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.

Reasons for Optimism from the North Korea Summit

The summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took place this week in Singapore. While the meeting with Kim had great visuals, there was no real deal struck and certainly no pledge of denuclearization from the North. And this isn’t the first summit to cause hopes to soar for inter-Korean reconciliation. However, Cato scholar Doug Bandow says that the pessimism is overdone.

A World Imagined: Nostalgia and Liberal Order

According to a view popular in Washington, D.C., and other capitals around the world, the United States used its power and idealism for more than 70 years to create a security and economic order that transformed the world. Today, defenders of that order fear that President Trump and a set of regressive forces are laying waste to it. However, a new paper from international security and strategy professor Patrick Porter argues that the dream of a unitary, integrated global system organized around liberalism is ahistorical, and the false nostalgia surrounding that dream is making it harder to consider measures that are needed to adapt to change.

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.

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.