Monday, January 7, 2019

Policing the World

America has 294 foreign embassies, in all but four countries around the world. By some estimates there are more than 40 armed conflicts globally. And the U.S. has picked winners in virtually all these conflicts. We offer foreign aid, influence government policies, and bring in soldiers. We want to promote freedom, human rights, democracy, and free markets.

We have enough resources to exert huge influence. And we use it.

But that influence might not always be the best. We could actually use our influence to benefit ourselves rather than other countries. ("America first.") We could be mistaken about what would be beneficial to other countries. We might not actually understand all the political, social, cultural or economic dynamics involved in other regions.

While we should help the world to be a better place, we may be overzealous in our desire to shape the world. Being the world's police is a heavy responsibility. Probably more than one country can manage.