Foreign Policy & War

National Defense, Foreign Policy, and Gun Control

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One of the most popular mantras in the post–9/11 era involves praising the troops for “defending our nation” and “protecting our rights and freedoms.” But how many people ever really think about what those mantras really mean? Indeed, how many people ever give serious thought to what would happen to our nation and to our rights and freedoms if ... [click for more]

Venturing into Mali

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Murray Rothbard once observed that it was getting harder and harder to use the reductio ad absurdum device to ridicule U.S. government policy. Things haven’t changed. Thanks to recent events, we may no longer use “Timbuktu,” a name associated with a far-off middle-of-nowhere location, in a reductio about U.S. interventionist foreign policy. The U.S. government has helped the French ... [click for more]

Saber Rattling in Korea: Cui Bono?

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North Korea has announced plans to restart a nuclear reactor that will enable production of weapons-grade plutonium. The announcement coincides with Pyongyang ratcheting up its rhetoric, issuing threats to wage atomic war against South Korea and Japan, and even to target American cities with long-range nuclear missiles it does not yet possess. For decades, North Korea has used its ramshackle ... [click for more]

The Disasters that U.S. Intervention Created

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Americans have forgotten about the Iraq war, which began 10 years ago this week, and the Afghan war, the longest in American history, but the U.S. government is still throwing its weight around in both countries. The Iraq war, the pretext for which was nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, officially ended in 2011 with the withdrawal of virtually all of ... [click for more]

Timbuktu Not out of Reach of U.S. Troops

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Although it is a real city north of the Niger River on edge of the Sahara Desert in the West African country of Mali, Timbuktu has long served as a metaphor for an exotic, mysterious, and distant land. To travel from “here to Timbuktu” suggests a long, arduous, and adventurous journey to a place far away. Timbuktu has both economic ... [click for more]

Foreign Aid: The Seen and the Unseen

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Practically everyone in American politics today claims to favor cutting the federal deficit in part by reducing “waste, fraud, and abuse.” At the same time, however, every item in the budget lines someone’s pockets, and that someone can always be counted on to argue — either directly or, more often, through a seemingly disinterested surrogate — that his plainly ... [click for more]

Drone Trust the Government

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“Covert” drone warfare requires a level of confidence in politicians that they will never deserve. In the Kentucky Resolutions, the 1798 protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson wrote, It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of ... [click for more]

Hagel’s Retreat

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Some observers are mystified by Chuck Hagel’s pathetic showing at his Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, but there should be no mystery about it. He performed as he did for one simple reason: He wants to be the next secretary of defense, and he (along with the White House) must have calculated that standing up for his past positions ... [click for more]
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