The passing of the Cold War is the most important development of the late 20th century, yet the United States clings tenaciously to old policies. Both the Bush administration and Democratic leaders have insisted on perpetuating a host of obsolete alliances, including NATO and the alliance with Japan, which cost American taxpayers nearly $150 billion a year. Ted Galen Carpenter offers a provocative critique of that status quo strategy. Although Washington’s outdated alliances have no real adversary or credible mission, Carpenter says, they hold the potential to embroil the United States in obscure conflicts, ethnic and otherwise, that have little relevance to America’s legitimate security concerns. As an alternative, he proposes “strategic independence,” under which the United States would act only to defend vital interests—the republic’s physical integrity, political independence, or domestic liberty.
A Search for Enemies
America’s Alliances After the Cold War
About the Book
About the Author
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.