On America'a Place in the World

Though our post-modern existence may seem dull and unexciting, perhaps it will invigorate the American masses if they knew that we are today living in historic and revolutionary times. More than a decade since the Islamist declaration of war on September 11th 2001, the global balance of power, is today far more unstable than at any time in the last 35 years. The United States is a young republic that has traditionally been inclined to steer clear of "foreign entanglements." We are hesitant of sullying the New World with the dirty baggage of the Old Country. The idea that the most powerful nation in the history of the Earth should shun the role of empire is testifies to American Exceptionalism. But this does not mean we should ignore storms clouds when they gather. One of the lessons of World War II is that the earlier we begin to deter the ambitions of evil dictators, the easier their ambitions will be to thwart. We may be the most powerful nation on Earth, but we lack the will or the spirit to fight. Though we do much good in the world, we too often have been our own worst enemies. We make huge investments in money and manpower in foreign countries, but we give up the task before it is complete. We throw away years of progress overnight. Historian Niall Ferguson has explained it like this:
Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, it’s an empire in denial—a hyper-power that simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad... This chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, it will come from within—and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.
As a nation, we are impatient in both war and peace. It was an ancient Roman maxim that, si vis pacem, para bellum. For Peace, Prepare for War. The stability of the global order under Pax Americana has done more to improve the lot of mankind than any Empire in the long history of the world. Of course there are losers in the age of American dominance. It is our job to insure that the biggest losers are those whose disdain for the natural rights of humanity are most repugnant. We cannot police every corner of the world, nor can we save every good human from the ravages of evil. But we also cannot simply relinquish the mantle of global leadership that we have struggled so mightily to obtain. Has the retreat of American influence brought more peace or more prosperity to the world? Can we say today that the cause of freedom is brighter with a less vigilant and aggressive United States of America? Would we rather have a coalition of China, Russia, and Iran rule the world? If we abandon the policing powers of the world to such an alliance, who is to say they wouldn't forge their own "coalition of the willing" to remove a regime who in their view had "oppressed" the people and "threatened" the stability of the world?

Our last good run at isolationism and demilitarization in the lead-up to World War I and II ended in monumental global catastrophe. We are currently witnessing the early consequences of the Obama Administration's "America-first" agenda. China is rising and has taken a more aggressive approach. Russia renews the rhetoric and expansionism of the Soviet-era. North Korea and Iran play us for fools. Israel, Poland, and Saudi Arabia publicly lash out our policies of retrenchment and appeasement. Freedom is being persecuted by governments across the globe. The stability of our alliances, the value of our word, and the power of our deterrence no longer carry the weight they once did. Partisans of evil and oppression are seizing the opportunity, while America is reducing its military and dismantling its manufacturing.

It's a sign of the dangerous times in which we live that an Ambassador to the world's greatest military power can be murdered by the hands of a band of throwback religious fanatics and the so-called superpower is impotent to respond. It seems that John Kerry is being outclassed diplomatically by the wily ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran. How the mighty have fallen! If we choose to ignore the lessons of the past, then truly America does deserve the consequences of its apathy. Though it may not be popular, nor will it be easy, The United States must stand for freedom in the world. As its world champion, we must be its greatest defender. When you look at it that way, a smart and sensible foreign policy is one of the best investments our country can make.