My friend Chris Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the world-renowned Cato Institute think tank (read his book The Power Problem) , connects the dots between America’s foreign policy position and the sage advice provided by America’s father George Washington in our first president’s Farewell address.
Writing at National Interest, Dr. Preble focuses on perhaps Washington’s most salient point–America’s “detached and distant situation”
A Pew Research poll taken in April 2016 found that 57 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that the United States should “not think so much in international terms but concentrate more on our own national problems.
George Washington explained in his farewell address. Other countries “must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns” and Americans should therefore avoid “the ordinary combinations and collisions of [their] friendships or enmities.”
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government, the period is not far off…when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
That time has arrived councils Mr. Preble.
We have made some poor choices in the last quarter century, and the most egregious errors have occurred when we convinced ourselves that we were helping our friends.
DISCLAIMER: Debbie and I are Cato club 200 members and strong supporters of the Cato Institute’s defense and foreign policy studies team.