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.
Doug Bandow is Vice President of Policy for Citizen Outreach. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is the author of several books, including The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology, Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World, and Military Manpower and Human Resources.
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Doug Bandow on Antiwar Radio Part 1 of 3
Doug Bandow, author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire and regular columnist for Antiwar.com, discusses Congress’s abdication of its responsibility in declaring war to the president, the lawlessness of a wartime president, how the ignorant warmonger John McCain, missile “defense” on Russia’s border, the pending “Law of the Sea Treaty” and the War Party’s self-fulfilling attitude toward conflict with China.
Doug Bandow is the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance and author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire (Xulon Press). A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is a graduate of Stanford Law School.