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


Trump’s Wisdom on Syria and Afghanistan vs. His Rashness on Venezuela

By Emma Ashford. New York Daily News. February 7, 2019.

Ignore the Free-Riding International Peanut Gallery

By Doug Bandow. American Conservative. February 7, 2019.

North Korea and America’s Second Summit

By Ted Galen Carpenter. National Interest (Online). February 6, 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.


Libertarianism, Restraint, and the Bipartisan Future

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

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.

From Competition to Collaboration: Strengthening the U.S.-Russia Relationship

By Andrei Illarionov. Testimony. February 25, 2009.

Cato Reviews & Journals


Gullible Superpower: U.S. Support for Bogus Foreign Democratic Movements

Featuring Ted Galen Carpenter, Jacob Heilbrunn, and Christopher A. Preble. February 21, 2019. Book Forum.

Dealing with North and South Korea: Can Washington Square the Circle?

Featuring Doug Bandow, Eric Gomez, Harry J. Kazianis, & Daniel L. Davis. February 15, 2019. Capitol Hill Briefing.

The Return of Great Power Competition

Featuring David M. Edelstein, Stacie E. Goddard, Paul K. MacDonald, Joshua Shifrinson, & Christopher A. Preble. January 15, 2019. Policy Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Rightsizing U.S. Ground Forces

By Christopher A. Preble. November 2010.