A lot of people are warning against America turning “isolationist.” We can dismiss the warnings—special pleadings, really—emanating from other countries, where people have free-ridden on American taxpayers for decades. If Europeans are worried about defending themselves, why are they cutting their military budgets? Not that we should mind if they do, but they should not look to us to pick up any slack.
President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are the latest to express concern that the American appetite for managing foreign conflicts is waning. In his West Point speech, Obama said the military is the “backbone” of American leadership, even as he claimed that force is not the first answer to every problem. And Hagel recently told some foreign-policy wonks in Chicago that it would be “a mistake to view our global responsibilities as a burden or charity.” How would he propose that we taxpayers view them? As a privilege?Find it here.
UPDATE: I've appended this note to the article:
[Correction: I've removed a sentence which stated incorrectly that President James Monroe and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams intervened in a Greek civil war. In fact, while Monroe expressed sympathy for the Greeks, who were revolting against Turkey, in his annual message in 1822, Adams and key members of Congress opposed intervention.]