Foreign Policy & War

Bush, Rumsfeld, and Orwell

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It has long been clear that little of what government leaders say and do makes no sense unless you understand that they think we are idiots, uninformed, or both. Could there be better evidence than recent remarks by President Bush and Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld? Let’s start with the much-admired Secretary ... [click for more]

Whither Congress?

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As President Bush rushes the nation headlong into another foreign war, an important question should be finally and unambiguously answered: What exactly were those old gentlemen talking about in 1787 when they wrote that Congress, not the president, held the power to declare war? Are we to believe that they actually ... [click for more]

Make Him an Offer He Can’t Accept

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President Bush is no Don Corleone. When the Godfather wanted something, he would make an uncooperative person an offer he couldn’t refuse. Mr. Bush, following his predecessor, makes his adversary an offer he can’t accept. Former President Clinton did this with President Milosevic of Yugoslavia before launching a war over Kosovo. Clinton made demands — including ... [click for more]

Why Is the Self a Lesser Cause?

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War increases the burdens of government. If you seek evidence, look around. Government does not grow only in obvious ways, for example by gaining the power to hold individuals without charge or to monitor their lawful activities. It also grows through the promotion of a culture of sacrifice. In war, more ... [click for more]

Feeling a Draft?

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Most people may have long forgotten it, but American males who turn 18 are still compelled to register with the Selective Service System. Failure to do so carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. What’s more, states have enacted laws barring nonregistrants from getting ... [click for more]

Anything for War? George W. Bush and the Shadow of FDR

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In 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “I am perfectly willing to mislead and tell lies if it will help win the war.” Now in wartime it certainly may be necessary for a general or a commander in chief to try to misinform or deceive the enemy about a planned attack or about the defense positions and strength of one’s ... [click for more]

Can We Call It an Empire Yet?

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Once upon a time people who favored an aggressive global military policy for the United States avoided the word “empire.” They instinctively sensed the anti-American ring to it, so they found euphemisms and dismissed charges of U.S. imperialism as delusions from the fevered imaginations of unpatriotic agitators. Now that has begun to change. First the new imperialists approached the issue ... [click for more]

Conscription: Not Now; Not Ever, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Dubious international commitments have exacerbated the military’s recruitment and retention problems. Focus-group interviews have found young men to be reluctant to support America’s increasing role as international policeman. Reported two researchers at the Defense Manpower Data Center, “Youth today generally view the military as less attractive than before the end of the Cold War. A ... [click for more]

Finding Safety from Terrorism

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Since September 11, safety, security, and liberty are at the forefront of every American’s mind. As in most crises, some Americans believe that a stronger and more powerful central government is the answer. But is it? Responding to an increased demand for protection, the federal government has embraced a number of “solutions” to the terrorist threat, ... [click for more]

Conscription: Not Now; Not Ever, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 ON SEPTEMBER 11, it had been almost 60 years since the U.S. homeland had come under attack. As they did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans turned to the military for their defense. But now, in contrast to the past, they are finding security in a volunteer military. When ... [click for more]

The Price of Liberty and the Cost of War

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Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, ... [click for more]

The World’s Poor Lose a Friend

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On May 2 the best friend of the world’s poor died at home in London. Peter Bauer was 86 and had just been named winner of the first Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, awarded by the Cato Institute. Never heard of Peter Bauer? That’s because his analysis of poverty ... [click for more]
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