The Wisdom of Crowds

At RealClearDefense Bonnie Kristian outlines three areas where veterans and the public are in agreement:

  1. Veterans and the public are not convinced post-9/11 foreign policy made us more secure.
  2. Veterans and the public are not happy with how the military is managed.
  3. Veterans and the public do not want the executive branch waging war without end.

There are a few much more fundamental areas of American foreign policy I wish had been addressed. First, how much security is enough? Perfect security is beyond our reach. We need to come to terms with reality that today, tomorrow, and ever after we will be dealing with some level of risk. IMO that risk should not extend to Saudi tourists and students seizing airliners and using them to destroy buildings or unhappy Chechen refugees setting off IEDs during marathons but there’s a host of other risks we’ll just need to learn to tolerate.

Second, is American hegemony one of our goals or even our primary goal? I think that other countries’ having their own foreign policies is completely acceptable but my perception is that quite a few Americans, many in the foreign policy establishment, don’t agree.

To what degree should we accept the foreign policies of other countries as our own? Does Saudi Arabia’s war with Yemen further U. S. foreign policy interests? I don’t see how. How about a “Greater Israel”?

To what degree should doing good and punishing evil in the world be American foreign policy, particularly American military policy? I’ve referred to this as the “Batman model” of America’s role in the world. I don’t have a Wilsonian bone in my body but I recognize that for many Americans that’s a central component of what we should be doing.

1 comment… add one
  • Second, is American hegemony one of our goals or even our primary goal?

    The primary goal of American foreign policy should be the security of the Republic. This pursuit of hegemony appears to have the opposite goal in mind.

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