key figure in the development of liberalism. Hume helped make the Scottish Enlightenment the important period it was. He also can be fun to read. Observe this from his essay “Of the Independency of Parliament”: Political writers have established it as a maxim, ... [click for more]

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]
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