Foreign Policy & War

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]

9/11 and Pearl Harbor

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Immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attack, some people compared that attack to the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941. It now seems that the comparisons might be more appropriate than anyone could have imagined. Prior to Pearl Harbor, the Roosevelt administration ignored increasing signs that a surprise attack somewhere in the Pacific was ... [click for more]

America’s Pro-Terrorism Foreign-Aid Program

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President Bush recently announced that he plans to boost American foreign aid by 50 percent — to more than $15 billion a year. While Bush’s proclamation was widely praised as a sign of American generosity, little attention is being paid to the hypocrisy behind his policies. Unfortunately, American foreign aid could result in new chains ... [click for more]

Cant and the Middle East

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In the world of diplomacy, and politics generally, words are not chosen for their correspondence to the truth. They are chosen for their power to advance some purpose. That’s why most of what we hear is cant. Nowhere is this rule more faithfully observed than in connection with the Middle East. When President Bush says Israeli Prime Minister ... [click for more]

America’s Hypocritical, Counterproductive Foreign Aid

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THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION has been triumphantly shutting down and seizing the assets of one Muslim charity after another. In some cases, such as that of the Holy Land Foundation, the evidence appears based largely on accusations from informants who overheard speeches seven or eight years ago. In other cases, the Treasury Department is releasing ... [click for more]
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