is the Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political
Science at the University of Chicago and one of the leading foreign
policy scholars in America. Here's what he has to say to you:
governments sometimes pursue foolish foreign policies with disastrous
consequences. Liberal democracies are not immune from this danger.
I came of age during the Vietnam war, which was one of the greatest
strategic blunders in American history. Since then, the United States
has made further blunders, the Iraq war being the most prominent.
And now there is the Ukraine conflict, which threatens to escalate
into a nuclear war.
is no guaranteed way to avoid foreign policy errors. But the best
way to minimize the chances of getting into serious trouble is to
debate these issues openly, so that critics of the conventional
wisdom of government policy can have their say. Media institutions
are hugely important in fostering this kind of debate, which is
why freedom of the press is so protected in the United States. It
allows critics to make their views known to large numbers of people
and it provides legitimacy. Critics of existing policy are not always
right, but sometimes they speak truth to power and help us avoid
or correct big mistakes.
the mainstream media in the United States have become much less
effective since the Cold War ended. Dissenters have trouble getting
a platform in prominent media outlets, and mainstream media outlets
often seem to speak with one voice on the big foreign policy issues
of the day. This situation is not healthy.
plays an important role in filling this dangerous void in our public
discourse. It provides a platform for critics to challenge the reigning
views of the foreign policy establishment, which is essential for
increasing the likelihood that the United States will pursue wiser
policies. For that reason, I
urge readers to generously support Antiwar.com. In these
troubled times, a flourishing Antiwar.com is very much in the U.S.