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“I love George Washington. Except for his Foreign Policy.”

December 4, 2011
Michael Maharrey, Tenth Amendment Center

We are a political society primarily driven by our own, narrowly defined special interests. Not general principles.

Nowhere is that more evident than in U.S. foreign policy. We intervene in Libya to “protect civilians” and turn a blind eye to similar dynamics in Yemen because we consider that nation a reliable ally in the war on terror.

At some point, we need to develop some solid guiding principles, instead of relying on pragmatism to tug us around the international maze.

Over the last year or so, I’ve been struggling to redefine my views on foreign policy. As a former neo-conservative, I enthusiastically embraced the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I readily accepted the notion that military force serves as a legitimate tool for nation-building. And I still get goosebumps seeing projections of military power. I love fighter jets, tanks and big guns. Maybe that’s just a guy thing.

But it doesn’t take a doctorate in foreign relations to understand that U.S. policy has forged a tangled mess of contradictory alliances and obligations, and created a much more dangerous world. I’ve gradually come to accept that military intervention in foreign affairs typically causes more damage than good and that the whole concept rests on morally dubious grounds. Who am I to point a gun at another man’s head and demand he practice “democracy”?

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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