My Cato Institute friend Chris Preble, author of The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free, and his associates concentrate on America’s vital interests.
The end of the Cold War ushered in a unipolar world, cementing U.S. dominance over a generally liberal international order. Yet where once it seemed that U.S. foreign policy would be simpler and easier to manage as a result, the events of the past 15 years — the 9/11 attacks, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Arab Spring, and Russia’s invasions of Georgia and Ukraine — strongly suggest otherwise.
Americans are fortunate enough to enjoy substantial security; we rarely need to use our military might. Yet our current grand strategy — known as primacy or liberal hegemony — demands a massive, forward deployed military. That strategy tempts policymakers to use force even when U.S. vital interests are not directly threatened.
To conserve American power and security, a strategy of restraint focuses on avoiding distant conflicts that do not threaten American interests. Restraint argues that the U.S. military should be used rarely and only for clearly defined reasons.
Chris Preble on “American Military Power: Too Much? Too Little? What Missions?”
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