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America Self-Contained? A Symposium
Leadership as a Last Resort

The United States has been punching well below its weight for five years, and that’s got to stop.

Appeared in: Volume 9, Number 5 | Published on: April 20, 2014
Richard Perle is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former Assistant Secretary of Defense. Jonathan Perle is the founder of Privileged Communications, Inc.
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  • Andrew Allison

    Seems to me we haven’t been punching our weight since the emasculation of GWB resulting from the Iraq war.

  • Arkeygeezer

    We forecasted this in 2008.
    America got what it voted for in 2008 and 2012.
    On balance, its not all that bad. We don’t fight wars in areas in which we have no national interest. Our allies are forced to pull their own weight in foreign affairs. The Obama administration has lied to the American people and to nations throughout the world.
    We are now reaping the consequences.

  • Anthony

    Richard Perle – neocon advocate for war with Iraq; publicly providing legitimacy for deceptions and distortions of Ahmed Chalabi (passed on to American intelligence gathering agencies); now highlighting U.S. punching well below our weight. Wrong messenger considering gravity of matter – advice as last resort.

    • Corlyss

      So? He’s a d*a*m*n sight better than Val and ‘Chelle. Single cause theories are beneath your analytical skills.

      • Anthony

        The messenger Corlyss not the message; and Ms. Jarrett I consider a friend and in this instance you and I know not germane (thanks for kind words).

  • Corlyss

    “nd far from learning from its first five years, the Administration seems determined to continue the failed policies ”

    Of course. Whenever he meets with opposition, he doubles down on his policies. If the Republicans and otherwise smarter people oppose him, he will just become more passive and feckless in retaliation. IOW annoying his enemies seems to have a higher priority than annoying America’s.

  • Jim__L

    No, no, we must follow Churchill’s dictum about trying everything else first.

  • edsel

    The American Interest ought to be ashamed of itself. Not for publishing an article critical of Obama, but for publishing an article by one of the main culprits in the destruction of American influence, monetary stability and moral credibility from the destructive policies of the Bush administration. As Joseph Welch put it: Have you no shame<?

  • Pete

    Richard Perle! Why print the ramblings of that neo-con warmonger?

  • True, but it’s not just the past 5 years. We have been punching below our weight since 1945. Ike in his Dulles CFR address in Jan 1954, said we wouln’t build expensive conventional forces, but if faced with large invasions of ourselves or our allies, would “respond massively.” He ended Korea with a threat to nuke DPRK and China. Had JFK responded massively to Hanoi (having insisting on getting involved), you can bet that fewer that 58K Americans and the estimated 1M Vietnamese would have died. And our goal – pushing back the North – would have been met, as was our goal of ending Imperial Japan in 1945 – rather than the estimated 1949 – met, without the estimated 1M American casualties and 9M Japanese casualties. Had we nuked Hanoi – the intelligent response – we’d have drawn a line less weak than we did, and probably wouldn’t have had to endure Cubans in Angola, for instance, or Russians in Nicaragua. It’s also likely Saddam would’ve quit Kuwait when told. And had the Taliban not handed over OBL, the correct response was to nuke them – killing, again, far fewer people, especially Americans, than we ultimately have. Punching below our weight? Yep. Since 1945, even though doing so has never worked, and is responsible for tens of thousands of dead Americans and over a million dead opponents.

  • Administrative question: How can AI publish this and only several articles below, that silly column that Obama has “good foreign policy instincts?” One would think Dr Meade would appreciate a certain consistency, rather than having his blog wavering all over the ideological map, no?

  • diderot à la campagne

    This Perle who helped to launch this crazy and disastrous adventure in Iraq with four millions of displace iraqi populations as a result, and thousands of american soldiers dead, giving lessons now.
    Incredible!! LOL.

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