If Washington continues to hold out U.S. military power as indispensable to all that is good in the world, and if our political leaders mostly listen to those who contend that “America needs a substantially larger military than the one it now has” – then U.S. taxpayers will have to pay more. Much more. And they’ll also have to tolerate much less spending on nearly everything else.
It is not too late to revisit our foreign policy goals.
As I explain in my forthcoming book, there are many problems with primacy, but its greatest shortcoming may be that it does not align with the wishes of the American people.
An alternative approach, one that is better suited to our current political moment, would restrain Washington’s impulses to solve problems through the use of force, or the threat of force, and reaffirm the importance of the many other instruments of American global influence, including diplomacy and responsible statecraft, mutually beneficial trade, and peaceful cultural exchange.
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