Morality Play Instead of Policy

International trends have become less favorable to the United States. This national vacation from serious foreign-policy analysis in the political arena is both ill timed and dangerous.

Issue: Sept-Oct 2012

NOTWITHSTANDING UNSETTLING developments in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, the 2012 presidential campaign has failed so far to produce a meaningful foreign-policy debate. To some extent this is understandable; the struggling U.S. economy justifiably preoccupies most voters. Campaign aides thus still advise their candidates that “it’s the economy, stupid,” twenty years after this mantra helped Bill Clinton defeat George H. W. Bush. But ignoring the outside world is dangerous, particularly as we approach today’s major turning point in international relations. Avoiding serious discussion of global affairs puts American security at risk and even threatens our economy because foreign-policy decisions can have powerful economic consequences.

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