In the 21st century, instead of devoting tremendous national resources—blood and treasure—to defending the entire world against all manner of threats, the United States should behave as a normal great power. Like any great power, the United States must vigorously protect its vital national security interests using many means, including force. Absent a hegemonic threat, such as the Soviet Union, however, the United States should be able to rise above most day-to-day turmoil around the globe.

More on General Strategy and U.S. Foreign Policy


Getting Real on the Terrorism Threat to the United States

By John Mueller. War on the Rocks. August 23, 2016.

What to Do about Syria?

By A. Trevor Thrall. The Hill (Online). August 23, 2016.

The Battle for the GOP’s Foreign Policy Soul

By Christopher A. Preble. The Federalist. August 23, 2016.

Cato Studies

Our Foreign Policy Choices: Rethinking America’s Global Role

By Christopher A. Preble, Emma Ashford, and Travis Evans. White Paper. July 18, 2016.

The Problem with the Light Footprint: Shifting Tactics in Lieu of Strategy

By Brad Stapleton. Policy Analysis No. 792. June 7, 2016.

Japan’s Security Evolution

By Jennifer Lind. Policy Analysis No. 788. February 25, 2016.


The Danger of Overreacting to Terrorism—and How to Resist It

Benjamin H. Friedman. World Politics Review. August 15, 2016.

Not-So-Smart Sanctions

Emma Ashford. Foreign Affairs. Vol. 95. No. 1. January 2016.

The Korea Syndrome: An Examination of War-Weariness Theory

Brad Stapleton. Journal of Cold War Studies. Vol. 17. No. 3. Summer 2015.

Public Filings

U.S. National Security Strategy after Primacy: Resilience, Self-Reliance, and Restraint

By Christopher A. Preble. Testimony. October 29, 2015.

Escaping the Trap: Why the United States Must Leave Iraq

By Ted Galen Carpenter. Testimony. January 11, 2007.

The Law of the Sea Treaty: Inconsistent With American Interests

By Doug Bandow. Testimony. April 8, 2004.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Endless War in the Middle East

Andrew Bacevich. Cato's Letter. Summer 2016.

War and Deceit: Why Obama “Acts like Bush”

Policy Report. March/April 2016.

Costs and Benefits in the War on Terror

Policy Report. January/February 2016.


American Umpire

Featuring Christopher A. Preble. August 23, 2016. Film Screening.

The Case for Restraint in U.S. Foreign Policy

Featuring Christopher A. Preble, A. Trevor Thrall, Benjamin H. Friedman, & John Mueller. June 15, 2016. Conference.

Policy Perspectives of the Presidential Candidates: Foreign Policy

Featuring Christopher A. Preble and Caleb O. Brown. June 9, 2016. Sponsor E-Briefing.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Rightsizing U.S. Ground Forces

By Christopher A. Preble. November 2010.