Is a Better World Possible Without US Military Force?

Under President Obama, the United States adopted a “do no harm” foreign policy in contrast to Bush-era military interventionism. Shadi Hamid in The Atlantic describes this as a Leftist tendency to avoid intervention, allowing other countries to exercise agency without American interference. He argues the policy has not led to a safer and more just world. For instance, Obama has maintained a non-intervention policy in Syria although the civil war has left more than 500,000 dead and displaced millions. Policies that resist intervening enable murderous regimes. Hamid cautions that “that the most powerful nation in the world can[not] ever be truly ‘neutral’ in foreign conflicts and “The fiction of neutrality is growing more dangerous, as we enter a period of resurgent authoritarianism, anti-refugee incitement, and routine mass killing.” The world, complicated and interconnected, depends on global cooperation. Countries hoping to be a force for good cannot apply rigid standards, and Hamid concludes “power – still, for now, preeminent – can be used for better, more moral ends.” – YaleGlobal

Is a Better World Possible Without US Military Force?

The United States, in deciding to employ military intervention or not, particularly in Syria, can never be perceived as truly neutral
Shadi Hamid
Monday, October 24, 2016

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Shadi Hamid is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, a senior fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Policy, and the author of the new book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World.

Copyright © 2016 by The Atlantic Monthly Group.