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The Risks of Staying vs. Leaving Iraq

April 19, 2007

Defenders of the war in Iraq point to six major disasters that will ensue following a U.S. military withdrawal. MIT's Barry Posen weighs these arguments, and finds them wanting.

The article appeared in the Boston Globe on Thursday, April 19th, and is available in its entirety here:

Barry Posen is director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy.

Posted by coalition at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

Event: The End of Alliances 05.01.07

April 17, 2007

On Tuesday, May 1st, the Cato Institute hosted a book forum with Lehigh University professor Rajan Menon, discussing his new book, The End of Alliances (Oxford, 2007).

The event featured the author, Rajan Menon, Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University; with comments by Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies; and Doug Bandow, Vice President of Policy, Citizens Outreach.

America's Cold War alliances are slowly dissolving, explains Rajan Menon in The End of Alliances. The United States faces new challenges, and many of our European and Asian alliances have grown irrelevant. The United States will, and must, be actively involved beyond its borders— by relying on coalitions and contingent alignments whose membership will vary depending on the issue at hand. This shift from permanent to ad hoc security relationships will force our traditional allies to rethink their choices and create new patterns in global politics. Professor Menon and a panel of distinguished commentators discussed this important work that challenges the conventional wisdom on U.S. foreign policy.

To learn more about the event, or to view or listen online, visit the Cato web site.

Posted by coalition at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

'Your Iraq Plan?' Is a Pointless Question

April 09, 2007

Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich tells us to look beyond Iraq. The focus should be on the whole nature of U.S. foreign policy.

The article was published in the Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2007, and is available online:,0,3650600.story?coll=la-opinion-center

Andrew J. Bacevich is a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy and a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. He is the author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War.

Posted by coalition at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

Energy Alarmism: The Myths That Make Americans Worry about Oil

April 06, 2007

Fears about the United States' "energy security" are overblown explain Eugene Gholz and Daryl Press. In a new paper, Gholz and Press shed light on the true nature of the oil market, dispelling the falsehoods underpinning current U.S. foreign policy.

Eugene Gholz is assistant professor of public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Daryl G. Press is associate professor of government at Dartmouth University. They are both members of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy.

Executive Summary

Many Americans have lost confidence in their country's "energy security" over the past several years. Because the United States is a net oil importer, and a substantial one at that, concerns about energy security naturally raise foreign policy questions. Some foreign policy analysts fear that dwindling global oil reserves are increasingly concentrated in politically unstable regions, and they call for increased U.S. efforts to stabilize--or, alternatively, democratize--the politically tumultuous oil-producing regions. Others allege that China is pursuing a strategy to "lock up" the world's remaining oil supplies through long-term purchase agreements and aggressive diplomacy, so they counsel that the United States outmaneuver Beijing in the "geopolitics of oil." Finally, many analysts suggest that even the "normal" political disruptions that occasionally occur in oil-producing regions (e.g., occasional wars and revolutions) hurt Americans by disrupting supply and creating price spikes. U.S. military forces, those analysts claim, are needed to enhance peace and stability in crucial oil-producing regions, particularly the Persian Gulf.

Each of those fears about oil supplies is exaggerated, and none should be a focus of U.S. foreign or military policy. "Peak oil" predictions about the impending decline in global rates of oil production are based on scant evidence and dubious models of how the oil market responds to scarcity. In fact, even though oil supplies will increasingly come from unstable regions, investment to reduce the costs of finding and extracting oil is a better response to that political instability than trying to fix the political problems of faraway countries. Furthermore, Chinese efforts to lock up supplies with long-term contracts will at worst be economically neutral for the United States and may even be advantageous. The main danger stemming from China's energy policy is that current U.S. fears may become a self-fulfilling prophecy of Sino-U.S. conflict. Finally, political instability in the Persian Gulf poses surprisingly few energy security dangers, and U.S. military presence there actually exacerbates problems rather than helps to solve them.

Our overarching message is simply that market forces, modified by the cartel behavior of OPEC, determine most of the key factors that affect oil supply and prices. The United States does not need to be militarily active or confrontational to allow the oil market to function, to allow oil to get to consumers, or to ensure access in coming decades.

To read the full paper, visit the Cato web site:

Posted by coalition at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

To Russia with Realism

April 02, 2007

Anatol Lieven makes the case for better U.S.-Russian relations.

The article was published in the March 26, 2007, issue of the American Conservative and is available in its entirety online:

Anatol Lieven is co-author, with John Hulsman, of Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World and a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Posted by coalition at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)