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Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy

Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post‐​Cold War World

About the Book

In this compelling study, Ivan Eland argues that the geography of the United States gives it at a natural advantage, rendering a forward defense posture unnecessary. A noninterventionist foreign policy would save money by requiring lower defense budgets. And an America less willing to get involved in complex overseas disputes unrelated to U.S. vital interests would also be less likely to make enemies around the world.

This book is a timely wake‐​up call to those who make U.S. foreign and defense policies. It demands a badly needed rethinking of America’s national interests. The author questions the core assumptions of the U.S. foreign policy and defense establishments that call for military interventions around the world and increasingly large defense budgets at home. In their place, he outlines a security policy more appropriate to the sober realities of the post–Cold War era, details the military force structure needed for this new role, and calculates the reduced defense budget required to pay for those forces.

About the Author

Ivan Eland is a senior fellow and the director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at The Independent Institute and the assistant editor of The Independent Review.

What Others Have Said

“The book is a useful addition to a wide‐​ranging debate on defense spending today. Recommended for general readers, undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals.”

“The main value of Eland’s work is its critical and dispassionate treatment of assumptions that have driven national security strategy since the beginning of the Cold War—assumptions that should be addressed by all those seriously interested in the issue.”
Political Science Quarterly