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The Risks of Retreat

WRH Bill Wrote: Mar 20, 2013 10:41 AM
Every choice has its risks. But as a member of the "Rand Paul right" rather than one of Gerson's chest-beating "heroic conservatives," I'd rather take the "risks of retreat" rather than the risks involved in assuming that we as a nation have the infinite resources and infinite wisdom to control the whole world. I'd rather preserve and defend constitutional democracy here in the U.S. than sacrifice our military and economic resources and constitutional limits on government to quixotic attempts to turn chaotic foreign nations into model democracies.

WASHINGTON -- Declining national influence is a choice, and America seems to be making it.

What foreign policy practitioners politely call the "churn" of events is beginning to look more like chaos. Egypt teeters between the establishment of a democracy and the restoration of the caliphate. Syria melts away as an organized state and perhaps as a geographic fact. Iran is on the verge of building the Shiite bomb and igniting a sectarian nuclear arms race (and you thought a purely ideological nuclear arms race was scary). North Korea continues its bold experiment in proliferation and abnormal psychology.


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