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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 both the National Interest and American Conservative, serves on the editorial boards of Mediterranean Quarterly and the Journal of Strategic Studies, and is the author of more than 700 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


Another False Dawn in Libya?

American Conservative. November 13, 2018.

Will Washington Finally Accept Independent European Defense Initiatives?

Aspenia Online. November 7, 2018.

Washington Smothers Independent European Security Initiatives

National Interest (Online). October 31, 2018.

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.


Why America Must Put Interests before Ideals

The American Conservative. August 15, 2018.

How Rigid Alliances Have Locked Us into Unwanted Conflicts

American Conservative. January 22, 2018.

Smears and Hyperbole: Neo-McCarthyism Run Amok on Russia Policy

The Future of Freedom Foundation. September 5, 2017.

Public Filings

Cato Reviews & Journals