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

Commentary

Why More Military Action in Syria Is (Still) a Bad Idea

By A. Trevor Thrall. Washington Examiner. April 21, 2017.

Why Trump’s Words Matter

By A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner. Real Clear Defense. April 20, 2017.

Status and Prestige Are Driving Trump’s Foreign Policy

By John Glaser. The National Interest (Online). April 19, 2017.

Cato Studies

Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy and the Myth of Retrenchment

By John Glaser and A. Trevor Thrall. Working Paper No. 43. April 24, 2017.

Will China Solve the North Korea Problem? The United States Should Develop a Diplomatic Strategy to Persuade Beijing to Help

By Doug Bandow. Policy Analysis No. 806. December 6, 2016.

Nation Building through Foreign Intervention: Evidence from Discontinuities in Military Strategies

By Melissa Dell and Pablo Querubin. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 61. October 12, 2016.

Articles

Why Washington Doesn’t Debate Grand Strategy

Benjamin H. Friedman and Justin Logan. Strategic Studies Quarterly. Winter 2016.

The Danger of Overreacting to Terrorism—and How to Resist It

Benjamin H. Friedman. World Politics Review. August 15, 2016.

Not-So-Smart Sanctions

Emma Ashford. Foreign Affairs. Vol. 95. No. 1. January 2016.

Public Filings

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.

The Law of the Sea Treaty: Inconsistent With American Interests

By Doug Bandow. Testimony. April 8, 2004.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Public Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Terrorism

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Restoring Prudence and Restraint in U.S. Foreign Policy

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Events

Outside Voices: How Scholars Can Influence Trump’s Foreign Policy

Featuring Steven Weber, Matthew Kroenig, Ryan Evans, Mira Rapp Hooper, Sameer Lalwani, & Emma Ashford. April 19, 2017. Policy Forum.

America Abroad: The United States’ Global Role in the 21st Century

Featuring Stephen Brooks, William C. Wohlforth, Eugene Gholz, Benjamin H. Friedman, & John Glaser. March 21, 2017. Book Forum.

Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia

Featuring Samuel Charap, Emma Ashford, and Christine Guluzian. March 10, 2017. Book Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Rightsizing U.S. Ground Forces

By Christopher A. Preble. November 2010.