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


Questioning the Case for War

By Christopher A. Preble. National Interest (Online). June 15, 2018.

A Naval Race with China Is Unnecessary and Will Likely Backfire

By John Glaser. Sacramento Bee. June 14, 2018.

Afghan Ceasefire an Opportunity to Improve U.S.–Pakistan Relations

By Sahar Khan. Axios. June 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.


Status, Prestige, Activism and the Illusion of American Decline

John Glaser. The Washington Quarterly. Vol. 41. No. 1. March 26, 2018.

How Rigid Alliances Have Locked Us into Unwanted Conflicts

Ted Galen Carpenter. American Conservative. January 22, 2018.

Smears and Hyperbole: Neo-McCarthyism Run Amok on Russia Policy

Ted Galen Carpenter. The Future of Freedom Foundation. September 5, 2017.

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 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.

Psychology of a Superpower: Security and Dominance in U.S. Foreign Policy

Featuring Christopher Fettweis, Keir Lieber, and John Mueller. May 14, 2018. Book Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Rightsizing U.S. Ground Forces

By Christopher A. Preble. November 2010.