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


America’s Disastrous Occupation of Afghanistan Turns 17

By Doug Bandow. American Conservative. October 11, 2018.

Where Is Trump’s Alleged Isolationism?

By Ted Galen Carpenter. National Interest (Online). October 9, 2018.

No, Mr. President, War against Venezuela Is a Bad Idea

By Doug Bandow. National Interest (Online). October 7, 2018.

Cato Studies

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.

A World Imagined: Nostalgia and Liberal Order

By Patrick Porter. Policy Analysis No. 843. June 5, 2018.


The Stalemate: Implications of Afghanistan’s Stalled Peace Process on U.S.–Pakistan Relations

Sahar Khan. Pakistan Politico. September 10, 2018.

Frenemies for Life: The Downward Trajectory of US–Pakistan Relations

Sahar Khan. Global Village Space. August 16, 2018.

Why America Must Put Interests before Ideals

Ted Galen Carpenter. The American Conservative. August 15, 2018.

Public Filings

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.

Escaping the Trap: Why the United States Must Leave Iraq

By Ted Galen Carpenter. Testimony. January 11, 2007.

Cato Reviews & Journals


The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy

Featuring Stephen M. Walt, Stephen Wertheim, and Christopher A. Preble. October 17, 2018. Book Forum.

The Liberal International Order: Past, Present, and Future

Featuring Christopher A. Preble, Patrick Porter, Michael Mazarr, & Jake Sullivan. September 20, 2018. Policy Forum.

The Clash of Generations? Intergenerational Change and American Foreign Policy Views

Featuring Dina Smeltz, William Ruger, A. Trevor Thrall, Erik Goepner, & Christopher A. Preble. June 25, 2018. Policy Address.


Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

By David Isenberg. February 16, 2009.

Has the Privatization of National Security Gone Too Far?

By David Isenberg. November 14, 2008.

Defending Liberty in a Global Economy

By Richard B. Cheney. June 23, 1998.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Rightsizing U.S. Ground Forces

By Christopher A. Preble. November 2010.