Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy
What Would a Realist World Have Looked Like?
From Iraq and WMDs to Israel and Palestine to Syria and Russia, how the United States could've avoided some of its biggest mistakes.
Here's a puzzle for all you students of U.S. foreign policy: Why is a distinguished and well-known approach to foreign policy confined to the margins of public discourse, especially in the pages of our leading newspapers, when its recent track record is arguably superior to the main alternatives?
I refer, of course, to realism. I'm not suggesting that realism and realists are completely marginalized these days — after all, you're reading a realist right now — but the public visibility and policy influence of the realist perspective is disproportionately small when compared either to liberal internationalism (among Democrats) or neoconservatism (in the GOP).
This situation is surprising insofar as realism is a well-established tradition in the study of foreign affairs, and realists like George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, Walter Lippmann, and others said many smart things about U.S. foreign policy in the past....
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Magazine Article - The National Interest
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In the Spotlight
Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security
Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School