Max Boot: U.S. Foreign Policy ... In Praise of Nation-buildingRoundup: Historians' Take
Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is completing a history of guerrilla warfare and terrorism.
The signature line of President Obama's June 22 Afghanistan address was "America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home." This no doubt resonates among an electorate sick of foreign wars and eager to focus on domestic problems, but it is a wrongheaded statement.
Whenever America has eschewed commitments abroad and turned inward, the results have been disastrous. The most isolationist decade in the country's history — the 1930s — was followed by World War II. The "Come Home, America" isolationism of the 1970s was followed by the fall of South Vietnam, the genocide in Cambodia, the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the 1990s, the post-Cold War desire to spend the "peace dividend" led the U.S. to turn a blind eye to the rising threat from Al Qaeda.
Is isolationism really a course we want to follow today at a time when Iran is going nuclear, Pakistan is turning against the West, North Korea is trying to export its destructive technology, turmoil is spreading across the Middle East, Al Qaeda is far from defeated and China's power is growing?..
comments powered by Disqus
- Marine Corps investigating photo of iconic flag-raising on Iwo Jima
- Scholars Blast New Study Tracing Ashkenazi Jews to Khazars of Ancient Turkey
- Legendary Explorer’s Long-Lost Ship May Have Been Found Off Rhode Island
- More Doubts, Opposition To Sale Of Unique, Hartford Collection Of Political History
- How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East
- The Historian Whitewashing Ukraine’s Past
- Andrew Roberts wins $250,000 prize from the conservative Bradley Foundation
- Daniel Aaron, Critic and Historian Who Pioneered American Studies, Dies at 103
- Liz Covart's amazingly popular podcast helps her audience understand early American history
- Justus Rosenberg is still teaching at age 95