Policing Utopia

Military force has become the hallmark of U.S. foreign policy, ironically in the name of enforcing a global utopia.

Issue: Summer 1999

Coming in rapid succession, three recent events - last August's cruise missile attacks against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan, the resumption in December 1998 of hostilities with Iraq, and the launching, after fits and starts, of this spring's air campaign against Yugoslavia - have cast in sharp relief the centrality of military power to present-day American policy. Offering the apparent prospect of clean, quick and affordable solutions to vexing problems, force has become the preferred instrument of American statecraft. The deployment of U.S. forces into harm's way, once thought to be fraught with hazard and certain to generate controversy, has become commonplace. The result has been the renewed, intensified - and perhaps irreversible - militarization of U.S. foreign policy.

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