Foreign Policy & War

Memorializing the Horrors of War with 10 Must-See War Films

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“The horror... the horror...”—Apocalypse Now (1979) “You can’t show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore. Perhaps it would be better if you could fire real shots over the audience’s head every night, you know, and have actual casualties in the theater.”—Sam Fuller, film director and author Nearly 71 years ago, the United States ... [click for more]

Anti-war Is Pro-American

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Thomas Jefferson declared the American way of interacting with the world to be "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none." However, over the course of at least the past seven decades, the US government has turned this admonition on its head. Peace? The US government has waged wars of choice almost constantly since the ... [click for more]

The Empire versus Little America

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Former Arkansas Sen. William Fulbright said in 1967, “The price of empire is America’s soul, and that price is too high.” War, expansion, the maintenance of a large standing army: these corrupt a country, as poets from James Russell Lowell to Wendell Berry have tried to tell us. The Vietnam or Iraq War may level villages across the sea but ... [click for more]

Welcome to Base Nation

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Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2015), 432 pages. There is much in U.S. history that Americans should not be proud of. Chattel slavery. The genocide of indigenous populations. Jim Crow. The U.S. war on terror currently under way and still with no end in sight. But few ... [click for more]

The Inanity of the Cold War

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There were many inanities that came with the Cold War, the 45-year period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. In fact, one might easily argue that the entire Cold War was an exercise in inanity. U.S. officials, of course, have always maintained that the Cold War was necessary to prevent the Soviet Union from imposing communism ... [click for more]

War of Pure Defense: A First Sketch

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Few thinkers have ever set forth (much less developed) the rather straightforward idea of purely defensive war, i.e., war limited to repelling invaders — and otherwise doing nothing at all. The term “defensivism” would suit the case, but since philosopher Eric Mack put it (in my view) to different and rather conventional use almost forty years ago (“Permissible Defense,” ... [click for more]

War, Big Government, and Lost Freedom

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We are currently marking the hundredth anniversary of the fighting of the First World War. For four years between the summer of 1914 and November 11, 1918, the major world powers were in mortal combat with each other. The conflict radically changed the world. It overthrew the pre-1914 era of relatively limited government and free market economics, and ushered ... [click for more]

The Political Economy of “Exporting” Democracy

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In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson justified the American entry into World War I on the ground that it was necessary to make the world “safe for democracy.” Since that time, U.S. presidents have used this same line of reasoning to justify military interventions around the world. More than eight decades after Wilson’s decree, George W. Bush stated that “it ... [click for more]
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