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U.S. and the world

During the current events meetup a couple of weeks ago, we talked some about the situation in Syria and what, if anything, would be an appropriate U.S. response. We will probably still talk about that, but I want to broaden the topic to include the role of the U.S. in the world in general today.

What has our role been in the past, how has that changed, and what do you think should be the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy? Can we be a positive force in the world as opposed to merely supporting our national and economic interests? We will probably focus on the middle East, but don't need to be restricted to it.

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  • Luke

    Interested in attending

    September 21, 2013

  • Luke

    :)

    September 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Asking the United States to be act outside of its national interests is unrealistic. Consistent with the same rational choice model that expects Joe Blow to choose a a $2 gallon of milk rather a $5 alternative (due to personal economic interests), one should expect ALL nation-states -- including the US to do same. And just like there is much empirical evidence that supports the rational choice hypothesis in consumer markets, systematic and casual inspection of the foreign policy behavior of America and of all other states will validate the same.

    For me, the matter should be reformulated. Two points are at issue. (1) What is meant by a "positive force"? For me, this boils down to governance. In our previous discussions on the possibility of cooperation without government , the tragedy of the commons, and a non-fossil fuels energy regime, we have explored the issue of eliciting cooperation voluntarily from rational actors without the use of coercion.

    September 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      The US today still maintains a first use policy on nukes in the battlefield (tactical and submarine launched) if local commanders believe they are about to be overrun. Accidents can happen.

      September 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Finally, if borders become less important, then the threat of international war will diminish. But what replaces the system of sovereign states is an open question. Dictatorship? Rule by global capital? Liberal democracy? Big questions but not relevant to the issue of global peace. Any will do from the point of view of imposing a regime of global governance.

      September 20, 2013

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