Endless Entanglements

Intervention begets intervention. No intervention is ever complete; new countries must be constantly conquered or transformed to finish the job. Having intervened, one must continue to intervene to achieve one’s original objectives. There are always unintended consequences to overcome. Running an empire, acting as the global policeman, and spreading liberty, truth, justice, and happiness around … Continue reading “Endless Entanglements”

Democracy, Iraq-Style

I love the president. President Vladimir Putin. At the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, “our” president, George W. Bush, observed, apparently without irony: “I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there’s a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of … Continue reading “Democracy, Iraq-Style”

Readings in the Age of Empire

The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy From 1940 to the Present Christopher Layne Cornell University Press, 2006 290 pp. Other than those who work in the White House, with no sense of shame, or act as court intellectuals, heaping praise upon the Bush administration, everyone recognizes that current U.S. foreign policy is a disaster. … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Can’t We Drop Even One Alliance?

Evidence that the American republic long ago ceased to be a republic in anything but name is the reluctance of policymakers – any policymaker in any administration – to drop even one military alliance, international commitment, security guarantee, or troop deployment, no matter how antiquated, irrelevant, costly, or dangerous. What has ever been must ever … Continue reading “Can’t We Drop Even One Alliance?”

Fiddling While Afghanistan Slides Away

Public attention is focused on Iraq, but a bitter war rages in Afghanistan as well. In mid-June, reported the Associated Press: “U.S. soldiers descended on a mountain ridge Sunday, quickly setting up fortified posts and mortar positions overlooking a key Taliban transport route as the coalition pressed a major offensive that has killed dozens of … Continue reading “Fiddling While Afghanistan Slides Away”

Readings in the Age of Empire

At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention David Rieff Simon & Schuster 270 pp. It appears to be the season for second thoughts about American intervention in Iraq. William F. Buckley says the war was a mistake. National Review‘s John Derbyshire confesses the same error. Even Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) finally … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Misguided Theology Makes Bad Foreign Policy

Iraq is an unalloyed disaster. War with Iran would be even worse. Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution has empowered groups hostile to America. Where is the new democratic dawn in the Mideast that the administration promised? It certainly isn’t represented in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” The West Bank is still occupied and Gaza is nearing civil war. … Continue reading “Misguided Theology Makes Bad Foreign Policy”

For America, a Nation-Building Disaster Avoided

When the mobs start gathering in the streets of a major city in some distant nation, U.S. officials usually start jabbering. When fighting erupts and local politicians begin wringing their hands, U.S. Marines usually start reporting. Yet another grand nation-building exercise is about to begin. Years later, when cold hatred has replaced bloody combat, American … Continue reading “For America, a Nation-Building Disaster Avoided”

Readings in the Age of Empire

Winning the Un-War: A New Strategy for the War on Terrorism Charles Peña Potomac Books 272 pp. If critics of the Bush administration are setting themselves up for a stay at Gitmo, then Charles Peña will end up spending a long time in a particularly small cell. A senior fellow with the Coalition for a … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Searching for the Next Enemy

Peace is boring. How else to explain America’s seemingly incessant search for a new enemy? The Cold War might have been scary, but it provided an exciting challenge: contain the Evil Empire. Create an international coalition to defend the “free world.” Exciting, but we won. So the entire foreign policy establishment had to ask “now … Continue reading “Searching for the Next Enemy”