Larison’s Non-Interventionist Primer

At The American Conservative, Daniel Larison has written a long, comprehensive description and defense of a principled non-interventionist foreign policy that manages to avoid the extremes of isolationism while retaining its coherence. How well does it succeed? First, a general principle: When a conflict or dispute erupts somewhere, unless it directly threatens the security of … Continue reading Larison’s Non-Interventionist Primer

Sunday Morning Quotation – Realism over Idealism

Robert Kaplan in Foreign Policy: "It is realism in the service of the national interest -- whose goal is the avoidance of war -- that has saved lives over the span of history far more than humanitarian interventionism." I'm not exactly sure his comment about the goal of the national interest (or the goal of … Continue reading Sunday Morning Quotation – Realism over Idealism

Sunday Morning Quotation

Apropos of North Korea's bluster, the following from Kenneth Waltz - the arch realist - in his co-authored book The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate: Deterrent strategies lower the probability that wars will begin.  If wars start nevertheless, deterrent strategies lower the probability that they will be carried very far.  Nuclear weapons lessen the … Continue reading Sunday Morning Quotation

Stephen Walt, Realism, and Perceptions of the United States

For a Realist in international relations (folks who stress structural variables like relative power as the most important causes of outcomes in the international system), Stephen Walt spends a lot of time worrying about how the rest of the world views the United States.  Here is his most recent example:  I was disappointed when the United States got eliminated in … Continue reading Stephen Walt, Realism, and Perceptions of the United States