In the 21st century, instead of devoting tremendous national resources-blood and treasure-to defending the entire world against all manner of threats, the United States should behave as a normal great power. Like any great power, the United States must vigorously protect its vital national security interests using many means, including force. Absent a hegemonic threat, such as the Soviet Union, however, the United States should be able to rise above most day-to-day turmoil around the globe.

More on General Strategy and U.S. Foreign Policy


Wrong: Trump Is Not an Isolationist

By Ted Galen Carpenter. National Interest (Online). June 23, 2019.

Why a U.S.-Iran War Could End up Being a Historic Disaster

By Doug Bandow. National Interest (Online). June 21, 2019.

Washington Has Become an Accomplice to Murder

By Doug Bandow. The American Conservative. June 20, 2019.

Cato Studies

The Myth of the Cyber Offense: The Case for Restraint

By Brandon Valeriano and Benjamin Jensen. Policy Analysis No. 862. January 15, 2019.

Double Game: Why Pakistan Supports Militants and Resists U.S. Pressure to Stop

By Sahar Khan. Policy Analysis No. 849. September 20, 2018.

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

By Erik Goepner. Policy Analysis No. 844. June 19, 2018.


The End of the Affair

Ted Galen Carpenter. The National Interest. No. 161. April 2019.

Paved with Good Intentions: How Washington Created the Libya Hell

Ted Galen Carpenter. Mediterranean Quarterly. Vol. 29. No. 4. December 2018.

Libertarianism, Restraint, and the Bipartisan Future

Emma Ashford. Texas National Security Review. November 30, 2018.

Public Filings

Mandatory Universal National Service: A Dystopian Vision for a Free Society

By Doug Bandow. Testimony. February 21, 2019.

An Open Letter on BRAC

By Christopher A. Preble, Mackenzie Eaglen, and Todd Harrison. Public Comments. June 19, 2017.

U.S. National Security Strategy after Primacy: Resilience, Self-Reliance, and Restraint

By Christopher A. Preble. Testimony. October 29, 2015.

Cato Reviews & Journals

War is the Health of the State

Policy Report. May/June 2019.

Paved with Good Intentions

Policy Report. March/April 2019.

War Powers and Peace in Yemen

Rep. Ro Khanna. Policy Report. March/April 2019.


Peering Beyond the DMZ: Understanding North Korea behind the Headlines

Featuring Doug Bandow, Heidi Linton, Randall Spadoni, & Daniel Jasper. June 11, 2019. Policy Forum.

Cyber Warfare, Coercion, and Restraint

Featuring Brandon Valeriano, Benjamin Jensen, Jacquelyn Schneider, Richard Harknett, & John Glaser. May 9, 2019. Policy Forum.

Two Roads to War: How (and Why) America and Britain Decided to Invade Iraq

Featuring Patrick Porter, Michael Mazarr, Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson (Ret.), & Christopher A. Preble. April 24, 2019. Book Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Rightsizing U.S. Ground Forces

By Christopher A. Preble. November 2010.