The Cato Institute’s website provides a foreign and defense policy mission statement that seeks to restore a principled and restrained foreign policy, calling on lessons learned from George Washington to Cold War realists like George Kennan.
In “Stop Policing the World,” Cato writes:
Cato’s foreign and defense policies are guided by the view that the United States is relatively secure, and so should engage the world, trade freely, and work with other countries on common concerns, but avoid trying to dominate it militarily. [Ed note: See The Power Problem by Chris Preble for more.] We should be an example of democracy and human rights, not their armed vindicator abroad. Although that view is largely absent in Washington, D.C. today, it has a rich history from George Washington to Cold War realists like George Kennan. Cato scholars aim to restore it. A principled and restrained foreign policy would keep the nation out of most foreign conflicts and be cheaper, more ethical, and less destructive of civil liberties.