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Collective Defense or Strategic Independence

Alternative Strategies for the Future

About the Book

The doctrine of collective defense — as implemented through a far‐​flung network of military alliances — has governed U.S. foreign policy for more than four decades and has enjoyed both an academic and public consensus. But now prominent figures on both the left and the right are advocating a new look at America’s global commitments. In this volume, some of the nation’s most insightful policy analysts consider such fundamental questions as the following: Has a collective defense network ensured America’s well‐​being and preserved the peace, or has it been an unnecessary, risky, and expensive burden? Even if collective defense was once a useful doctrine, is it now obsolete? What feasible alternatives exist? How would a significant change in U.S. strategy affect the American‐​Soviet relationship and the global balance of military power? Taking into account significant developments in world affairs, this book suggests a variety of strategies for preserving America’s liberty and security.

About the Editor

Ted Galen Carpenter is senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. Dr. Carpenter served as Cato’s director of foreign policy studies from 1986 to 1995 and as vice president for defense and foreign policy studies from 1995 to 2011. He is the author of eight and the editor of 10 books on international affairs, including America’s Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan.