About the Book
The U.S. once was a traditional republic, remaining aloof from foreign conflicts. Today there is no problem on earth with which Washington is not concerned. The result is an oversize military, perpetual intervention, and constant conflict. September 11 demonstrated that Washington’s enemies could strike America at home. Iraq shows how even great power does not ensure international success. It’s time for a new foreign policy. The U.S. should be engaged in the world, trading for economic advantage, maintaining friendly political relations, sampling foreign cultures, and accepting persecuted peoples. But military action should be a last resort. Costly and destructive, war is ill-adapted to shape liberal societies. Its prosecution undermines liberties at home. Moreover, in an age of terrorism intervention encourages more, and more deadly, attacks on America. Doing less will leave a messy world. But it will be messy irrespective of the pretensions of would-be peacemakers and nation-builders. America’s first priority should be to build a stable, safe, and prosperous republic at home. Such a society requires peace as well as free markets.
About the Author
Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, specializing in foreign policy and civil liberties. He worked as special assistant to President Reagan and editor of the political magazine Inquiry.