We Need a Sheriff

Globalization & U.S foreign policy

Dan Carlin, whom I couldn’t admire more, was recently on Dave Rubin. He was making the argument that he wanted the United States to have the same foreign policy as everyone else. You can check out the interview here.

I think Dan is deeply mistaken on this front. As a fan of World Order, I hope the United States does not step down as Sheriff. By World Order, I mean the consensus between countries about the principles on which international relations are to be conducted. The old order, which has existed for roughly 400 years, has been degrading sharply with the rise of globalization. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

If a disease breaks out across the world, it can travel just about anywhere in 48 hours. Hostile and unstable nations with nuclear weapons, civil wars that result in millions of refugees,cyber weapons that can destroy infrastructure, are all extremely significant to national security. The fact that the whole economy depends on the internet, and with this comes immense risk for cyber weapons, has unimaginable significance to nation security. Climate change, STUXNET, nuclear/chemical weapons and viruses do not give a fuck about your borders.

This does not mean I think the U.S should not respect borders. But its clear that sovereignty alone is not a sufficient principle to address the complex problems arising from globalization. It is hard to imagine that we would expect the U.S to respond with the same capability, to these threats, as other less capable nations. Shadi Hamid touches on this in his article, Is a Better World Possible without U.S. Military Force?

For more on the state of the world, check out this video by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Here is a very interesting article by Jeffrey Sachs on what he sees as the three seperate camps on foreign policy: primacists, realists, cooperatists. In my mind, no one label should encaspsulate the entire foreign policy of a nation, as problems and their solutions are infinitely unforeseeable.

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