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A Centrist Space in U.S. Foreign Policy

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Ben Freeman

on 22 September 2016

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Transcript of A Centrist Space in U.S. Foreign Policy

Come Home America
Fortress America
Liberal Interventionism
Offers a muscular, moral, & often military solution to U.S. foreign policy problems.
Neoconservative mindset:
America is an ethical force for good
We have a special responsibility to fight tyranny
America is the primary foreign policy actor
Offers a values driven, engaging, and ardently diplomatic approach to solving foreign policy problems.
"Nation building at home"
Free trade is a threat to American jobs
Immorality of the military
Prioritize the U.S. economy
Spare no expense to protect America
The world is on their own
Extreme fiscal austerity regarding foreign policy

Offering pragmatic solutions to foreign policy problems.
Neoconservative Pillars:
The U.S. should aggressively confront threats
Unwaveringly support Israel
Distrust international law
Neoconservative History
1960-70's intra-Democratic battle
1980's: Joined the GOP
2000's: Iraq War
Neoconservatives Today

Neoconservatism Weaknesses
Elite ideology
Unilateralist "bully"
Interventions are costly
Liberal Interventionist pillars:
Responsibility to protect
Supporting global free trade
Promoting democracy and human rights
Strong military
Liberal Interventionists Today
Isolationist mindset:
Protected by two oceans with friendly neighbors
Primary focus on domestic economy
Less military involvement overseas
Defining the ends of American strategy by our limited means
Isolationism's History in the U.S.
Present at the nation's founding
Early 20th century mainstream
Mid to late 20th century anti-war Left
Come Home America Today
Fortress America Today
Liberal Interventionism Weaknesses:
Prioritizing others over U.S.
Intervention without limits
Fortress America Weaknesses
Minimal international influence
Inability to guarantee global stability
Less control of the commons
Come Home America Weaknesses
Dangerously soft on defense
Underestimates impact of international instability on domestic economy
History of Liberal Interventionism
President Wilson
Post Cold War
Liberal Interventionist mindset:
With great power comes great responsibility
America is a leader among peers
Liberal democracy inevitably ends conflict
Why isolationism now?
Fiscal Crunch
War Fatigue
Bad Economy
Centrist Mindset
Pragmatic predisposition
American essentialism, not exceptionalism
The world is flat
Offers an anti-military, protectionist, and American
worker centric approach to engagement with the world.
Offers a defensive, fiscally austere, and U.S. economy focused approach to engagement with the world.
Enhance domestic prosperity by promoting global stability
Encourage the adoption of American values
Maintain the strongest military in the world to deter conflict
Preference for multilateralism, but unilateral when directly threatened
The Pillars of a Centrist Foreign Policy
Centrist History
Hamiltonian roots
George H.W. Bush
Full transcript