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


Are Americans Travelling Abroad a Foreign Policy Liability?

By Doug Bandow. National Interest (Online). August 15, 2018.

Remembrance of War as Warning

By Christopher A. Preble. War on the Rocks. August 13, 2018.

A Modest US Concession Can Reduce Tensions in the South China Sea

By Ted Galen Carpenter. China US Focus. August 13, 2018.

Cato Studies

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.

Avoiding a Korean Calamity: Why Resolving the Dispute with Pyongyang Requires Keeping the Peace

By Doug Bandow. Policy Analysis No. 840. April 26, 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.

Status, Prestige, Activism and the Illusion of American Decline

John Glaser. The Washington Quarterly. Vol. 41. No. 1. March 26, 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 Liberal International Order: Past, Present, and Future

Featuring Christopher A. Preble, Patrick Porter, Michael Mazarr, & Jacob 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.

#CatoConnects: After the North Korea Summit

Featuring Doug Bandow, Eric Gomez, and Caleb O. Brown. June 13, 2018. Cato Connects.


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.