On Might, Ethics and Realism: An Exchange

Two of the authors of Ethical Realism and With All Our Might debate America’s future foreign-policy trajectory, weighing the relevance of realism, internationalism and militarism.

Issue: Nov-Dec 2006

John Hulsman and Anatol Lieven, Ethical Realism, (Pantheon Press, 2006), 224 pp., $22.00.

Will Marshall, With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy For Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty, (Rowman & Littlefied Publishers, Inc.), 256 pp., $19.95.

Dear Will,

I have been reading with great interest the volume on Democratic foreign policy that you edited for the Progressive Policy Institute, With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty, and I find parts of it admirable. This is especially true of your co-authors' arguments that the Democrats should look to the Truman era for inspiration; on the need for the United States to adopt a far more generous and far-sighted approach to foreign development aid, especially in the Muslim world; and on the absolute imperative of reducing America's dependence on oil, both for security and environmental reasons.

These are all points that John Hulsman and I make in our own book Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World, which was published in September. We also identify strongly with Melissa Tryon's argument for a reconciliation between Democrats and military culture.

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