Foreign Policy & War

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]

The Middle East Harvests Bitter Imperialist Fruit

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The wall-to-wall coverage of the disintegration of Iraq ought to carry this credit: “This bloodshed was made possible by the generosity of British and French imperialists.” The stomach-wrenching violence in Iraq — not to mention the horrendous civil war in Syria, the chronic unrest in Palestine/Israel, and problems elsewhere in the Middle East — are direct consequences of the imperialist ... [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]
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