VIEWSrnNo More Perpetual WarrnA Foreign Policy for a Republic, Not an Empirernby Doug BandowrnWith Republicans increasing social spending and Democratsrnupping military outlays, Washington is devoid ofrnserious debate over any important issue. Despite the President’srnattacks on GOP “isolationism,” both parties largely favor foreignrnintervention. As a result, America finds itself entangled inrnalmost every international conflict and potential conflict:rnBosnia, the Caucasus, China, Colombia, East Timor, Creece,rnIran, Iraq, Israel, Kashmir, North Africa, North Korea, Russia,rnTaiwan, and Turkey.rnAnd then there is Kosovo. The coalition that claimed to bernconducting a war against ethnic cleansing included NATOrnmember Turkey, which has leveled an estimated 3,000 Kurdishrnvillages and displaced as many as two million Kurds in a guerrillarnwar that has killed 37,000. NATO’s “humanitarian” warriorsrnalso stood by in 1995 when the Croatian military, trainedrnby LI.S. advisors, kicked hundreds of thousands of Serbs out ofrnancestral lands in the Krajina region, shelling and strafingrnrefugee columns. And the allies voiced not a peep at the murderrnof 6,300 people in Sierra Leone in January 1999 alone,rnmore than triple the death toll of the previous year in Kosovo.rnFor half a centurv’, foreign policy centered on the principle ofrncontainment. The result was the creation of an oversized military,rnbacked by a global network of bases and militarv- deployments,rnand manned through conscription. But ten ^’ears ago,rnDoug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Arnformer special assistant to President Reagan, he is the authorrnand editor of several hooks, including Tripwire: Korea andrnU.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World.rnthe Berlin Wall fell, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the SovietrnUnion collapsed, and the threat of aggression dissipated. Inrnshort, almost the entire foundation of American foreign policyrnwas gone.rnYet no serious reconsideration of U.S. foreign policy has occurred.rnThe Clinton administrahon woidd like to do everything,rncalling its policy “enlargement.” Every Asian alliancernmust be preserved, NATO must be expanded, and elsewherernthe administration has engaged in what Michael Mandelbaumrnof Johns Hopkins has called “foreign policy as social work”—attemptingrnto mend failed states and squelch ethnic hatreds. AfterrnKosovo, the President even announced that the UnitedrnStates would stop ethnic cleansing in Africa and elsewhere, althoughrnhis national security advisor, Sandy Berger, immediatelyrnbegan backpedaling.rnThe Republican alternative has been incoherent. The GOPrnfavors maintaining all existing alliances. Support for South Korearnshould be strengthened, cooperation with Japan should berndeepened, and NATO should be expanded. The only questionsrnare how far and how fast. Republicans also back increasedrnmilitap.’ spending. Although there has been some dissent onrnmore extraneous commitments, enough GOP leaders supportedrnmilitary action in Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, and Somalia thatrnopposition was limited largely to ineffective protest. In principle,rnboth parties favor Pax Americana, although they sometimesrndisagree about where and when to act.rnThe American people spent more than $ 13 trillion (in currentrndollars) to defeat the Soviet Union. Yet all of the institutionsrnof containment remain in place; the Cold War militan’ es-rnMARCH 2000/13rnrnrn