Escalation in Syria

The Trump administration took a hard-line stance against the Assad regime following a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed more than 70 people in early April. While the White House sold Trump’s 50-missile retaliation as a one-off symbolic gesture, many wonder if this is just the first in a series of snap judgements that will define the administration’s foreign policy. Cato scholars weigh in:

America Abroad: The United States’ Global Role in the 21st Century

What is the proper global role for the United States in the 21st Century? Since World War II, the United States, as the most powerful state, has chosen to be deeply engaged in the world. The bi-partisan consensus in support of this role has recently shown signs of wear. President Donald Trump criticized it, and won. In America Abroad: The United States’ Global Role in the 21st Century, Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth make a powerful case that America should continue its strategy of deep engagement. But what are the merits of an alternative approach, a grand strategy of restraint? Please join us as we discuss competing ideas about the future of U.S. foreign policy.

The Pentagon’s Blank Check

For decades we have enhanced presidential powers to make war quickly, or even whimsically. The culprit is not just Congress’ abdication of its powers but military largesse. Cato scholar Benjamin H. Friedman argues that there is no strategic rationale for increasing military spending, and it is time to reconsider these budgets in light of recent political developments.


Cato Studies

Of Special Note

Our Foreign Policy Choices

The world today is certainly safer for Americans than it was under the existential threat posed by the Soviet Union. But the world is undoubtedly more complex, as nonstate actors, shifting alliances, and diverse domestic political factors complicate U.S. foreign policy. A robust debate on America’s foreign policy choices is urgently needed.


Confronting “Isolationism”

Some interventionists have characterized Cato’s views as “isolationist,” but that is inaccurate. In fact, Cato scholars argue that the United States should be an example of the principles of liberty, democracy, and human rights, not their armed vindicator abroad. This page includes several articles by Cato scholars as well as a few by outside experts showing that the “isolationist” slur is inappropriate.


The Cyberskeptics

In the last few years, concerns about cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar have escalated dramatically in the United States. Billions of dollars are being thrown at these problems, and most of the discussion is alarmist in the extreme. This page challenges the assumption that cyberdoom is approaching.

A Dangerous World? Threat Perception And U.S. National Security

A Dangerous World? Threat Perception And U.S. National Security

In 2012, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey contended that “we are living in the most dangerous time in my lifetime, right now.” In 2013, he was more assertive, stating that the world is “more dangerous than it has ever been.” Is this accurate? In this new book, experts on international security assess, and put in context, the supposed dangers to American security. The authors examine the most frequently referenced threats, including wars between nations and civil wars within nations, and discuss the impact of rising nations, weapons proliferation, general unrest, transnational crime, and state failures.