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Ted Galen Carpenter is senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. 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 10 books and the editor of 10 books on international affairs, including Perilous Partners: The Benefits and Pitfalls of America’s Alliances with Authoritarian Regimes, The Fire Next Door: Mexico’s Drug Violence and the Danger to America, Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America, America’s Coming War with China  A Collision Course over Taiwan, The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea, Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington’s Futile War on Drugs in Latin America, The Captive Press: Foreign Policy Crises and the First Amendment, Beyond NATO: Staying Out of Europe’s Wars, and A Search for Enemies: America’s Alliances after the Cold War.

Carpenter is contributing editor to the National Interest and serves on the editorial boards of Mediterranean Quarterly and the Journal of Strategic Studies, and is the author of more than 600 articles and policy studies. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, World Policy Journal, and many other publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programs in the United States, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, and other regions.

Carpenter received his Ph.D. in U.S. diplomatic history from the University of Texas.

More from Ted Galen Carpenter


This Group Hopes to Push America toward Regime Change in Iran

National Interest (Online). July 18, 2017.

Mexican Drug Violence Only Getting Worse

American Conservative. July 6, 2017.

Is Terrorism Transforming America into a Police State?

National Interest (Online). July 4, 2017.

Cato Studies

Designer Drugs: A New, Futile Front in the War on Illegal Drugs

Policy Analysis No. 774. May 27, 2015.

Undermining Mexico’s Dangerous Drug Cartels

Policy Analysis No. 688. November 15, 2011.

Why China and Russia Balk at Sanctions against North Korea and Iran

Nuclear Proliferation Update No. 7. March 22, 2010.


NATO’s Worrisome Authoritarian Storm Clouds

Mediterranean Quarterly. Vol. 26. No. 4. Winter 2015.

Dealing with Bad Allies: the Case for Moral Realism

National Interest. October 22, 2015.

Tangled Web: The Syrian Civil War and Its Implications

Mediterranean Quarterly. Vol. 24. No. 1. Spring 2013.

Public Filings

Cato Reviews & Journals