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Hey folks, Derek here with a word on comments/questions. As with other FX posts, comments will be open here for subscribers. The way these will work for Daniel's posts, in order to spare him having to make repeated trips into the comments section, is like so: if you have questions on anything in this column, drop it here. Daniel will check back in two weeks (so September 21 in this case) to respond and then the comments will be closed after that. His post will remain pinned at the top of the FX home page until then for easy access. Thanks!

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It seems that a leftist foreign policy is going to run up against a quandary of liberal interventionism. You might call it the Rwanda/Libya paradox. There will be pressure to go in militarily to stop certain atrocities (like in Rwanda). However, the consequences of America stomping all over a bunch of foreigner’s intricate socio-political problems ends up creating conditions as bad or worse than what we went in to stop (like in Libya). How would a leftist foreign policy deal with that? If the answer is diplomacy, what course of action, if any, would we follow if that fails?

A related, but contrasting problem is that if a more humane foreign policy involves significant US restraint and draw down, is it really better to let revisionist powers displace our hegemony in their region? I’d be concerned that may increase suffering for regions that would then have an even more illiberal hegemon to deal with.

Thanks!

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Thanks for your comment! I've addressed these issues at some length here. Feel free to read it and let me know if you'd like to discuss more! https://newrepublic.com/article/154612/education-idealist-samantha-power-book-review

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Wow, you did get into it at length. That was awesome.

Would you care to proffer the hypothetical Bernie administration response to that CAR bombardment situation you opened with? It would depend on specifics is certainly an understandable answer though. To phrase it another way, having dismantled liberal interventionism, can you suggest a better framework to use in foreign policy?

Also, the spheres of influence/hegemony question still remains a bit. I think investing in "butter" would better serve Americans and avoid the pitfalls of the "Fog of Intervention." However, you could end up with more suffering for those in these new spheres of illiberal influence and, in the long run, may create an environment more hostile to "peace and democracy". On the other hand, maybe Western liberalism isn't the end and all be all for other countries and I'm still subconsciously assuming America as “a shining city on a hill and also the world’s policeman” as a good.

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> A related, but contrasting problem is that if a more humane foreign policy involves significant US restraint and draw down, is it really better to let revisionist powers displace our hegemony in their region? I’d be concerned that may increase suffering for regions that would then have an even more illiberal hegemon to deal with.

I would go for the "naive" route and say that there are already ample levers in the international system to account for that such as UN peacekeeping and local defense treaties and assistance programs

On today's world, Tyranny of Distance is a far crueler and unjust end than spheres of influence imo

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Kantu, could you expand on your response, particularly the 'Tyranny of distance is a crueler end part'? I am a bit confused, but would like to understand your point.

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Don't forget that a significant portion of the usa ruling class wanted to do business with Hitler and saw the Soviet Union as the bigger threat.

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And there were NOT wrong, the Soviet Union was indeed a far bigger threat to *them* than Nazi Germany was, remember, the US had a not-small Nazi party itself in the period

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