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


Republican Foreign Policy Gets Ugly: Jeb Bush Finds Inner Neocon, Promises More Intervention and War

By Doug Bandow. Forbes. August 17, 2015.

Trump’s Biggest Lie: ‘I’m The Most Militaristic Person’ In This Race

By Gene Healy. The Federalist. August 17, 2015.

Washington’s Fondness for ‘Friendly’ Dictators

By Ted Galen Carpenter. The National Interest (Online). August 17, 2015.

Cato Studies

Millennials and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Next Generation’s Attitudes toward Foreign Policy and War (and Why They Matter)

By A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner. White Paper. June 16, 2015.

Friends Like These: Why Petrostates Make Bad Allies

By Emma Ashford. Policy Analysis No. 770. March 31, 2015.

The Illusion of Chaos: Why Ungoverned Spaces Aren’t Ungoverned, and Why That Matters

By Jennifer Keister. Policy Analysis No. 766. December 9, 2014.


Reclaiming the War Power

Gene Healy. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

War’s Declining Significance as a Policy Tool in the Contemporary Age

Justin Logan. Peace., Love & Liberty. 2014.

Did History End? Democracy, Capitalism, Nationalism, Religion, Ideas, and Boredom since 1989

John Mueller. International Security Studies Forum. No. 29. June 2, 2014.

Public Filings

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

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The U.S. Role in Kosovo

By Doug Bandow. Testimony. March 10, 1999.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Toward a Libertarian Foreign Policy

Policy Report. July/August 2015.

The Most Dangerous World Ever?

Christopher A. Preble. Policy Report. September/October 2014.

How Will a Culture of Permanent War Impact America’s Future?

Policy Report. March/April 2013.


Perilous Partners: The Benefits and Pitfalls of America’s Alliances with Authoritarian Regimes

Featuring Ted Galen Carpenter, Malou Innocent, and Christopher A. Preble. October 20, 2015. Book Forum.

The Fight with ISIS: One Year (and Counting) of Unauthorized War

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Millennials and U.S. Foreign Policy

Featuring Emily Ekins and Christopher A. Preble. June 18, 2015. Policy Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Rightsizing U.S. Ground Forces

By Christopher A. Preble. November 2010.