I was having this discussion with my dad over the holidays. A simple test for this is to ask about the counter factual. If all else were the same and there were no troops in Korea, should we invade Korea to set up shop? Japan? Germany? Italy?

The next is to present the logical conclusion of their beliefs. Do you think we should go to war with Russia, a war that would decimate a generation of Americans, to protect Donbas?

Let’s not forget the disdain these elites have for the soldiers they’d like to send to die.

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The Army and Marine Corps haven’t been able to crush a bunch of bomb making cavemen after trying for almost 20 years.

The US Air Force hasn’t gone toe to toe with a serious challenger since 1972.

The US Navy has not had to fight a naval battle in 77 years.

For decades the American armed forces have promoted incompetents while forcing out proven leaders for conduct offenses that are often as minor as an old video of them telling an off color joke.

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Whoa! Where have you been, guy? This book -- or rather, its explanation of our foreign policy -- is coming out at exactly the right time: ordinary Americans, who have always supported whatever war the government wanted to wage, are now waking up. They're not becoming liberal softies -- no Tea Party Reading Club is going to start perusing Noam Chomsky -- but they no longer will break out in a chant of "USA!!! ALL THE WAY!!" whenever a President wants to invade another country. Although the viewpoint expounded in the book is not unknown on the American Right -- see American Conservative, or Chronicles of American Culture -- it has never had traction. Now is the time to give it some.

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Sounds fascinating and all too sadly plausible.

Did you ever read (or hear of) Steven denBeste? He was an opinion blogger in the 2000s who wrote lots of great justifications for our foreign wars that seemed even at the time to have no relation to why our government was actually doing what it was doing.

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Now apply this analysis to big pharma and the healthcare regulators

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Very interesting take, particularly the challenge to the unitary actor which I have always accepted, will certainly buy the book. Have always seen USFP as broadly bipartisan so will have to read your argument about unitary actor carefully. The Iraq war explanation was similar to my own view.

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Just listened to you at Breaking Points -- OUTSTANDING !!! Worth reading also:

1. There is Absolutely No Reason in the World to Believe That Bill Clinton Is a CIA Asset—Except for All the Evidence


By - Jeremy Kuzmarov - January 3, 2022

2. A Company Family: The Untold History of Obama and the CIA


By Jeremy Kuzmarov - October 1, 2021

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I remember thinking the foreign policy "realists" treating states as black boxes pursuing self interests neglected these sorts of issues. Then when Walt & Mearsheimer wrote "The Israel Lobby" it was a shift in that direction... but when I actually met Mearsheimer at an event for The American Conservative I found his understanding of domestic politics to be disappointingly shallow. Like he'd never talked to political scientist colleagues who actually focus on that, or any public choice economists.

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>As for China, the newfound shift to a more hawkish stance represents the need for a new enemy, although we’re not going to stop trading with them either because again, not even the war mongering has any kind of internal consistency to it.

The change in the relationship with China has been trade related, and has literally nothing to do with "war mongering".

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Looks great. Do you discuss the Selectorate Theory at all? Seems like what you're doing overlaps with BBdM's work. I'm not an IR scholar but I teach an undergrad intro class. I started off last semester with your post about the illusion of expertise.

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