Foreign Policy & War

The Worst Mistake in U.S. History

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The worst mistake in U.S. history was the conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military. A good example of how the national-security state has ... [click for more]

Smears and Hyperbole: Neo-McCarthyism Run Amok on Russia Policy

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Donald Trump’s comments during the 2016 presidential campaign that he wanted the United States to have more-cooperative relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia have triggered a mixture of hysteria and viciousness among his political adversaries. Hawks conduct a concerted campaign to demonize Russia and portray it as a dire threat not only to the security of the West, but as ... [click for more]

Militarism or Isolationism?

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Under Donald Trump, American foreign policy is returning, many commentators say, to the isolationism that preceded World War II. This line of interpretation (and often attack) emerged during the election: While Hillary Clinton warned that her opponent would “tear up our alliances,” an array of experts supplied such fears with a historical pedigree. As Council on Foreign Relations president ... [click for more]

Obama’s AWOL Anti-War Protest

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Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 as a peace candidate. He signaled that he would fundamentally change America’s course after the reckless carnage unleashed by the George W. Bush administration. However, by the end of Obama’s presidency, the United States was bombing seven different foreign nations. But Obama’s warring rarely evoked the protests or opposition that the Bush ... [click for more]

The New Deal, Part 2: Foreign Policy

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Part 1 | Part 2 As noted in part 1, the New Deal was in serious political trouble by 1937. (See Frederic Sanborn, “Collapse of the New Deal,” in W.A. Williams, ed., Shaping of American Diplomacy, II.) Agriculture Secretary Henry Wallace’s book New Frontiers (1934) was an early sign of the administration’s turn toward foreign markets as ... [click for more]

America’s Plunge from Republic to Empire

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We have crossed the boundary that lies between Republic and Empire. If you ask when, the answer is that you cannot make a single stroke between day and night. The precise moment does not matter. There was no painted sign to say, “You now are entering Imperium.” Yet it was a very old road and the voice of history ... [click for more]

America’s Misadventures in the Greater Middle East

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America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by Andrew J. Bacevich (Random House, 2016), 480 pages. America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East by Chas W. Freeman Jr. (Just World Books, 2016), 256 pages. Few forces in American public life are as powerful as the one that pulls people in Washington into the foreign ... [click for more]
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