Foreign Policy Essay

This reveals the possibilities of a new consensus that reaches less quickly for the use of force than when the United States was at the height of its post-Cold War power.

Second, with respect to trade, progressives and conservatives need to ask themselves whether the United States was correct to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Depending on the answer, how does that guide one’s thinking about future trade agreements?

Relatedly, for those who promote greater military restraint but are also pro-free trade, how much of a military footprint does the United States need to possess to uphold a global free trade order?

While the academic consensus across the political spectrum still seems to support free trade as a general principle (with public opinion following suit), there is strong political sentiment on both sides favoring greater protectionism to address job losses, particularly in the Midwest.

Points of Convergence and Divergence The greatest point of convergence across these two roundtables is the centrality of democracy and the rule of law.In fact, the politics of the moment suggest much tougher sledding for those who seek to build support for a policy of free trade.Finally, while the progressive essays unsurprisingly suggest that the left cares about climate change and its connection to national security in a way that the right does not, given the science, the partisan divide will break down over the long run.However, many conservatives who are pro-free trade could presumably support institutions like the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank to buttress and regulate global financial and trade flows — after all, they have done so in the past.Progressives are focused more on using institutions to address poverty, inequality, and racism at home and abroad, but at least with respect to domestic concerns, neither side can afford to ignore the economic inequalities that have exploded in recent decades.The essays on the progressive side are more unanimous on the need to reduce military spending, with defense expert Loren De Jonge Schulman of the Center for a New American Security arguing, “Despite the valiant efforts of some individuals, there is no political home for responsible defense debate, oversight, and accountability.” But even amid the discussions of strong defense and occasional support for military superiority in the conservative roundtable, some of these essays exhibit a growing recognition of military limits. Nau writes, “America stands for freedom but not everywhere at once, respecting the limits of public resources and will” — a far cry from President George W.Bush’s declaration in his second inaugural that “it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” Many progressives would nod approvingly at the Cato Institute’s Emma Ashford’s comment that “Restraint is an approach to the world that is fundamentally internationalist, but that deemphasizes military means of foreign engagement in favor of diplomacy and other tools of statecraft.” Between the two roundtables, the progressives favor international institutions in a way that conservatives do not (with John Fonte of the Hudson Institute cheering Trump’s rejection of the “false flag of globalism”).The essays are not some version of neoconservatism meets liberal internationalism reminiscent of the 1999 Kosovo War or the 2003 Iraq War.Rather, they highlight the way in which the so-called blob has either shifted or fractured over the past two decades.It’s fairly easy to say the Gulf War was justified, staying out of Rwanda was not, the 2003 Iraq War was a colossal blunder, the mission in Afghanistan should have ended long ago, and Libya was a debacle.But a more difficult case that ought to be revisited is the 1999 Kosovo War: For reasons discussed below, it is hard to imagine broad support within the U. political establishment for a similar mission 20 years later.


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