foreign policy

“America First”? Rethinking the
Meaning of Self-Interest

On his latest foreign trip, President Trump again invoked the idea of “America first.” As someone who is repelled by Trump and his presidency, I am a little reluctant to justify something he nominally upholds. But actually his support for this policy is all the more reason it needs to be clarified and defended—defended not …

“America First”? Rethinking the
Meaning of Self-Interest
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Trump’s Bombing of Syria:
Self-Interest or Self-Sacrifice?

Here are some belated observations on President Trump’s recent decision to launch cruise missiles against Syria in retaliation for its use of a deadly gas against its own citizens: Americans generally applaud the decision. And it’s an understandable, and laudable, response. It’s a reaction to years of a foreign policy that dealt with our enemies …

Trump’s Bombing of Syria:
Self-Interest or Self-Sacrifice?
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Dealing with Iran: Self-Interest vs. Self-Sacrifice

Forget about the intricate details of our nuclear agreement with Iran–the number of centrifuges permitted, the degree of uranium enrichment allowed, the amount of advance notification required before inspectors can visit a nuclear facility. There is really only one question that matters: If Iran poses a physical threat to America—if we have reason to fear …

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Altruism and the Cave-in to Iran

[This article was expanded into “Dealing with Iran: Self-Interest vs. Self-Sacrifice.”] Forget about the intricate details of our nuclear agreement with Iran—the number of centrifuges permitted, the degree of uranium enrichment allowed, the amount of advance notification required before inspectors can visit a nuclear facility. There is really only one question that matters: If an …

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ISIS and “Non-Interventionism”

I’ve written on the libertarians’ use of “non-interventionism” as a deceptive term to disguise their tacit kinship with anarchists. An article last month by a senior fellow at the Cato Institute provides a good illustration. In “Will America Ever Learn From Its Middle East Mistakes,” Ted Galen Carpenter argues against taking any military action against …

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Foreign Policy and Self-Interest

By Peter Schwartz [This was published in the Contra Costa Times, July 19, 2003; the Canberra Times, July 24, 2003; and the Charlotte Observer, July 25, 2003] Those who claim that the United States has a moral obligation to send troops on a “humanitarian” mission to Liberia have it exactly backward: our government has a …

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