Register Now: The Liberal International Order: Past, Present, and Future

Recent political tumult and the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency have driven anxious commentators to lament the collapse of a post-1945 liberal world order. Invoking the supposed institution building and multilateralism of the last 70 years, the order’s defenders urge U.S. leaders to restore a battered tradition, uphold economic and security commitments, and promote liberal values. Others caution that nostalgia has obscured our understanding of the old order’s hard edges and its shortcomings, and has forestalled a serious assessment of the changes that will be needed going forward.

War State, Trauma State: Why Afghanistan Remains Stuck in Conflict

In a new paper, Cato’s Erik Goepner rigorously analyzes the impact that 40 years of uninterrupted war has had on the population of Afghanistan. Goepner contends that the country is caught in a vicious cycle whereby war causes trauma, which drives more war, and concludes that there is little America can do to substantially improve the situation in Afghanistan.

Remembrance of War as Warning

There are a proliferation of war memorials in our nation’s capital, and a proliferation of young Americans sent abroad to fight in the years since 9/11. As work begins on the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial, Cato’s Director of Foreign Policy Studies Christopher Preble remarks how the memorials are a sign that America is in the business of war, and suggests instead to erect memorials to those who got us out of, and kept us out of, these wars.

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.

Non-interventionism

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.

Cyberskepticism

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.

New Podcast: Power Problems

New Podcast: Power Problems

Power Problems is a bi-weekly podcast from the Cato Institute. Hosts Trevor Thrall and Emma Ashford offer a skeptical take on U.S. foreign policy, and discuss today’s big questions in international security with guests from across the political spectrum. Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #FPPowerProblems.