An isolationist foreign policy? Maybe the way to think of it is a retooling, regrouping, and a renewal as global dynamics shift toward emerging powers?
Cynics assert that the “military-industrial complex” Dwight D. Eisenhower presciently warned against has primarily existed to enrich and empower a grasping, imperialist nation. But America was prosperous long before it was a superpower; by 1890, decades before the two world wars, it was already the world’s largest and richest economy. We do not need a large military to be rich. Quite the opposite: it drains our resources.
Realists contend that if we quit defending access to the world’s natural resources — read, oil — nobody else would. Really? It’s not likely that the Europeans, who depend on energy imports far more than the nation that owns Texas and Alaska would throw up their hands and bury their heads in the sand. It’s patronizing and naïve to think that America is the only truly “necessary” country. Good leaders develop new leaders. The Libyan crisis showed that our allies can do a lot..