Foreign Policy & War

Langdon, Stark, Bennington, and the Triumph of a Private Army, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The Battle of Bennington Despite some gallant and spirited attempts to resist Burgoyne’s advance through the summer of 1777, the Continental Army’s Northern Department, first under Horatio Gates, then under Philip Schuyler, then under Gates again, was not inspiring much confidence. “The withdrawal from Ticonderoga reinforced Stark’s view that the northern ... [click for more]

The Evil of Sanctions, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 When strong governments wish to impose their will on weaker regimes, they often resort to sanctions. The effects have included the death or debilitation of millions of innocent people. Two good examples are Cuba, on which draconian U.S. sanctions have been enforced since 1960, and Iraq, where brutal sanctions were enforced from 1990 to ... [click for more]

Intervention and Economic Crisis

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No supporter of the market economy could have been surprised when the recent financial crisis was inevitably blamed on “capitalism” and “deregulation.” The free market, we were told, was a recipe for financial instability. “Advocates of the free market must confront the fact that both the Great Depression and the current financial chaos were preceded by years of laissez-faire ... [click for more]

Eight Years of Big Lies on Afghanistan

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It seems like only yesterday that President George W. Bush was bragging about having brought freedom and democracy to 25 million Afghans, a key theme in his second inaugural address. For 8 years, the American people have been fed one big lie after another regarding Afghanistan. Now, when the Pentagon is saber-rattling to vastly increase the number of U.S. troops ... [click for more]

Exit Afghanistan and Leave Iran Alone

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The Obama administrations quest to control the health-insurance industry has dominated the headlines for months, but finally with the news out of Iran and Afghanistan foreign policy has again asserted itself. It was almost easy to forget that the United States maintains a worldwide empire, but the reminders came leaping off the front pages and the television screens. Word that ... [click for more]

How George W. Bush Redefined American Freedom

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George W. Bush is gone from Washington but his legacy, like an abandoned toxic waste dump, lingers on. Like President Franklin Roosevelt before him, President Bush helped redefine American freedom. And like Roosevelt’s, Bush’s changes were perversions of the clear vision the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us. What did freedom mean in the era of George Bush? In Iraq in ... [click for more]

Bombings Worse than Nagasaki and Hiroshima

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The world knows all too well about the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945 (“Little Boy”), and on Nagasaki on Thursday, August 9 (“Fat Man”). “Dropping the bombs ended the war,” said President Harry Truman. They may have ended the war, but they did not end the bombing of Japan. On August 14, 1945, ... [click for more]

The Media As Enablers of Government Lies

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Why do politicians so easily get away with telling lies? In large part, because the news media are more interested in bonding with politicians than in exposing them. Americans are encouraged to believe that the media will serve as a check and a balance on the government. Instead, the press too often volunteer as unpaid pimps, helping politicians deceive ... [click for more]

A Prudent Foreign Policy

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Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America by Ted Galen Carpenter (Cato Institute, 2008); 352 pages. Change has come to Washington in the form of a new administration. Yet the cast of characters looks much the same. Their philosophies, while differing in degree, remain solidly interventionist. The question ... [click for more]
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